Construction has begun on the largest new urban complex in the world in Dubai, the Abu Dhabi Economic Zone, as part of a $4.2 billion project to replace a large portion of the former Abu Dhabi City State University campus.
Dubai Economic Zone Chief Executive Officer Sheikh Ahmed bin Zayed Al Nahyan said on Tuesday that construction of the $4 billion project is expected by the end of 2019.
The new complex will include a residential, commercial, shopping, entertainment, research and innovation hub, as well as a residential park, a shopping mall and a commercial district.
The project was announced in December by Dubai City Mayor Amir Badawi, who announced plans to convert the university campus into a mixed-use district, with a new university campus and apartments, office space and a new commercial district and residential park planned for a total area of 1,800,000 square meters.
The project is also expected to create 5,000 jobs and contribute $2.3 billion to the economy of the UAE.
The Abu Dhabi Government, which owns the university, is also building a new park, called the Abu Khalifa, which will be a shopping and leisure hub, and a shopping center.
The government also plans to build two new shopping malls on the campus, one to cater to the needs of tourists, and another for expatriate businesses, with the latter opening in 2019.
Dubais City is one of the wealthiest and most populous cities in the UAE, and it is expected that the project will be one of many in the region, which are also set to be redeveloped in the coming years.