Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the region, has expanded its Innovation Hub with the launch of its first residential offering – DIFC Living and Innovation Two.
DIFC Living and Innovation Two is a mixed use, live-work-play destination with independent, yet connected, residential and commercial uses, said senior DIFC officials at the ground breaking ceremony.
A new concept, it will feature more than 170 upscale residences embracing the future of living, they stated. Following today’s ground-breaking, the completion is expected to be in 2025.
These residences are expected to be highly sought-after, reflecting the strong demand DIFC already has for its owned and managed commercial offices. The development will be seamlessly integrated into DIFC, providing occupants with direct internal and external access to Gate Avenue.
The Hub is generating new economic value by fostering innovation, enterprise and talent across various sectors, focusing on future-oriented industries, he stated.
The project includes 184,000 sq ft of offices and co-working spaces and a further gross floor area of 107,000 sq ft earmarked for retail use. The new phase will also include state-of-the-art conference facilities.
It will become a major part of Phase Three of DIFC’s Innovation Hub, the region's largest innovation community, currently home to more than 600 growth-stage tech firms, including established innovation companies, digital labs, venture capital firms and educational institutions, said Essa Kazim, Governor of DIFC, at the ground breaking ceremony on phase three of the DIFC Innovation Hub. 
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE and President of DIFC, had announced the original expansion to the Innovation Hub in May 2021, quadrupling its size from 80,000 sq ft to 315,000 sq ft. 
This expansion is due for completion at the end of next year, reflecting the rapid pace of growth DIFC is experiencing.
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," he stated.  
Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, 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.
DIFC said it is optimising and redesigning spaces – creating contactless, smarter, more creative and exciting spaces. 
Amenities will include multiple outdoor green spaces, including vertical gardens and roof terraces. Communal workspaces will allow residents to achieve greater work/life balance while interacting with their neighbours, it added. 
"The concept of sustainability is ingrained in the building design with environmental impact measurement in place throughout every phase of construction and post-handover," remarked Kazim. 
"Like other DIFC premises, DIFC Living will be delivered to LEED standards – the global green building rating system," he added.-TradeArabia News Service