Stock - Deira
New infrastructure, new bridges, and then there is the new Gold Souk Extension. It is all coming together for Deira, Dubai's legacy destination. Image Credit: Stefan Lindeque/Gulf News

Dubai: The newly opened Gold Souk Extension is about adding more glitter to Dubai’s status as a global hub for precious metals, stones and jewellery. At the same time, the marketplace is giving a timely high-profile lift to the city’s precious legacy – the district of Deira.

In many ways, Deira’s sprawling commercial and residential areas are seeing increased resident activity as new buildings and communities are delivered. The Dubai government owned wasl has had multiple successes with recently completed projects in the area, and there have been those from private developers that have met with equal fervour from tenants.

It is to this mix that the stores and buildings of the Gold Souk Extension has been added. One-bedroom apartments of 1,000 square feet plus have rents starting at Dh60,500, while two-bedroom units (of a near 1,200 square feet and over) are from Dh79,000. More residential and office units, as well as stores, are to be delivered. (In all there will be 468 premium apartments within the hub.)

Dubai’s historical districts – and Deira is right up there – will be going through their own transformation as part of the 2040 Urban Master Plan. The Gold Souk Extension – all 1.181 million square feet of it – fits right into that strategy. According to Issam Galadari, Director and CEO of Ithra Dubai, the developer, “The Gold Souk Extension is a tribute to Dubai’s legacy of trade. The historic significance of this area has been lifted to provide an enriched experience while accommodating the increasing number of visitors.”

Ithra’s portfolio features the aptly titled ‘Deira Enrichment Project’ across an entire stretch bordering the Corniche.

Stock - Dubai Gold Souk Extension
The Gold Souk Extension comes with state-of-the-art retail experiences, Grade A offices and top-notch residential options. These will be resetting the residential options available within wider Deira. Image Credit: Supplied

A process of revitalising

As more of Dubai’s emerging locations catch the attention of property buyers and tenants, it is equally vital to give varying shades of makeover to the legacy areas. The stretch of prime land in Deira along the Corniche is getting all of that, with destinations such as the Souk and the already popular Waterfront Market as part of it. There are the set of hotels and resorts at Deira Island.

“These will prompt existing landlords to give an extensive quality upgrade to their properties,” said an estate agent who has multiple listings in and around Deira. “Each new residential building in the area generated heavy leasing interest, even when the rates were higher than the average in that area. The same demand will happen for the residential buildings at Gold Souk Extension, more so because the rental market is ticking up.

“There is a flight to quality – and landlords are getting the message loud and clear.”

New listings, new benchmarks

A brand new tower in Al Mamzar is listing two-bedroom apartments for Dh70,000 a year, with two-month rent-free and payments in six cheques. Another two-bedroom unit, this one in Hor Al Anz and next to the Metro, is offering it for Dh55,000 – and with no commission.

“Deira hasn’t seen the kind of year-on-year increases of high-demand destinations such as Dubai Marina, Business Bay or Downtown,” said the agent. “Even so, there are buildings – new and old – that are able to ask higher rentals because demand is coming back nicely. Anything with space and delivered to a quality are leasing without any difficulty.”

That message is being delivered to landlords, and many of them will start on their own property makeovers. For inspiration, they need to look at the new and sparkling attractions that make up the Gold Souk Extension.