Dubai Holding could expand its smart city initiatives in India to add more cities beyond Kochi.
Ahmed bin Byat, Chairman Dubai Holdings, told Emirates 24|7 that it is actively in talks with authorities in India about expanding its smart city projects in two more cities, but refused to provide specific details.
“We are currently in talks with couple of more cities. I cannot reveal the names. We will make the announcement in due course,” said Byat, who was speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
When specifically asked if the announcement would be made during the state visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, he said, "No. There would be a lot of announcements made. But our announcements will not be part of this visit," he said.
Dubai Holding through Tecom is currently involved in a smart city project in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, and the inauguration of the first phase is scheduled for February 20.
The project, when fully complete, will comprise of 8.8 million sq ft of built up space, out of which at least 6.21 million sq ft will be specifically for IT/ITES/allied services.
Work on the project which started in May 2007 has witnessed intermittent delays following various controversies, starting from allocation of land to project development.
While Kochi was the first smart city project in India, the country’s government has announced plans to build a total of 96 smart cities throughout the country and has announced an investment of $7 billion over the next five years. It recently announced an initial list of 20 centres or cities where the first wave of smart cities will be built.