The Gate Avenue at DIFC is an 880m-long walkway that connects all the building podiums within the district, from the Gate Building in the North to the primarily residential district in the South. It encompasses 660,000 sq ft of built up area.
The architect’s brief was to develop the Gate Avenue at DIFC into a unique cultural experience in the region and to enhance the resident and visitor experience through vibrant retail and sophisticated dining, all connected by an open-air promenade and relaxed parkland environment.
Architects RMJM have incorporated a series of miniature Gates within Gate Avenue, which reference the iconic Gate Building. These Gates link the indoor retail mix with the promenade level as well as integrating the inner and outer environments through vertical circulation and visual connectivity. They also ‘extend the DIFC marque throughout the estate’.
A varied retail environment runs through three integrated zones connected by the promenade level. The North Zone, located adjacent to the Gate Building, serves as a meeting point for business professionals, featuring luxury and exclusive retail outlets.
In the Central Zone, with a convenient connection to the DIFC metro, the retail offering is focused on high-street brands with a wide range of indoor and al fresco restaurants.
At the primarily residential South Zone, the two-level retail mix along with the different facilities is designed to create a family-friendly community experience.
The outdoor promenade level with its unique planting, shading structures and kiosks, also provides an elegant and engaging environment for people to enjoy day and night.
Towards the southern end of Gate Avenue an emblematic mosque completes the sequence of buildings that stand on the promenade level. The architect was asked to create a new vernacular for mosque design in the UAE; a beacon of modern Islamic design that makes reference to tradition by reinterpreting the essence of traditional mosque design in the contemporary context: in essence “to create a simple exterior and a fabulous interior”.
The mosque has a simple structure enveloped by a screen with graduated perforations allowing light to bathe the interior space which is revealed when approaching from the outside. The materials and products used in the design express the qualities of integrity, durability and humility.
Gate Avenue also hosts cultural events, live performances and festivals with the gates providing a backdrop for digital projections.
From Gate Avenue it takes roughly 5 minutes to drive to Dubai Mall, 20 minutes to Palm Jumeirah, 18 minutes to Burj Al Arab and 23 minutes to The Walk JBR.*
Dubai International Airport (DXB) is roughly 14 minutes' drive and the new Al Maktoum International Airport is roughly 45 minutes' drive.*
The map below shows the location of Gate Avenue and just below are summaries of the nearest attractions, parks, beaches, golf clubs and cinemas.
Images depicting the initial concept designs for Gate Avenue.
Projects often go through a number of design revisions as they progress and developers may or may not honour their original plans when it comes to architectural designs, amenities and landscaping. The images below are provided as a means to compare the original plans with the realised development.
The Dh500 million contract for construction and land preparation was awarded to the Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG) in October 2016.
By December 2017 construction was 85% complete. Completion of the first phase was on track for the first half of 2018. Retail units were being handed over to tenants, and fit out work on several units had already started
The concrete structure was 95% complete, and blockwork installation 80% complete.
Stone paving and planting of the soft cape was also well underway.
See the development of Gate Avenue in photos:
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