A plan has been approved to expand Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) by 1.3km sq to strengthen the emirate's position as a regional economic power.
H H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, greenlit development plans for the mixed-use megaproject, dubbed DIFC 2.0.
DIFC's upgrade will be carried out in multiple phases, with millions of square metres added to the heart of the emirate's financial district.
DIFC 2.0 will boast 640ha of office space, 260ha of space for creative arts, a 150ha residential community, retail space covering 130ha, and leisure and entertainment outlets spread across 70ha, as well as 25ha of hospitality facilities.
A 40ha financial campus and a 350ha car park will also be added.
It is unclear when construction will start on DIFC 2.0, but development work has already kicked into gear.
The new centre will be a hub for the adoption of technology that can support the financial services industry. It will have direct links to Dubai’s public transport networks and will boast underground service paths for pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and futuristic transport services.
HH Sheikh Mohammed said it was important that Dubai continued to develop its infrastructure to support the financial services industry.
“The financial sector remains one of the cornerstones of our economy," he said.
“We are keen that the development of infrastructure is matched by the development of legislation by continuously reviewing it to ensure it is among the best in the world, and that it can facilitate the best environment for supporting greater excellence and achievement.”
HE Essa Kazim, DIFC governor, praised Dubai’s government for supporting “unparalleled initiatives” that help to build a stronger financial system.
“The next phase of our development will undoubtedly translate into further growth for the regional financial services landscape,” he added.