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The $4bn Dubai Sports City (DSC) development in Dubai is set for a major retail expansion, its chief financial officer told Construction Week.

Vijay Sajjanhar said the current focus is firmly on developing the retail side of the 50mn ft² site in Dubailand now that the measures put in place to ensure delivery of residential plots in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis have worked.

“But now as the population has grown and the number of visitors has grown it’s very important for us to have the right kind of mix within the community,” he added. “That’s the reason why we started focusing on retail.”

This has led to a concerted push to develop the conjoined Canal Promenade and Canal Residence West located on the east side of DSC. At the former, a 1.5km pedestrian walkway running alongside the 1.2km man-made canal (as yet unfilled) is to be completed in the next 12 months, while fit-outs for four retail spaces are under way.

Sajjanhar said the walkway is an essential part of the area as it provides a scenic link between the north hub and the south hub, where the former will have two retail levels (250,000ft²) around the canal plus office and residential above, and the latter will contain various entertainment.

See Saturday's (30 August) Construction Week for the full interview.