Dubai launches giant palm tree resort island
Dubai has unveiled
plans for a palm tree-shaped resort island on land
reclaimed from the sea that will add 120 kilometres
of sandy beaches and be visible from the moon.
will include 2,000 villas, up to 40 luxury hotels,
shopping complexes, cinemas and the Middle East's
first marine park, said Sultan bin Sulayem, chairman
of Dubai Palm Developers.
The island will be
built in the shape of 17 huge fronds surrounded
by 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) of protective barrier
reefs, extending five kilometres (three miles) into
the sea south of Dubai city.
has taken four years of methodical planning and
exhaustive feasibility studies to ensure that the
islands can be built without disrupting the environment,"
They will be accessible
by 300-metre (990-feet) bridges from the mainland
or boat to two marinas, while the main causeway
will also have a monorail system.
The project will
be built on 80 million cubic metres (2.8 billion
cubic feet) of land dredged from the approach channel
to the emirate's Jebel Ali port, an operation that
will deepen the channel to 17 metres (56 feet).
Khalid bin Sulayem,
head of Dubai's tourism board, said the project
would elevate Dubai "from regional players
to leaders in tourism development who focus on modernising
and expanding tourism infrastructure to attract
Property on the islands,
expected to take up to four years to complete, will
be for sale to foreigners as well as Emiratis. Sulayem
did not put on a figure on the project cost.
A consultant with
Palm Developers told AFP at Dubai's Arabian Travel
Market that the contract for the project was expected
to be awarded next week and construction take up
to five years.
With its oil resources running out, Dubai, part
of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has launched
a multi-billion dollar tourism drive in an effort
to establish itself as the Gulf's leisure hub.
The local Abdullah
al-Futtaim Group last month launched Dubai Festival
City, a project to develop a four-kilometre-long
(2.5-mile-long) stretch of the emirate's southern
creekside at a cost of 1.6 billion dollars.
And a 10-billion dollar project to build a new city
called Dubai Marina is already well underway. It
is to house 100,000 people around a huge water basin
within a decade.