‘DWC Residential City will fill a major gap in real estate market’



Dubai World Central (DWC) will be one of Dubai’s biggest real estate developments after completion. Its Residential City will accommodate a working and residential population of more than 900,000.

And with a yearly five per cent increase in population, demand for housing will never fall short. “We are filling a major gap in the real estate market by accommodating the low- to mid-income segments. We cannot jeopardise our business by supplying property that is not saleable. Dubai still needs 250,000 units for the next three years,” Khalid Ahmed bin Harib, CEO of DWC Real Estate, said in an interview.


When will all the real estate projects in Dubai World Central be completed?


We expect 2018 to be the year of completion. The population of Residential City is estimated to be 250,000, and 90,000 of them will be mid-class sector residents. The population of Commercial City will be 440,000 and that of Golf City will be 140,000.


How many cities will be included in the real estate sector of DWC?


There will be three cities: Residential City with a total area of eight square kilometres, accounting for six per cent of the whole of the DWC; Commercial City with an area of 14.5sq km, making up 10.3 per cent of DWC; and Golf City which will take up 11.2 per cent of DWC equal to about 15.8 sq km.


What is the estimated sales value of each of the cities?


The total sales value is Dh240 billion. Residential City will bring in Dh30bn, Commercial City is valued at Dh150bn and Dh60bn will be raised by Golf City.


Which phases are complete, how much revenue has been made from them so far and what is the land area of these phases?


Phase one of Residential City sold out in March 2007, generating Dh2.4bn. Phase two sold out on Tuesday making Dh6.2bn, totalling Dh8.6bn. Phases one and two of the other two cities will be announced during Cityscape in November. Phase one measures 162 hectares and accounts for 35 per cent of Residential City, phase two 183 hectares, phases three and four both equal 135 hectares and phase five is 91 hectares. Other phases will come on the market over the next three years. Phase three in 2009, phase four in 2010 and phase five in 2011.


Why did phase two make so much more?


Phase two is much larger in area than phase one; it is 183 hectares compared to phase one’s 162 hectares. It also caters to high-end property rather than mid-range, as is the case with the first phase.


Who are the major developers and what is the selection procedure based on?


Some of the major developers for DWC are Nakheel, Emaar, Sorouh, Dubai Properties, Al Qudra, Union Properties, Deyaar and Damac Properties. However, all these developers are for Commercial City. We cannot disclose details of Residential City or Golf City. Our selection of developers depends on our evaluation of credible, reliable developers who deliver quality.


How many towers will be included and will there be any mosques or malls?


There will be zero high-rise buildings in Residential City. Golf City will have many boutiques, but mainly villas and Commercial City will contain a few high-rise buildings capped at 35 floors. There will of course be many mosques and malls spread across the residential areas – we are still in the negotiation stage. We expect Commercial City to be the financial hub of DWC.


What will DWC Real Estate’s role be in the airport project?


It is expected to finance and sustain the airport’s infrastructure. The logistics company is self-financing.


Properties near airports are usually lower priced worldwide due to the noise. Will this apply to the properties in DWC?


I think this is an old-fashioned statement, residential areas being near an airport will not affect prices at all. In fact I think it will increase them because of the added benefit and convenience of having such a massive project nearby. Of course, people will also be nearer to their workplace if working in Commercial City. In terms of noise, the residential areas are far away from the airport, about four to five kilometres.


How will this massive project affect the market? Are you worried there will be too many buildings to fill?


We feel there will be no oversupply. Low-income and mid-income accommodation is difficult to find.


What is this project to you?


It is a big challenge for me to handle such a large project. But at the same time it is a challenge that gives me great motivation to give more to the project and I look forward to seeing it flourish.



Khalid Ahmed Harib bin Harib

CEO Dubai World Central Real Estate


In mid 2006, founder and chairman of the HBH Group, Khalid Ahmed Harib bin Harib, was appointed by the Dubai Civil Aviation Department as chief executive officer of real estate on the project to create the largest airport community in the world, Dubai World Central.


After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the UAE University in 1985, bin Harib has played several important roles in his career. He joined Emirates airline as overseas administration officer in 1986, and became manager for the Gulf and Middle East in 1989. He joined Dubai Economic Department as director of Registration and Inspection in 1991.


In 2004, he became the head of operations and cabin crew department at Etihad Airways. The Washington Post newspaper nominated bin Harib as the top CEO in the Middle East and ranked him as the number one airport city developer.


Bin Harib has developed a market-centric mindset that enables him to create offerings that are hard to refuse. He is a member of the Bin Harib family that operates in fields such as shipping, vessel manufacturing, catering, real estate and construction.