Dubailand to build 11 substations on site



Dubailand, a member of Tatweer, is to build 11 132-kV electricity substations valued at Dh1.43 billion to supply power for the first phase of the mega development, its Chief Executive Officer said.


“We will meet the entire electricity needs of Dubailand. Currently, we have got approval for 10 more substations from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) that will be built over a span of 24 months,” CEO Mohammed Al Habbai told Emirates Business.


“One of the substations has already been constructed and is operational,” he added.


According to Al Habbai, all developers in Dubailand will eventually have to build their own substations considering the scale of their projects.


Limitless, the real estate arm of Dubai World, is also planning to set up captive power plants in the $11 billion Arabian Canal project.


“We are looking at the option of generating our own electricity. Besides that, the development will also have its own desalination and sewage plants,” Ian Raine, Limitless development manager for Arabian Canal said.


Real estate analysts have told Emirates Business that developers will eventually generate their own electricity to meet requirements, considering the fact that they are already building their own district cooling systems and roads for their respective developments. However, Dewa is unlikely to take a hit on the revenue front since all the infrastructure developments require approval from the respective authorities.


When asked about rumoured delays in infrastructure work, Al Habbai rejected the claims saying they were working very closely with the authorities and their partners to ensure work is completed on time.


“As per Dewa, each of the projects will have to temporarily develop its own infrastructure in terms of water and sewage plants until we are hooked into the Jebel Ali sewage plant. We are also finalising details of road design.”


Although Dubailand will have more than 45 mega projects when it goes fully operational by 2020, the master developer is currently concentrating on 24 prime projects.


Al Habbai ruled out any further expansion of Dubailand, which currently covers a three billion square foot site along Emirates Road.


“We do not have plans for any further expansion although we have only sold 30 to 35 per cent of land,” he said.


Dubailand’s attractions will be divided into seven types; theme parks, culture and art, science and planetariums, sports and sports academies, wellbeing and health, shopping, and resorts and hotels. The development was officially announced in October 2003 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.


The emirate is looking to attract 15 million tourists a year by 2015 and Dubailand will play a central role in achieving this figure, Al Habbai said.


The major factor that could restrict this growth is the shortage of hotel rooms but Al Habbai believes that the problem will be overcome.


“We expect Bawadi district to add at least 60,000 rooms, which will lead to more tourist inflow,” he said.


And according to Al Habbai, there are no plans to replicate the Dubailand model in other parts of the world.


“Our focus is on Dubai and we will build in Dubai first,” he added.
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