DUBAI Two of Dubai's biggest real estate developers have formed a joint venture to build a huge residential and commercial area near the city's downtown, the companies said on Saturday.
Emaar Properties EMAR.DU and Meraas Holding, both backed by the Dubai government, plan construction of a commercial center, low- and mid-rise residences, an 18-hole golf course and other facilities over 11 million square metres (2,700 acres).
The project will be a cornerstone of a planned tourism and retail district announced last November by Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. Over the past year, the emirate's property market has begun recovering strongly from its 2008-2010 crash.
The two companies did not say how much they expected their project to cost, how it would be financed or when it would be completed. Analysts have estimated such projects will cost billions of U.S. dollars.
Emaar also said on Saturday that it was expanding the Dubai Mall, one of the world's largest shopping malls, by building a new area of stores selling branded luxury goods.
The expansion will allow the mall to accommodate over 100 million visitors annually, the company said. It attracted about 65 million visitors in 2012, and a quarterly record of 20 million visitors in the first three months of this year.
(Reporting by Andrew Torchia)