Emaar Properties plans to build the Middle East's biggest Chinatown as Dubai looks to lure Chinese tourists to the emirate.
Dubai's leading developer said the Chinese-style urban district will occupy a central location in its 6km² mixed-use waterfront development, Dubai Creek Harbour, which will boast the Dubai Creek Tower superstructure.
The retail precinct will have mix of restaurants, local and international fashion brands designed to appeal to Chinese tourists.
To further support efforts to encourage wealthy Chinese shoppers to the emirate, Emaar has opened offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to promote tourism, education, and investment in the UAE.
Emaar's announcement came on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to the UAE, where he is expected to drum up support for two-way trade and investment.
"The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to the UAE is historic and will further strengthen UAE-China relations, underpinned by initiatives such as the UAE-China Week announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai," the chairman of Emaar Properties, Mohamed Alabbar, said.
"The development of the new Chinese retail and lifestyle district at Dubai Creek Harbour – as well as Emaar’s expansion into China, both in property and hospitality – highlight our commitment to the country, and our focus on contributing to the strength and success of UAE-China relations," he added.
Bilateral trade between China and the UAE has gone up in recent years, rising from $46.3bn (AED170bn) in 2016 to $53.3bn (AED195bn) in 2017. And Chinese tourists are prominent visitors to Dubai as well, with recent statistics indicating a year-on-year increase in the number of travelers from China between 1 January and 31 May, 2018.
Separately, Emaar this week issued a statement following reports it may sell non-core assets worth up to $1.4bn (AED5.1bn). In response to this claim, Emaar said it was "continuously exploring various options as part of its strategy to streamline its business to generate significant value".