Dubai: Dubai’s property market has its fair share of waterside mega-developments. Dubai also its inland situated communities where ‘lagoons’ and ‘beaches’ are quite the attraction by themselves.
But a project is now getting built on a landscape – which was nothing but desert – that would see 1 million square feet of it coursing with water when the project gets completed in the next four to five years. And of which 75 per cent will be swimmable, according to the developer Damac Properties.
Welcome then to the Damac Lagoons, which gets its broad design and architectural themes from the most popular Mediterranean holiday hotspots. All by the waterside, of course.
If Amira Sajwani, General Manager for Sales and Development at Damac, has her way, future residents at Damac Lagoons can have their holiday breaks and quality ‘me-time’ right outside their homes. And no need to spend on expensive tickets to any sun-dappled holiday destinations anywhere.
But for now, Amira’s focus is on the build-up. All that water elements do make it quite intricate.
'Vacation destination' too
“First, we ensure we have the infrastructure in place below ground before transporting the water through the main water supply sources,” she says. “The water will be a mixture of swimmable and lake water - and we will ensure that the usage of water is optimized.
“Water can offer thrills and adventure, as well as relaxation and calmness. It gives the feeling of being on vacation and this is our aim to make people feel like they live in a vacation destination. Water is something that people of all ages can enjoy and that is one of the main reasons why this community is in such high demand.
“We are close to awarding the infrastructure packages to begin this process. Additionally, the water will have to be treated so we will have water treatment facilities on site for this purpose.”
Quick to cash in on offplan surge
It was November last that Damac came to market with the project forming part of the expansive Dubailand and near Sheikh Zayed Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan Street. The launch was timed to make full use of the rapid demand upturn Dubai had been witnessing since early 2021, and, in particular, the need for villas and townhouses. Damac Lagoons was serving that up in spades.
“We are building homes in the first launched clusters,” said Amira. “We are targeting to complete the ‘Santorini’ clusters by Q2-2024, while ‘Nice’, ‘Costa Brava’ and ‘Portofino’ are expected to be completed by Q4-24.
“As water is the core theme, we divided the project — comprising 43 million square feet — into eight clusters, named after sought-after vacation destinations in Europe and surrounded by the warm waters of the Mediterranean.
“Each cluster adopts the unique features of the specific region. For instance, ‘Venice’ will feature romantic gondola rides and coastal cafes.”
Ziplines and kayaks
If romantic gondola rides are not the choice, then more adventurous options will be there, including skate parks, kayaking, ziplines, bicycle and nature trails, mazes and rock climbing and such. Even an outdoor floating–cinema.
The intention – have future residents live and holiday right there. Amira is confidence personified that these wider goals can be met.
43 million in 4 years
“What we have taken on — turning 43 million square feet of desert into a residential community with a lot of water and greenery over a period of 4 years — is no easy feat. We know exactly how to achieve it, having delivered two communities of similar scale.
“We estimate the project will take approximately 100 million man-hours across more than 50 construction packages. We have a strong and experienced projects team to oversee the process, along with special consultants to ensure the quality of construction.
“We are progressing with our first clusters launched in Damac Lagoons, while simultaneously working on entertainment and leisure amenities. Our clusters have nearly sold out, and we will be announcing more cluster launches, which we anticipate will be snatched up quickly.”
Official data does suggest that, with Damac Lagoons featuring at the top in recent months as the top-selling spot for villas in Dubai.
“There is a general trend towards (offplan price) stabilisation as new products come to market,” said Amira. “With the demand surge and increases in rent, many people are looking to buy a home for the first time. We have noticed massive interest in our new offplan launches which are almost completely sold out.”
Sure does seem that Damac's promise of 'wake up to waterfalls' is resonating...