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CANNES-The masterplan for Dubai Festival City, a development by the Al-Futtaim Group, launched at retail property show MAPIC today. The Midde East’s largest development, on the banks of Dubai’s historic Creek, spans some 1,200 acres and consists of 15 community ‘zones’.

These zones include shopping, dining, hotels, residential, offices, hotels and a golf course. The focus is retail with four of the zones designated for shops.

Ikea plans to use Dubai Festival City as its Middle Eastern flagship location. Marks & Spencer has signed for a 65,000-sf store and Toys ‘R’ Us for 40,000 sf. Rents are undisclosed but the first phase is believed to cost more than US$1.5 billion, privately provided by the Al-Futtaim Group, a family company run by father and son Abdullah and Omar Al Futtaim. That phase, including the golf course will be complete by the end of next year. The first of the retail element will open in 2006. Total build time is 10 years.

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