Dubai keeps striding ahead

The start of two new international airlines services to Dubai and Abu Dhabi are set to increase the Emirates' attractiveness as an international destination for businesspeople, holiday travellers and international real estate investors.

On top of that the completion of new facilities at one of the area's premier developments, Dubai Sports City, is adding to the already considerable interest in the area.

Dubai Sports City, covering 50 million square feet, is the world's first purpose built sports city. The showpiece golf course, and 18-hole championship course designed by Ernie Els, recently opened, and other facilities are nearing completion.

'The Els Club is the first completed venue in Dubai Sports City, and it has been constructed and presented to exceed world-class standards,' said Khalid Abdulrahim Al Zarooni, President of Dubai Sports City.

In addition to the 7,538 yard golf course, The Els Club will boast a 60,000 square foot Mediterranean-style clubhouse where members and guests will have access to a private lounge, state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities, and varied dining outlets.

Sales of villas and town homes at the development's Victory Heights Golf Estates have been very good so far. Phase One is completely sold out and scheduled for delivery in the second half of this year, while Phase Two, which went on sale in January, is mostly sold out and set for delivery in March 2009.

In addition to the golf club, several stadiums are nearing completion. A 25,000 seat cricket stadium and a 5,000 seat hockey stadium are set to be finished later this year. A 60,000 outdoor stadium and 10,000 seat indoor arena are also under construction.

For those not in the sporting mode, the community will offer more than 1.7 million square feet of retail space in three separate locations: Arena Mall, North Point and South Point. Arena Mall will be the largest (over 1.4 million sq ft) of the three, offering over 230 stores on two floors, and is planned for completion at the end of 2009.

With Germany's Lufthansa Airlines, which already flies to Dubai daily from Frankfurt, starting its new service from Munich on May 1, there will be even more choice for visitors to the region.

Additionally, Indian carrier Jet Airways flights to Abu Dhabi from Mumbai and Delhi, have just started and the airline is in negotiations to fly directly to Dubai.