An island on Dubai’s man-made archipelago The World will be developed into the world’s first fashion island, as the iconic coastal project gets set for completion in this quarter.
Construction of the first phase of the Nakheel development, which includes dredging to create the “world” shape and the breakwater, may be completed as early as next month, a spokesperson for Nakheel told Emirates Business.
The latest investment in The World is from Dubai Infinity Holdings (DIH), an investment firm launched in December, which yesterday announced plans for a mixed-use development that aims to establish Dubai as a global “fashion hub”.
The project, dubbed “Isla Moda”, aims to combine high style and luxury to attract the world’s fashion elite by including a fashion hotel, a variety of themed residential villas, and boutiques representing the world’s most prominent designers – many of them exclusively, the firm said in a statement.
The first set of villas – the project’s “winter collection” – is expected to go on sale in the fourth quarter of this year, DIH’s Chief Executive Samira Abdulrazzak told Emirates Business.
Abdulrazzak said the reported $80 million (Dh293m) figure for the project cost is “nowhere near the price of the island or the development”. She added that the island price tag falls closer to the $30m to $50m range. She, however, did not disclose the development costs.
Prices for islands on The World range from $15m to $50m, but the total cost of developing an island is much higher as the owners are expected to meet all infrastructure requirements.
The exact location of Isla Moda is still under wraps but Abdulrazzak said it is towards the Atlantic Ocean and navigable from all sides.
Some of the islands on The World represent countries while others represent cities. Isla Moda will not signify a country but will be a “city of fashion”, Abdulrazzak said.
World-renowned fashion designers from each continent will be invited to design each element of the island. However, the firm did not reveal the design houses that will be involved.
“We are working with time-honoured fashion houses as well as non-traditional designers to create a cohesive yet dynamic island neighbourhood,” she said.
The island is set to cater to fashion-conscious residents who will have the option of selecting from the various well-known designers to create their own couture homes, DIH said.
Isla Moda is also set to host exclusive international events, fashion shows, high-profile designers and limited edition product launches.
“[The island] will be acknowledged as the central fashion district of the entire Middle East and a natural home for all the world’s top fashion luminaries,” said Abdulrazzak.
The chief executive expects the project to be replicated in other emerging markets, “by transforming global fashion brands into value added real estate partners”, she said.
The project’s residential collection will be located near the project’s Beach, Royal and Water Villas. Dubai Infinity Holdings has said the island will offer first-class service and VVIP access to events, services, and products globally for guests and residents. Its luxury Hotel Moda will have approximately 250 rooms and serviced apartments.
The company has said it aims to boost diversification of the UAE economy through its investments in real estate, lifestyle, entertainment, information technology, education, and healthcare sectors.
The investment firm purchased the island after being invited for a viewing by Nakheel.
Nakheel each year invites 50 people – mainly celebrities, business elite and royalty – to come and view The World, and buy into the project if they are interested.
“An island dedicated to high fashion and luxury lifestyle fits well with the glamour and lifestyle promise of The World,” commented Hamza Mustafa, director of The World.
The development giant has said that more than half of the 300 islands that make up The World have so far been sold. The completion of reclamation work next week means islands will soon be handed over to developers.
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