Who hasn’t heard of Dubai? From an unknown and obscure settlement in the heart of the desert, the little city in the Middle East has made a name for itself, as one of the foremost tourist destination in the world.
But guess what is coming?
Yup. Dubai is expanding and – as if the Burj al Arab, the city’s sail-shaped hotel, wasn’t enough – they are building into the sea again.
There are plans for another spectacle – the Marsa Al Arab. The Marsa Al Arab is a four million square feet pair of man-made islands, one on each side of the Burj al Arab Jumeirah. The plans were unveiled this week, by Dubai Holdings – their global investment company – and the news broke the internet immediately.
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Estimated to cost upwards of 1.72 billion dollars, groundbreaking has already been slated for June. According to the plan, the man-made islands are to be completed and commissioned by late 2020. This will add 1.4 miles of sandy beach to the beautiful Dubai coastline, they say.
One of the islands, specifically being designed for tourists, is to include family-targeted resorts, a marine park 2.5 million square-foot in size, and a 1,700-seat theatre. This theatre will be home to the first Cirque de Soleil show in the Middle East.
As if that was not enough, the island is to house 300 apartments on the seafront.
The second island is to be a private island, and would have 14-luxury villas in them, as well as marina, a boutique hotel, and numerous helipads.
Dubai Holding, the company undertaking the project, is largely owned by the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. In 1994, the company constructed – and still manages – the Burj al Arab, the city’s iconic hotel, located on artificial land, 280 meters off the Jumeirah Beach.
They also constructed and built the Palm Jumeirah, in a period of five years from 2001 to 2006. The Palm Jumeirah is 9.6-square miles in size.
Come 2020, we might need to welcome another wonder of the world.
And this time, Dubai would have outdone itself.