Developer of City of Arabia scheme cuts bills as cost of steel and cement falls

The developer behind the giant $5bn (£3.6bn) City of Arabia mixed-use scheme going up in Dubai has said it has saved up to 20% because of falling materials prices.

The price of steel has crashed from the high last summer of $1,540 per tonne for rebar to $485 per tonne this month – a drop of more than two-thirds.

Cement has also fallen from over $100 per bag last spring to under three figures because of lower fuel and raw materials cost as well as three new plants that have been built across the UAE, bringing the total up to 15.

Syed Khalil, group executive director of Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group, said the firm had lopped off between 15% and 20% from its bills as a result.

The development will feature a mixture of retail, residential and commercial space and is expected to be home to 32,000 people when it is completed by 2015.

The centrepiece is set to be the Mall of Arabia with over 1,400 retail outlets covering a space of 10 million ft2. This is due to open by the end of 2010.

In all, the entire complex will feature 34 towers – four will be of 60 storeys each, a further 20 will each be 45 storeys high and the remaining 10 will rise up to 30 storeys.

Among the British firms working on the City of Arabia is structural engineer WSP and Hyder which is acting as infrastructure consultant.