Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), a leading financial centre in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, has broken ground on its first residential offering – DIFC Living and Innovation Two.

To serve as a mixed use, ‘live-work-play’ destination with independent, yet connected, residential and commercial uses, DIFC Living and Innovation Two will be part of Phase III of DIFC’s Innovation Hub, which is currently hub to over 600 growth-stage tech firms.

In May 2021, the UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and DIFC president Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had announced the original expansion to The Innovation Hub, quadrupling its size from 80,000ft2 to 315,000ft2.

This expansion is due for completion at the end of next year.

DIFC Living and Innovation Two will feature over 170 upscale residences embracing the future of living.

Completion of the project is expected in 2025.

DIFC expects these residences to be ‘highly sought-after’, reflecting demand that it already has for its owned and managed commercial offices.

The project will be seamlessly integrated into DIFC, offering occupants with direct internal and external access to Gate Avenue.

The project will include 184,000ft2 of offices and co-working spaces and another gross floor area of 107,000m2 allocated for retail use.

The new phase will also feature conference facilities.

DIFC Governor Essa Kazim said: “To continue our mission of fostering innovation, we must provide world-class, future-proof facilities that enable companies, organisations and individuals to thrive, prosper and enjoy an environment they can both live and work in.

“For the first time, DIFC is creating a mixed-use space that includes residential units, co-working and office spaces, retail and dining. Our latest development is a response to the ever-evolving nature of workspaces and lifestyle choices. We are delivering a vibrant new lifestyle hub, where everyone can enjoy the best of urban living, combined with a high-quality environment featuring everything required to prosper.”

DIFC Authority CEO Arif Amiri said: “DIFC has always been at the forefront of FinTech and innovation in the region, which has helped attract over 600 associated businesses to the Centre. We continue to expand to meet demand, and the new Innovation Hub will result in DIFC becoming one of the world’s largest ecosystem dedicated to FinTech and innovation.”

“The mixed-use expansion, which incorporates the DIFC Living residences, will enable us to enhance our proposition as a leading lifestyle destination as well as a global financial centre,” he added.

Among the amenities to be provided at the mixed project include multiple outdoor green spaces, including vertical gardens and roof terraces.

Communal workspaces will enable residents to achieve greater work/life balance while interacting with their neighbours.

DIFC Living and Innovation Two will be delivered to LEED standards.

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Image: DIFC Living and Innovation Two will feature over 170 upscale residences. Credit: Dubai International Financial Centre.