By  on June 10, 2014

DUBAI — A Dubai developer is giving fashion and other design disciplines plenty of room to grow — up to 25 million square feet of space, in fact.

Nine buildings are under construction on a vast site that is the future home of the Dubai Design District, with office tenants expected to start moving in in January.

It’s only the first phase of an ambitious, mixed-use development that aims to position Dubai as a key fashion capital and nurture a nascent and fragmented industry. Ultimately, a design school, concept stores, boutique hotels, showrooms and residences are to sprout up, nurturing a nascent local industry — and creating an alternative attraction to megamalls stacked with mainly international brands.

“People are hungry to know more about our culture, about Dubai,” said Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, group chief executive officer of Tecom Investments, which is spearheading the project, known as D3 and rising up on a creek-front site not far from The Dubai Mall and the downtown core area. “The project is to nurture local talent and hopefully have the next global brand come out of Dubai.…This city is full of secret talents.”

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