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Plots from failed Dubai Lifestyle City project up for auction

Dubai Lifestyle City as it was meant to look. Two different developers failed to complete the project DAR
Dubai Lifestyle City as it was meant to look. Two different developers failed to complete the project
  • Troubled project announced in 2007
  • $650m development covered 4m sq ft
  • Emirates Auction offering 68 plots

Plots of land from a never-completed AED2.4 billion ($650 million) development in Dubai, once endorsed by tennis star Maria Sharapova, have been put up for auction.

The abandoned Dubai Lifestyle City project was announced in 2007 by developer ETA Star Projects, a division of the ETA-Ascon business group. It promised buyers “high style living” in luxurious homes resembling those in Tuscany in Italy, complete with views of a 9-hole golf course.

The 4 million square foot master development, designed by Beverly Hills architect Tony Ashai, was also meant to include two hotels, a spa, a shopping mall and sports facilities featuring a Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy and a David Leadbetter Golf Academy.

IMG Academies and JW Marriott also lent their names to the development, which was scheduled for completion in July 2009 but faced delays.

The project was taken over by developer Pacific Ventures in 2013, which promised completion within two years but did not deliver.

A total of 68 plots at the site, located near Dubailand, have been offered for auction through the Emirates Auction website. The starting bid is nearly AED176 million ($48 million) for about 2 million square feet, encompassing land for villas, apartments and a golf course.

Bidding concludes on May 22 at 5pm.

At the 2007 launch managing director Arif Buhary Rahman told local media that high net worth individuals would be “invited” to invest in the project’s 11,000 square foot villas priced between AED20 million and AED40 million.

Tennis star Sharapova told reporters at the launch that it was an “honour” to be associated with a project with ties to IMG Academies, her alma mater since age seven.

Dubai is witnessing a revival of major projects from the boom era that were stalled by the global financial crisis. 

Nakheel has restarted its Palm Jebel Ali development, first announced in 2002, and the Dubai Pearl, launched the same year but paused, is also being given a new lease of life.

Last year, AGBI reported that plots from Falconcity of Wonders, a master development launched in 2005, were auctioned for AED 1.3 billion at a steep discount of more than a billion dirhams from the initial asking price.

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