Dubai announces first project in multi-billion dollar development

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Dubai developer Emaar Properties and an arm of Dubai Holding, the ruler's conglomerate, launched the first project in a planned multi-billion dollar flagship development on Sunday - a complex of luxury residences and a golf course.

Dubai Hills will be part of the Mohammed Bin Rashid (MBR) City, the mega tourism and retail development project announced by the emirate in November, Emaar and Dubai Holding said in a joint statement.

The project's villas, each to be built on plots of 20,000 to 30,000 square feet, would be designed around a new 18-hole championship course to be developed by world golf course experts, it said.

The statement provided no information on the number of villas, the value or the time frame for completion of the project.

MBR city is also expected to include 100 hotels and the world's biggest shopping mall.

Dubai has recently begun to announce big projects and revive some earlier plans that had been shelved following the collapse of its property markets.

Dubai Holding's real estate arm, Dubai Properties, had previously planned to develop Tiger Woods Dubai, a residential and golf course project, in conjunction with the former world number one golfer, but shelved the project in January 2011.

The average apartment price in Dubai rose by 13 percent this year and is expected to grow at the same rate next year as speculative buyers prop up demand, a study released on Sunday showed.

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