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The master developers of Dubai Design District (d3), TECOM Investments, today confirmed a high level of interest in the project from prospective business partners, demonstrating the design community’s strong support for the concept.

Since its launch by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in June last year, d3 has received over 500 expressions of interest, outstripping expectations. As a result of its popularity, dozens of licenses to operate under the d3 free zone are already either in process or approved.

Construction work is well underway on the first phase of d3, the AED 4 billion development of the ‘core’ of the 15.5 million sq. ft. site, including state of the art offices and workshop spaces, which are expected to be ready for tenants in early 2015.

The second phase of the development will focus on d3’s stunning waterfront area. This will feature substantial F&B, retail and entertainment elements to ensure it operates 24/7. By providing visitors with round-the-clock activities and facilities, d3 will help achieve Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020 goals of attracting 20 million visitors and AED 300 billion in tourism revenues per year by 2020. Once complete, d3 will be a world class creative community that promotes and nurtures emerging regional design talent, as well as providing a home to the world’s leading brands.

To ensure the development provides the right facilities and infrastructure to both established international brands and emerging regional designers, d3 ‘crowd-sourced’ much of the design for the project. Management called on the people that know the industry best – the experts – to provide their insight into its physical development from the outset. This process allowed the design community the opportunity to take ownership of their potential new home and ensure that every aspect of the site is relevant to their needs.

The d3 site, located just minutes from Dubai Mall, will boast a 1km waterfront twice the length of Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR). This will feature international and niche hotels, a pop up shop area, and a convention centre. The property options on offer will include residential, commercial, retail and hospitality real estate, and the area will be characterised by distinct public spaces, unique street furniture, and shaded walkways.

While construction at d3 progresses as planned, businesses and individuals can already apply for and secure their licence. They will be able to operate from one of TECOM’s other free zone locations until their particular space is ready for move-in.

Dr Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO at TECOM Investments, commented: “I am delighted that d3 has attracted so much interest from the design community. We undertook extensive research and planning to ensure we create an environment that provides global brands better access to regional talent and the growing GCC markets, as well as being a platform to promote emerging Arab talent internationally. This strategy, coupled with TECOM’s track record in creating, operating and growing successful, industry-focused free zones in Dubai puts d3 in a strong position going forward

“TECOM’s pioneering and industry-focused business parks have helped play a key part in the development of Dubai’s knowledge economy and in increasing employment levels across the UAE.

“Luxury brands like Hermes, apparel brands such as Nike, and educational institutions focused on the industry like ESMOD, are already doing business in TECOM’s other free zones, and the significant level of interest d3 has garnered shows others from the industry are keen to join them.”

More than 100 design-related organisations already operate in TECOM’s other free zones locations.


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