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EghtesadOnline: Dubai is pushing ahead with a new $20 billion district on the city’s main highway, which will include a development of 3,000 homes and 15 hotels designed for residents and visitors to walk around - a rarity in the city.

Construction of the first phase of Jumeirah Central is set to start in mid-2017 and will cost around 24 billion dirhams ($6.5 billion), according to Morgan Parker, chief operating officer at Jumeirah Central, a unit of state-owned Dubai Holding. He declined to say when the first phase would be completed, according to Bloomberg.

“We will be responding to market needs and we’ll also respond to capital, because when capital comes it means investors thought about the market,” Parker told reporters on Sunday. The developer is exploring all funding options, including loans and bonds, and is currently in talks with investors on almost all of the 69 projects within the first phase, he said.

Plans for the project have undergone several changes. The first phase will include 18 residential buildings, 12 office towers, 2,800 hotel rooms, a mall and five parks, Parker said.

Others are also planning new projects in Dubai. Nakheel PJSC, the developer of man-made islands off Dubai’s coast, started work on a 20-tower development in Deira Island, the company said Sunday. The 5 billion-dirham project Deira Islands Boulevard will include 16 residential buildings, two hotels and two serviced apartment complexes.

Dubai