Polo in Dubailand: UAE billionaire’s new project almost ready
Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club will open in December 2016
By Parag Deulgaonkar emirates 24/7 News
Published Wednesday, April 27, 2016
The Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club in Dubailand is set to open in December 2016, Mohammed Al Habtoor, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Al Habtoor Group, told Emirates 24|7.
“Forty per cent of the project is complete to date. We had initially anticipated finishing everything by the end of September but we had a two-month delay so we are targeting December as 100 per cent completion,” he said.
“Handover for everything will be in December and this includes the St. Regis Dubai, Al Habtoor Polo Resort; the villas and the equestrian facilities.”
Can you share a construction update on the Al Habtoor Resort & Club?
Forty per cent of the project is complete to date. We had initially anticipated finishing everything by the end of September but we had a two-month delay so we are targeting December as 100 per cent completion. Some parts will be ready before September; we will complete 50 per cent of the stables and the employee accommodation and around 50 per cent of the villas. We will be able to start the next polo season from the resort.
What have been the challenge in your project since 2014 considering the current global situation?
We had some challenges like any other business in this region due to the oil drop even though Dubai has a diverse economy. Dubai is very much a tourism destination (hospitality and entertainment). We have witnessed a little softening in the market, but in general if you have a great product and a great location you will still get customers. This is not a problem for us.
What were the factors that drove you to choose Dubailand?
The size of the land was a big reason as it situated close to Desert Palm and Dubai Polo Equestrian Club. This makes it easy to transport the horses for different polo teams around. Another plus was the proximity to Hamdan Bin Mohammed Sports City, which is nearby. In addition, there are established communities nearby giving residents access to everything they need including schools, clinics, supermarkets, etc. The Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club is not just a leisure destination, it is a sports destination to be enjoyed by sports lovers and professional sports men and women alike.
What factors do you think will drive demand for luxury villas in Dubailand?
The facilities we offer and the love of horse-related sports. The standard of luxury and the benefit of The St. Regis and all the amenities it offers to residents. This is a new standard of living. We anticipate that the residents will likely be horse-lovers who want access to the wide range of equestrian offerings at the resort, or they will be spectators who simply want to watch whatever is going on, whether it be a polo match, a show jumping competition or dressage event.
What differentiates your project from others nearby?
More than 70 per cent of our villas overlook the polo fields or the equestrian arenas. The Al Habtoor Polo Resort & Club offers multiple horse-riding disciplines; polo, show jumping, traditional horse riding and dressage. All this adds value. Where else in the world can you open your door or sit on your balcony and watch the ‘sport of kings’?
Have you sold any villas?
There are no plans to sell the villas at this stage. We have a limited number of villas available and the interest is already very high.
Have you started work on the 500 stables?
The stables are currently 50 per cent complete. They will be ready by August. We will rent them out. The stables are very unique. They have vaulted ceilings. There is a lot of light and we have thought about air circulation.