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New York’s Central Park Coming To Dubai

There are many internationally famous landmarks in New York City USA. The Statue of Liberty is an obvious one, as is the Empire State Building. Central Park would be third on the list for most people. Arguably the best known urban park in the world, there is so much packed into the 843 acres of Central Park’s green space that when Time Out tried to make a list of its best features, they couldn’t limit themselves to just ten. Their final list of suggested attractions ran to eleven. 

Many of Dubai’s residents will already know and love Central Park, and will have visited it themselves, but soon they won’t have to get on a plane to do so. The development company Meeras has announced a new project within its existing City Walk development, and it’s going to be intentionally based on Central Park in New York, resembling it as close as possible in terms of design. 

The new development will be called ‘Central Park at City Walk' to make the connection clear, and is projected to cover 230,000 square meters, which will contain 12 American-style residential apartment buildings, all finished to a luxury standard. The first phase of development will focus on the area closest to the park (and therefore offering the best views) and will create just under 190 apartments, ranging from one bedroom to four bedrooms each. Concierge facilities will be available within the new apartments as one would expect, and rooftop terraces should provide a highly desirable location to view the city's panorama from. 

There is a significant level of detail provided within the plans, which also propose full-sized courts for both basketball and tennis, multiple swimming pools and spas, a cafe (which, it is hoped, will resemble the famous ‘Central Perk’ cafe from the hit US television show ‘Friends'). There is also a play area for children, suggesting that the developers are seeking to welcome families, as opposed to focusing on single young professionals or young couples. 

Meeras couldn’t have chosen their timing or location any better; not only is the development perfectly positioned for access to the nearby retail complex, but it’s also adjacent to the Dubai Arena, which is nearing completion and should open later in 2019 if there are no delays. That should ensure Meeras are able to charge top-end prices for their finalized apartments.

Those wishing to visit the arena without the budget to buy a luxury Central Park apartment have no cause to worry; it was also announced in December 2018 that a new Rove hotel is also being built within City Walk, and will open next door to the arena, providing accommodation for up to 564 people. 

Concept art for the new development is impressive. The influence taken from New York is evident, but the Dubai scenery around it and within it complements the architecture perfectly. The space is imagined as green, leafy and tranquil, with wide spaces between apartments and fountains and laws in communal areas. Although pictures don't always equate to reality, it's a laudable ambition that will look beautiful if rendered successfully. 

All the new developments will materially alter the City Walks area, changing the aesthetic dramatically and altering the skyline. The Burj Khalifa will still dominate the horizon, but the sports arena, the new apartments and the hotel will bring far more human traffic into the area than it's used to seeing. It represents another step towards Dubai turning into Fortunium, the futuristic city depicted in the online slot of the same name on The slot game is set in a cloud city, where technology has progressed to the point where humanity builds towards the sky; a point it’s easy to imagine Dubai reaching in years to come. Successful ‘Fortunium’ players are rewarded with cash winnings, but the recent picture for cash flowing into the UAE’s property market has been much less rosy. Meeras are taking a gamble of their own, and they’re hoping it will pay off. 

There has been a steady decline in the average rental and sale market in the UAE for some time now, and some experts believe that this is down to too many residential properties being created. Where supply outstrips demand, prices invariably drop, and that’s the trend we’re seeing. Some of those experts even feel that the downturn will last for years, with prices set to drop by another ten or fifteen percent in the process. If those experts are correct, Meeras introducing even more residential properties into the market won’t help to solve that problem. 

Prices for buying or renting properties in Dubai hit their highest mark in 2014, but since then have declined by an average of 25% since then, with some prices falling by as much as 33%. If the prediction of a further 10-15% fall turns out to be correct, then some owners will find that their property is worth half of what they paid for it less than ten years ago. It is to be hoped that Meeras have accounted for this possibility in their profit forecast, and in their pricing strategy for the new apartments. 

Despite the possibility of bad news on the horizon, Meeras are bullish about the prospects of the Central Park development. In the process of announcing the development, they were keen to point out the strategic strengths behind the location; it will be among the best connected and most accessible areas in the whole city, a mere two minutes from the retail complex but also a short ten-minute drive from Jumeirah Beach. It's also within 15 minutes drive from the airport. Meeras clearly feel that although many developers can offer newly-constructed residential dwellings within the city, none of them enjoy the convenience and amenities that their new Central Park project will, and that is what will make them a success with potential buyers. 

Whether their confidence translates into financial reward will only be known when the first apartment becomes available to buy, but the development sounds both exciting and attractive, and we wish them luck. 


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