‘Excellence in Innovation’: Ithra Dubai’s CEO, Mr. Issam Galadari
Kasun Illankoon caught up with Ithra Dubai’s CEO, Mr. Issam Galadari, who discussed in detail about the company’s landmark One Za’abeel and Deira Enrichment Project.
- Tell us what are Ithra Dubai’s goals and objectives heading into 2021?
Ithra Dubai’s mission carries over from one year to the next, with an overarching objective of enriching the lives of Dubai’s citizens and striking a balance between heritage, modernity and ever shifting present-day requirements.
We are committed to delivering our projects in a timely manner and construction is advancing as scheduled on our two landmark projects One Za’abeel and the Deira Enrichment Project. We have achieved numerous milestones in 2020 that will continue forward in 2021.
The Link at One Za’abeel was completed in stages between May and October 2020. It’s now in its final position connecting the two towers of One Za’abeel after being lifted 100 metres above ground level in a two-step lift, one of which was amongst the heaviest in the region, weighing now at 9500 tonnes.
Overall, the development is 45% complete to be delivered in stages starting Q4 2021 and is officially attempting to break the Guinness World Record for “Longest Cantilevered Building in the World.” Work is progressing on bringing Towers A and B to their final shape and height.
September also saw the launch of District 3 of Phase 1 of the Deira Enrichment Project, known as Sherina Plaza. Ithra Dubai will very soon be launching Osha, Afra, Maryam and Hind Plazas in Districts 1, 2, 11 and 13 respectively, equally consisting of mixed-use facilities and boasting of lush green areas and ample parking spaces.
Next to Phase 1 and 2 of DEP, the project features the already operational Waterfront Market as well as the Gold Souk Extension scheduled to open for the public beginning of 2021.
- Can you tell us how your latest projects, such as One Za’abeel and Deira Enrichment Project, are providing a unique value to your renters/occupants/stakeholders?
One Za’abeel is a feat of engineering, architecture and design while its crown jewel The Link pushes conventional limits and elevates industry standards in order to deliver an exceptional, immersive experience to its visitors.
One Za’abeel will redefine the mixed-use offering in the region with its premium office and retail spaces, ultra-luxurious residential units, premium hospitality offering and serviced apartments.
The Link, its record-breaking cantilevered building dissecting One Za’abeel’s twin towers will be an address and the ultimate destination for unparalleled fine dining, luxury hospitality and unique immersive experiences including an observation deck with 360-degree views over Dubai. Its location at the centre of the city as well as its bridge connection to the Dubai World Trade Centre offers an additional advantage for visitors and residents alike as it is situated at the intersection of Dubai’s International Financial Centre and the International Airport. In addition, One Za’abeel demonstrates exemplary environmental efficiency standards in line with Dubai’s vision and aims to achieve Gold LEED certification.
On the other end of the city resides the Deira Enrichment Project, designed to uplift and rejuvenate Dubai’s original trading hub while preserving the locale’s character and heritage and creating a unique environment where people can live, work and enjoy leisure time in landscaped green spaces. District 3 of Phase 1 was handed over in September to great acclaim and further demand from the residents of Deira and Dubai in general.
DEP offers the best for families, businesses and tourists. We have noticed that inhabitants of a bustling city like Dubai, families in particular, are looking for pedestrian-friendly communities with green spaces, easy access to parks and other communal facilities, as well as seamless transportation in and out of the community. We designed DEP to cater to those needs specifically and provided for interconnected plazas, neighbourhood parks and an integrated transportation hub. Businesses will also benefit greatly from the development, specifically from the Gold Souk extension.
- Both projects have won awards for being innovative. Can you tell us about how proud you are about the achievements of each project?
Our mission at Ithra Dubai is to enrich lives and transform the legacies of the past into landmarks of the future. We are proud that our work is being recognized by prestigious institutions and industry peers as it is a true reflection of our commitment to contribute to Dubai’s global standing as the city of endless achievements. The continued recognition pushes us to deliver further and to always exceed expectations.
Our developments are acclaimed for their innovative approach in design and construction and for achieving unprecedented engineering milestones in the region. We are very proud of the consistent effort our team has demonstrated and grateful for the concerted effort by the team of experts who made the completion of The Link possible.
We are also very excited for The Link to break the record for the longest cantilevered building in the world once the development is complete, and we are looking forward to achieving Gold LEED certification for One Za’abeel in line with the Dubai vision for sustainability.
- How has Ithra Dubai differentiated itself from other developers?
Ithra Dubai, as its name implies, seeks to enrich the lives of communities across Dubai and to enhance their experience, whether for work, living or leisure. We are attuned to our stakeholders’ needs and we offer the best in the world of real estate by marrying modernity with sustainability, whether in sustaining the environment or character and heritage. DEP is located at the heart of the city and aims at safeguarding the area’s heritage and rich legacy while breathing new life into the district with optimized urban planning and improved facilities. One Za’abeel on the other hand rethinks the mixed-use concept in Dubai and the region through record-setting features and offerings, including its avant-garde design and architecture. We are proud to be part of the strategic development of Dubai and to be able to plan and develop thriving communities within it.
- This year has been an unprecedented year for the world due to COVID-19. Can you tell us how Ithra Dubai has come out stronger from the pandemic?
2020 caused many companies and industries to rethink priorities and the way they conduct business. Everyone was affected to varying degrees, but it is in our DNA not to back down in the face of adversity, to push through any impediment and continue on our mission of enriching the lives of our communities.
Progress might have been stifled at the beginning of the pandemic, however we achieved intended milestones on both One Za’abeel and Deira Enrichment Project while having to adapt to new norms to safeguard the health and safety of Ithra Dubai’s employees and residents, which remains one of our top priorities.
- How has Ithra Dubai’s leadership team inspired the company to come up with Innovative Projects such as One Za’abeel
We at Ithra Dubai are very much inspired by our Leadership, the true architects of our nation, and we model our developments to fulfil their progressive vision for Dubai as the ultimate global destination for all aspects of life.
Ithra Dubai was established as the real estate arm of the Investment Corporation of Dubai and has since planned and developed projects that aim to elevate the standards of the real estate industry, enhance lifestyles and overall contribute to improving the quality of life for Dubai’s citizens and residents.
One Za’abeel is proof of Ithra Dubai’s mission to create revolutionary concepts that account for every facet of the Dubai vision and complement the city’s ultra-luxury, mixed-use offering.
We do not only aim to add another beautiful feature to Dubai’s skyline with One Za’abeel, but to add value to the city and its inhabitants by presenting a new kind of sustainable development for residents, tenants, and visitors alike that revolves around offering an elevated lifestyle.