Dubai Property: Buy into a Virtual Reality ; PROPERTIES IN DUBAI
Norwood, Graham, The Independent (London, England)
Dubai's architectural style and development ambition cannot be described as understated.
It is building the world's largest waterfront development, the world's largest residential tower and the world's largest aircraft hangar. It is creating the world's largest area of reclaimed land, the world's largest artificial coastline and the world's largest shopping mall. And it is doing all of them at the same time.
It was not always like this. Until the late 19th century Dubai was best known as a transit point for traders going from Iraq to Oman, and between India, east Africa and the northern Gulf. Its old architecture reflected this " clearly Arabic, but influenced by Asia and Europe.
Minarets on mosques dominated the skyline in the 20th century until a population explosion in the 1970s, when multi-national companies were welcomed in to farm Dubai's limited oil wealth and high-rise buildings began to appear. But until the 1980s the largest building was the 39-storey Dubai World Trade Centre.
That appears dated and low-rise when compared with the hundreds of towers currently under construction. These are set to fulfil Dubai's ambition of housing 2.2 million residents by 2010, to maximise overseas income (to compensate for the relative shortage of oil compared with the United Arab Emirates' six other regions), and to become a global trade, finance and entertainment centre.
The new Dubai, blending Singapore's modernity and Manhattan's skyline, makes a virtue of using chrome, glass and concrete, and is building higher and quicker than any other city in the world.
One of Dubai's leading developers, Nakheel, calculates that over 100 towers of 25-storeys or more, mostly residential, will be completed between now and next July; another 100 will follow by Christmas 2006.
And they do not all look the same...
The Palm is in fact three artificial islands (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, and Palm Deira) each built to represent a date palm tree and consisting of a trunk, a crown with fronds, and a crescent island that acts as a breakwater. The islands are still being finished, with 10,000 villas and apartments covering the fronds that have led to some criticism of over- density. On completion the trunks will have more than 60 hotels as well as theme parks, shopping malls and cinemas. The crescents which surround each palm act as breakwaters able to withstand waves of up to four metres high. All apartments have been sold although some resales are available.
Details from: www.dubai propertyauctions.com
Fairmont Palm Residence
On the approach to the Palm Jumeirah lies Fairmont, a huge complex of 558 apartments and townhouses linked to a nearby five- star hotel that can provide management and cleaning facilities for owners. This is the nearest to a conventional North American-style resort in Dubai, yet Fairmont remains a testimony to extrovert design. Aside from the apartments " claiming to be 40 per cent larger than comparable developments " there are grand waterfalls, floating dining pavilions, water cascades, private berths, spa- islands, a children's play island, multi-level swimming pools and more. Properties start at approximately pounds 300,000 for a one- bedroom property, pounds 475,000 for three bedrooms and pounds 800,000-plus for penthouses. Fairmont sits at the end of the Dubai Golden Mile, a vast shopping centre with 60,000 square metres of retail space.
Details from: Fairmont apartments on sale through Savills, 020- 7016 3753 and details on www.fairmontpalmresidence.com
Genius or folly? Due to be completed next year, The World is a pounds 1bn- collection of 300 islands, each ranging from 250,000 to 900,000 sq ft in size, with 50 to 100 metres of water between each one. The total 'globe' will cover a total area of 5.4 miles by …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Dubai Property: Buy into a Virtual Reality ; PROPERTIES IN DUBAI. Contributors: Norwood, Graham - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: October 26, 2005. Page number: 2,. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.