8 Stunning Wonders in Dubai
There are many reasons why Dubai is grabbing more and more headlines these days. One of them is thatÂ the emirate cityÂ is experiencing a construction boom, with stunning newÂ buildings going up at a pace that rivalsÂ even China’s urbanÂ development.
Image by Michael Foley
Dubai’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and his team of advisorsÂ know full wellÂ that Dubai’sÂ oil reserves are finite and may well run dry by 2030. As a result, tourismÂ and commercial development is slated to replace black gold as the main engine of the economy. Here thenÂ are 8Â structural wonders that will change Dubai forever.
Hydropolis – First Underwater Luxury Resort
Image by mhvenkat
About the size of London’s Hyde Park and some 66 feet beneath the Persian Gulf, the reinforced concrete and steel multi-star hotel off Jumeira Beach willÂ employ Plexiglass walls and a bubble-dome ceiling to allowÂ guests to view marine life. “Sea-view room” anyone?
The hotelÂ will feature 220Â suitesÂ at aÂ costÂ of Â£300 million ($594.34 million) and will be built entirely in Germany, with assemblyÂ in Dubai. After severalÂ long delays,Â Hydropolis isÂ set toÂ welcome guestsÂ by 2009.
Burj Dubai – World’s Tallest Building
With construction that beganÂ in September 2004, the Burj Dubai, with 2009 as the inaugural date, is already theÂ tallest man-madeÂ building on Earth. With a spectacular design inspired by the indigenous desert flowers that often appear as decorative patterns in Islamic architecture, the total cost ofÂ the super skyscraperÂ is going to be close to $4.1 billion. When completedÂ it will have used 330,000 cubic meters of concrete, 39,000 metric tons of steel and 142,000 sqm of glass.
The Palm Islands
Image by Wikipedia
The three largest artificial islands in the world are in Dubai, nestled in the Persian Gulf. Named Palm Jumeirah, the Palm Jebel Ali and the Palm Deira, they will add 520 km of beaches to the city and will include residential pockets, as well asÂ leisure and entertainment centers.
Palm Jumeirah consists of a trunk, a crown with 17 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island. Expected to be ready by mid 2008, Palm Jebel Ali is slightly bigger and should be able to accommodate 1.7 million people by 2020. The largest of them all, Palm Deira, is expected to be finished in 2015.
The World Archipelago
AfterÂ the construction ofÂ three decorativeÂ artificial islands, how willÂ DubaiÂ up the ante evenÂ further? Well, an archipelago dubbed The World will replicate the worldÂ atlas and will include some 300 islands that will be primarily built using sand dredged from the sea bottom.
The total development cost is going to be close to $14 billion.Â No surprise then that theÂ islands, which range from 250,000 to 900,000 square feet, are being sold to developers forÂ prices that reportedly start atÂ $6.85 million.
Distance between the islands is going to be around 100m and travelÂ should only be available by boat. With moreÂ than 60% of the islandsÂ sold by January 2008,Â there are bound to be some super yachts on the premises sometime in the near future.
Wind-powered rotating skyscraper
Dr. David Fisher is theÂ man behind Dynamic Architecture,Â the firm that will build the 420 meters (1,378 feet) high wind-powered rotating skyscraper in Dubai. There will be 48 wind turbines installed between each floor (which actually rotates independently) with the express aim of making the entire structure self-sufficient from an energy standpoint.
Instead ofÂ traditional ground-up construction,Â the planÂ here is to have aÂ nearby factory prefab each floor in segments. The hope is to switch on the turbines by 2010.
The UAE spaceport
With an estimated price tag of at least $265 million, the world’s first spaceportÂ will fall inside the border of a nearby emirate, Ras Al-Khaimah.Â A quick drive from Dubai, America’s Space Adventures are the wacky developers behind the high profile project slated to target the most affluent tourists. Early renderings indicate that the spaceport will feature a triangular runway (call it a launchpad if you like) and domed passenger terminals.