7 Real Estate Development Projects Underway in the Middle East
7 Real Estate Development Projects Underway in
the Middle East
by Ehsan Bayat
Across the Middle East, a number of major real estate development projects are
underway in response to economic growth and rising demand. Many of these
will be mixed-use complexes that will integrate residential, retail, office, and
entertainment space in a luxurious atmosphere.
Among the various real estate development projects that are under construction
throughout the Middle East, many of the largest and most iconic ones are in
countries with thriving business centers, such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Learn
more about seven of the latest real estate development projects in the Middle
1. Lusail City
A $45 billion development in northern Qatar, Lusail City is an
integrated community with commercial towers, leisure areas,
residential buildings, and public marinas. The development,
which spans almost 15 miles, is one of the largest developments in
the Middle East and features 19 multi-purpose districts, as well as
four exclusive islands.
Scheduled for completion in 2020, Lusail City will eventually be
able to house 200,000 people and accommodate another 80,000
visitors and 170,000 employees. The city also includes 22 hotels, a
mall, and two golf courses. As the host city for the 2022 World
Cup, Lusail City will additionally have an 80,000-seat stadium
called Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Lusail City under construction - Image courtesy user
arwcheek on Flickr
2. Jebel Sifah
Located near the capital of Oman, Jebel Sifah is an expansive new community that will offer six
hotels, a wide range of luxurious freehold villas and apartments, and an 18-hole golf course. Jebel
Sifah is surrounded by the majestic Hajjar Mountains and situated along the clear waters and
sandy beaches of the Gulf of Oman.
In this environment, residents and visitors can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including
biking, hiking, snorkeling, and boating. Jebel Sifah features a bustling marina that can
accommodate 84 boats, and it’s ringed by a marina town with cafes, restaurants, and retail spaces.
The Sifawy Boutique Hotel, which opened in 2011 along the marina front, will be joined by other
world-class hotels, including the Four Seasons and Angsana.
3. Doha Festival City Mall
With almost 270,000 square feet of leasable space, Doha Festival City Mall in Qatar will be
among the largest entertainment and leisure destinations in the Middle East. The mall will feature
more than 85 dining options and at least 550 stores, with local and international brands. To
complement the dining and shopping opportunities, Doha Festival City Mall will also include a 5-
star hotel, an indoor-outdoor entertainment park, and one of Qatar’s largest conference centers.
Construction started on the mall in 2011, and developers expect to finish it in 2016. In 2013, the
adjoining IKEA store opened its doors for business.
4. Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City - District One
Named for Dubai’s leader, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al
Maktoum City - District One is an ambitious project that will
feature extravagant mansions and villas, 100 new hotels, and a
public park larger than Hyde Park. The development will also
include a Universal Studios complex and a golf course.
Located just 4 minutes outside of Downtown Dubai,
Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City will provide
residents with a tranquil and luxurious lifestyle in close
proximity to the exciting city center. Villas will be available in
a number of different styles, including contemporary, modern
Arabic, and Mediterranean.
Downtown Dubai - Image courtesy user jbdodane on Flickr
5. King Abdullah Financial District
An $11.6 billion project, the King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is
designed to be a financial center that can rival financial hubs around the world. KAFD is
comprised of more than 110 buildings, with more in progress, that house financial institutions
and other businesses. As an integrated development, KAFD will offer residential buildings,
several five-star hotels, and numerous restaurants and shops.
Residents and visitors can travel through the spacious complex on a suspended monorail, or
leisurely wander through the center’s abundant greenspace on foot. To further entice visitors,
KAFD features various entertainment options, such as an amusement park and science museum.
6. Mall of Egypt
In the western region of Cairo, the sprawling Mall of Egypt was developed to resemble the Mall
of the Emirates in Dubai. The supermall will offer more than 400 retail shops with international
fashion brands and at least 50 dining outlets.
With construction expected to wrap up in 2015, the mall is expected to be a main attraction in the
greater Cairo metropolis. The mall will also attract people of all ages and interests with a 17-
screen movie complex, a ski park, and a family entertainment facility.
7. Kingdom Tower
One of the most exciting new developments in the Middle East is the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah,
Saudi Arabia. Kingdom Tower will be the tallest skyscraper in the world, overtaking the Burj
Khalifa in Dubai, when it’s completed in 2019. Expected to stand at around 3,280 feet high,
Kingdom Tower is designed to symbolize the country’s prosperity and growth.
The building will contain offices on the lower floors, followed by hotel space, serviced
apartments, and more than 400 residential units of various sizes. According to the design
renderings, Kingdom Tower will narrow from the bottom to the top, and balconies will be
staggered across the building’s exterior. The balconies will allow residents and visitors to enjoy a
cool outdoor space, while shielding the tower’s surface and reducing direct solar radiation.