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Exteriors of the Ithra apartments situated in the Phase One of Deira Enrichment Project. This is one of the city's most ambitious - and long-term - projects. It will give one of Dubai's historic sites a complete makeover. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: The first residents have moved into Deira’s landmark development, which will see as many as 2,200 apartments being built near the historic Creek and Gold Souq areas. All of these units, representing the first phase of Deira Enrichment Project, will be delivered by mid-2022.

In many ways, this represents the last and biggest project on mainland Deira – the first phase is spread over 700,000 square metres and the second one will be “slightly above that”. All of the apartments are for rental only.

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“We have readied 350 residential units and more will be delivered in phases,” said Raad Jarrah, Chief Development Officer at Ithra Dubai, the Dubai Government owned developer. “Around 120 units have been leased and people have moved into 76-80 of them.

Issam Galadari, Director and CEO of Ithra Dubai, explains Phase One and Two of the Deira Enrichment Project during a media tour in Dubai. Image Credit: Ammar Ahmed/Special to Gulf News

“Our leasing programme could have been far more advanced had not the pandemic struck. What it led to was a difficulty on the part of potential tenants to enter into contractual commitments. There were worries about job security, other factors – but we are clearing our project goals one by one. We are on track on most construction timelines – the only delay has been on the build up near the Creek-side.

“Once we can help tenants clear that mental hurdle, we will start getting the commitments.”

On the offshore side, there is the Deira Islands development.

Upscale rentals 

The one-bedroom units start from the mid Dh50,000’s, while the three-bedrooms are in the Dh100,000-Dh115,000 range. Given the quality of the build and the location, there is a premium over prevailing rates in the area. The retail units on the ground floor have not been occupied… so far.

“We are in talks with potential retailers and eventually will sign them up,” said Jarrah. “Deira Enrichment Project is quite a sizeable venture in all its dimensions and will be built in stages. We are not in any mood to rush any part of it.”

There is another element that is headed for a completion later this year – the Gold Souq Extension. It will create a new cluster of shops and offices that will be dedicated for use by Dubai’s gold and jewellery trade. This way, it will also free up congestion at the current Gold Souq, where given the nature of its dense built, adding new features has become a near impossible task.

“By early next year, gold and jewellery retailers can start on the fitouts, and open for business by the second quarter,” the official added. “We have said it before and will say it again – this is not a replacement for the original Souq. This is an extension created to accommodate demand – the original gold hub of Dubai will remain a destination forever.”

Next to phases 1, 2 and 3 of the project, Deira Enrichment Project features the Waterfront Market and the Gold Souq Extension.