Dubai's organic-themed development relaunched

Project will be one-and-a-half times bigger than Dubai Marina

NEWS, Projects, Al barari, Dubailand, Farm, Greenworks, Organic, Zaal family

Plans are back on the table to build an organic-themed housing, shopping, dining and hospitality project, billed as one-and-a-half times bigger than Dubai Marina.

The Zaal family, owners of the Farm organic restaurant and the Greenworks nursery, said after a delay of four years, it was ready to relaunch plans for 9mn ft2 of homes, gardens, shops and offices. The project will also feature the city’s first Thai-style floating market at its Al Barari development in Dubailand.

The family, which is putting the final touches to the last of its 217 super luxury villas surrounded by lush gardens and greenery at Al Barari’s 6mn ft2 first phase, said it had started to sell off-plan apartments for its adjacent second phase.

Al Barari originally planned to start work on phase two, which includes 1,250 apartments, a resort hotel and 13,000m2 of organic themed shops and restaurants including art galleries, an organic supermarket and a floating market, back in 2010.

However, as the global financial crisis hit, the family took the decision to delay and spent its time completing work on its parkland and signature palatial villas which sold for Dh15mn ($4m) to Dh75mn ($20m) and are currently 95% occupied.

The Al Barari chief executive Mohammed Zaal told The National it had started selling a first block of 157 off-plan luxury apartments with prices starting at Dh3mn ($816,771).

“We were due to start six months or a year into the recession which wasn’t suitable,” Mr Zaal said. “I think Dubai is back. There’s high demand for property in Dubai and this is just the right time commercially to do it.

“We’re trying to create a destination so you come and spend a whole day out here shopping, eating, coming for plays or the cultural side of it,” he said. “We want to attract butchers, bakers, delicatessens. Things like the Farm. Things which represent Al Barari and not your standard shopping mall experience which is what we hate. 80% of the space will be gardens which will be open to the public.”

Mr Zaal, who lives in the existing Al Barari gated community with all of his extensive family, said that standard one-bedroom apartments would measure 1,980ft2, while three-bedroom flats would go up to 3,850ft2. Other apartments will be even larger.

“These are not blocks of flats,” Mr Zaal said. “We don’t know what to call them. They are the size of villas but not separate.

“If you’re looking at scale the land size is one-and-a-half times bigger than Dubai Marina. It’s bigger than the trunk and most of the fronds of the Palm,” Mr Zaal added. “The density is very very low.”

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