190321_Victoria project
Victoria 1 by Azizi Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Azizi Developments has confirmed plans to bring in a new contractor to take over its ambitious “Victoria” project in Meydan. The intention is to fast-track the development process at the Victoria, one of two “mini-cities” Azizi is building at Meydan, with “Riviera” being the other.

The two projects will eventually have a combined built-up area of 4.4 million square metres plus.

“Yes, we are in the process of changing the contractor – there are bigger local and international contractors who can come in with fresh ideas,” said Farhad Azizi, CEO of Azizi Developments. “The international ones are big names – from China and Turkey.

“In the last month, we have had some initial talks and sent out tendering documents. We expect to finalise the new contractor by summer. The partner we choose will ensure that we build the Victoria to speed and the right quality.”

The Victoria and Riviera are central to Azizi’s plans to take on massive, multi-phase projects. Until now, its focus had been primarily on single-property developments in Dubai’s many freehold locations.

“What Victoria and Riviera do is give us ample scale – both sites are close to Meydan Hotel and only a street separates them,” said Azizi. “The Riviera, split into four phases, will have 71 buildings and 16,000 residents, on a built-up of 1.64 million square metres. We have already advanced in the Phase 1 and 2 works on the Riviera.

“With a new contractor, we will be able to bring the Victoria up to speed. Plus, there is also Phase 4 of the Riviera.” (The current contractor still has work on site, according to the CEO.)

Doing so should help on the sales side as well; through the last 18 months Azizi’s sales focus had been on the Riviera, and of the first two phases, offplan sales are in the 70 per cent range.

Azizi had awarded a Dh1.5 billion contract in late 2017 to two firms to build 32 buildings in Phase 1 of Victoria. The two contractors chosen at the time were Green Modelling Contracting and Modern Civil International Contracting Co..

Project details

The areas in and around Meydan – which includes the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - have been earmarked for some of most high visibility projects Dubai will see in the near future. This includes the Meydan One mall with its one-kilometre ski slope, a “canal” that has already taken shape within MBR City, and multiple residential clusters such as Hartland and District One. All of which will make Meydan more than a destination for racing and concert extravaganzas.

Azizi, meanwhile, will wait a further two years before it starts picking up new land in Dubai for future projects. “There is enough land bank to see us through this year and the next,” the CEO said. “There’s nothing we have planned at this stage for Dubai South – the closest we have got there is with projects in Al Furjan and those are running well.

“Outside of Dubai, we always do keep looking at what’s possible in some of the other emirates. But, the way I see it, Dubai provides us with all the action to keep us busy.”

The skyscraper plans are still very much on

In the second-half of this year, Azizi will have finalised the design and all other plans related to its twin-tower project “at the corner of Safa Park” on Shaikh Zayed Road. The spot has become one of the most coveted after the Water Canal extension.

“On the land we have, we could build two towers of 50 storeys and more,” said Farhad Azizi, CEO. “We have a team that’s continually working on it - the design needs to be perfect, even iconic. The location demands that it cannot be anything less.”

Azizi is also in the design stage for another super-tower, this one next the Crowne Plaza on Shaikh Zayed Road. “If it were just another tower, the design could have been done in six months. But we have purposely taken as much time as possible on the plans. Few understand the complexity that comes with a tower project in a busy location. But we will get to the point where we will launch the “Entisar” - and that would be at the right time.”