The first units at the 11 million square metre Dubai Hills project in Mohammed bin Rashid City will be handed over to buyers within the next few months.
The units due for handover are at the Street of Dreams – some of the biggest villas in the middle of its 18-hole golf course.
Yasser Nabil, a senior director of development for Emaar Properties, which is jointly developing Dubai Hills alongside Meraas Holding, said that four of the 18 holes of its 1.29 million sq metre championship golf course have been laid, with the remainder due for completion this year, alongside the first 97 villas that are being handed over as “shell and core” units, with buyers responsible for fitting them out.
These will be delivered in batches over 12 months, starting from the summer.
Once complete, Dubai Hills will contain more than 26,000 homes, a 143,377 sq metre lifestyle mall at the junction of Al Khail Road and Umm Suqeim Road, a further 210,778 sq metres of community and neighbourhood retail, hotels, 197,000 sq metres of offices, a tennis academy and 45 kilometres of cycling and jogging tracks.
Dubai Hills has three zones. To the north, fronting Al Khail Road, there will be two malls and most of the mid-rise buildings containing a total of 22,000 flats. These will be built around a 7km-long boulevard with shops and restaurant units.
A second, low-density housing zone contains the golf course, the 97 villas already released and plots for 300 villas in two communities – the Fairways and Parkways. Most of these plots have been sold, and Mr Nabil said that infrastructure is nearing completion, with handovers also expected later this year.
The third zone has higher density, single-family town houses and villas in communities such as Maple and Sidra. Already, more than 1,300 town houses at Maple 1 and 2 have been launched, with infrastructure construction under way.
Sidra has been broken into three phases. The first, with 170 villas, has almost sold out, so a second, 160-unit phase, was launched recently.
In total, there are 4,600 villas and 22,000 flats at Dubai Hills. A construction contract for the first mid-rise projects, Mulberry 1 and 2, has recently been awarded.
These will each contain four buildings housing 600 apartments. Construction at a second apartment community, Acacia 1, is due to start soon.
“During this year, there is going to be lots of activity on site,” said Mr Nabil.
“It has been like a hidden secret, we have been cooking away and now we are revealing it to everyone.”
Ian Kirkby, a sales director at the Dubai luxury property specialist Luxhabitat, said demand for the villas and the plots released to date has been fairly strong, particularly among investors who had previously bought plots at Emaar’s Emirates Hills development.
“They like the fact that there is some continuity in the design,” he said, adding that Emaar had set specific elevation designs to ensure homes have a similar look. Plots also tend to be larger, with more space between boundary walls, offering better value for money.
“If you want a golf course-facing villa of 20,000 sq feet on a 30,000 sq ft plot, you’re looking at around Dh35 million, whereas you’re going to be double that in Emirates Hills.”
Meanwhile, tenders have been floated for construction of one of the hotel and residential towers planned for Emaar’s Opera District, which will cost about Dh500m to build, according to Bloomberg.
Emaar did not respond to a request for comment.