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Site visit: The Atria, Dubai

Deyaar is optimistic about its foray into the hospitality segment through The Atria, a luxury, mixed-use tower project located in Dubai’s Business Bay

There are currently 380 workers at The Atria construction site in Business Bay, Dubai.
There are currently 380 workers at The Atria construction site in Business Bay, Dubai.

Business Bay’s initial master plan, drawn up in 2003, was intended to create one of the largest commercial districts in the Middle East. The district encountered a setback when the recession hit Dubai’s property market in 2008.

However, the resurgence of the Emirate’s real estate sector in the wake of its victorious Expo 2020 bid has reinvigorated Business Bay, where residential towers and hospitality complexes are now being planned alongside office buildings.

Within this context, many of Dubai’s largest developers have taken the decision to commence construction activities at their Business Bay project sites. The landscape looks set to undergo rapid change during the coming months and years.

Listed builder Deyaar Development has invested its resources in the construction of a luxury, mixed-use, twin tower project: The Atria. Located near Business Bay’s Citadel Tower and Churchill Residency, the 30-floor development offers views of the iconic Burj Khalifa, and is easily accessible from key city highways, including Sheikh Zayed Road and Al Khail Road.

The $218m (AED800m) development marks Deyaar’s foray into hospitality, and is complemented by the company’s allocation of up to 9.2ha of land in the UAE for future projects within the sector.

Conceptualised by UK-based designers Yoo Studio and Philippe Starck, one of the towers in the project is a 30-floor residential complex featuring 219 units, which are divided into one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments; three-bedroom duplex homes; and two luxurious four-bedroom penthouses.

Iyad Charchar, vice president for project and engineering at Deyaar, says: “We announced this project [The Atria] in March 2014, and have completed up to 27% of works so far.

“We have made significant progress. Enabling and substructure works are complete, and the superstructure is now [advancing] at mezzanine level. Total project completion is scheduled for July 2017.”

The Atria’s second tower comprises 31 floors of hotel apartments to be operated by Millennium Hotels and Resorts. Its 347 units will include studio to three-bedroom homes, and three-bedroom duplex apartments.

The hotel apartment tower features a five-star spa with a full-service sauna, a gym, an infinity pool on the 25th floor, and a selection of top-end restaurants.

The Atria’s podium consists of three above-ground floors; its two towers converge to form a piazza that spans an area of 1,022 sqm.

Charchar says: “We have signed a strategic agreement with Millennium to operate the hotel apartment in The Atria. We are in the process of signing a number of agreements with [the company] to operate more hospitality projects for us in the future.

“We have already signed three hospitality projects, and two more are intended to be agreed by 2016. By the end of 2018, we will have five hospitality projects in operation,” he tells Construction Week.

The main construction package for the project was awarded to UAE-based Al Rostamani Pegel (ARP). All main works are scheduled to complete by the first half of 2017, according to the terms of the contract.

“We are moving into the typical floors of the building and beginning to accelerate the floor cycles,” an ARP spokesperson tells Construction Week.

“There were initial logistical challenges: the site is bound by roads on three sides, and we have limited space available for material storage, site offices, and facilities. But we maintain our philosophy of collaborative working with our client and consultants to discuss issues openly. [We] work together proactively to find solutions.

“We have a good working relationship with Deyaar and intend to be a beneficial part of their professional project delivery team,” the spokesperson adds.

UAE-based AK Design was appointed to conduct architectural activities at the project, and Dubai-based Proscape has conducted landscaping works.

Charchar says that 380 construction professionals are currently working at the site.

“We plan to increase this number as and when we proceed further,” he explains.

The Atria’s central atrium will house retail outlets and fine dining establishments accessible from the ground and mezzanine levels. Additionally, the podium will feature swimming pools, a miniature golf park, a health club, basketball and squash courts, and multi-utility playing areas. The development will include parking for over 700 vehicles.

Other features built into The Atria’s architecture include landscaped gardens and stepped walkways that surround the development’s piazza. The structures will be lined with foliage at every turn, and the tiered-buildings will feature open terraces on the higher floors that can be utilised for gatherings or dining.

Commenting on the design, Charchar explains: “Most of our buyers are end users, primarily nationals from the UAE and [wider] GCC. Hence, the style of The Atria is minimalistic; subtle yet elegant. We didn’t want to construct a conventional building that you see around every corner.

He concludes: “We have a few more plots in Business Bay that we intend to develop soon. We will also announce [additional] phases for our Midtown project in 2016. Next year, we plan to target Dubai Maritime City and Dubai Waterfront.”

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