Lifestyle

Dubai Sports City celebrates 15 years

Dubai Sports City celebrates 15 years

From walking your pet and enjoying your favourite sport to relishing leisure time with loved ones and dining international cuisines in a waterfront setting, living in Dubai Sports City (DSC) offers exciting lifestyle experiences. Built with sports as its central theme, the vibrant, long-established community is now on its 15th year of growth and development, and its thriving journey continues.

Master planning

The master planning of DSC took a lot of time. Khalid Al Zarooni, president of DSC, says, “We studied the pros and cons of having world-class sports facilities, commercial and residential elements in a district, to build it efficiently. We understand that living next to a reputed cricket stadium can be prestigious for some, but it could be annoying for others, so when designing the districts, all these factors were taken into consideration to arrive at the best possible design solution.

“We studied all components from the users’ perspective, looked at all the facilities around us in the neighbourhood and then tried to fill in the gaps. Even the type of curriculum at school and retail options in the vicinity were carefully observed, so there was no duplication.”

The aim is to create a variety of facilities not only for DSC residents but for the communities around it, says Al Zarooni. “When people are living in this growing community and using our various facilities – sports venues, commercial or residential offerings – it gives us great satisfaction and encourages us to keep going,” he says.

Community attraction

As the name suggests, sports and promoting an active lifestyle are the core features of this pulsating community. “We realise that sports have a unifying element that keeps everyone entertained, connected and grounded,” says Vijay Sajjanhar, CFO of DSC. “Whether you are living here and enjoying the sports facility or are a casual sportsperson who wants to take care of your health and wellness, the community provides a holistic experience.”

The master development covers 50 million sq ft, with 20 per cent dedicated towards sporting facilities, including golf, football, cricket, rugby, tennis and swimming.

Sajjanhar says, “After parents drop off their kids at school in the morning, if they are not working, they can come down and enjoy the facilities. In the evening, they can drop their children at one of the best sports programmes within the community. We have the third-largest rugby club in the UAE, a Spanish soccer school, the ICC cricket academy — a one of its kind in the world — or the Els Club to take up golf courses.”

While sports is the community’s main theme, Sajjanhar says they are also expanding the retail options (there is around 50,000 sq ft of retail space) and are continuously adding new facilities.

There are certainly a lot of things to do and enjoy for the 17,000 people living in DSC. “We have food and beverage, supermarkets, pharmaceuticals and we are in discussion to open a new clinic,” he adds. “We are finalising the design of North Point, an integrated development comprising 150,000 sq ft of retail and 800 more apartments spread over six clusters of buildings. This is on the waterfront and will offer a lot more opportunities to spend evenings. We target to hand over this project over the next 36 months.”

DSC districts

DSC is bifurcated into various districts. “We have the cricket stadium and the sports village that has sports facilities and schools,” says Sajjanhar. “It’s 1.9 million sq ft of sports facilities. Then there is a canal development where we have retail and residential. We have more plots within DSC that are kept for future development. And lastly, Victory Heights is our premium villa community that comprises 50 per cent of the area of DSC, having 1,100 residential units and the golf course.

“The first phase of the Canal Residences on the waterfront is complete. Phase two started in 2017 and we have received the building completion certificate for it and 389 apartments are in the process of being handed over,” he confirmed.

Sajjanhar says the canal projects have been expanded to include North Point, a mixed-use development. “Here residents will have retail under the apartment units, facing the water, an area for kids to play outside, beautiful landscaping and fountains,” explains Sajjanhar. The podium level of the project will feature a limited number of three-bedroom apartments that will have their own gardens.

Sajjanhar says they are now exploring ways to expand DSC in various directions. “We want to grow slowly, and this also helps us to tune our developments with the future needs.”

Community Engagement Department

Doubling down on its promises to continue to improve the quality of living in the community, Sajjanhar says they have established a Community Engagement Department “with a vision to ensure that kids and families here have better exposure to larger facilities”.

“We have already created community engagement programmes, like the Dubai Pulse Ride where we get cyclists to ride on a 5km, 10km or a 20km route. This event saw 700 people participate,” says Sajjanhar.

What’s next at DSC?

Dubai Sports City (DSC) is keen on adopting more sustainable and clean energy resources to power the community. Al Zarooni says they are particularly looking at solar energy, which will also contribute to the energy goals of the UAE.

Confirming that, Sajjanhar says, “Presently, all the street lights in DSC are solar-powered, and now we are exploring solar roof options. Iterating on the sustainability aspect, our 1.2km man-made lake and landscaping uses treated recycled water that is completely safe for the community.”

He adds: “In the near future, we have further plans to make the canal more beautiful and we are looking at more community activities to attract people from all over.”