Gerard Hope of Time Out Dubai picks out five projects that will be shaping the world’s most ambitious city in the decades to come...
Grandiose thinking is always second nature to Dubai’s developers, but the €70 billion Dubailand mega-project requires a whole new level of superlatives. The aim will be for this resort eventually to be twice the size of Walt Disney World, boasting attractions such as Universal City Studios and Legoland, as well as the world‘s largest shopping centre, the Mall of Arabia.
The most intriguing of the proposed attractions within Dubailand is Falcon City of Wonders, which is based around recreating architectural marvels such as the Pyramids, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Spread over 4 sq km, it will be built in the shape of a falcon. Extraordinary.
Al Maktoum International Airport is, you may not be surprised to hear, set to be the world’s largest in volume and size, handling 20 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of air cargo a year upon completion. It will be linked to all the main motorways in the country as well as the upcoming regional high-speed rail network, which will connect the Gulf states from Kuwait to Oman by 2017.
Forming a horseshoe from Dubai Marina, flowing west from the new Al Maktoum International Airport before turning back towards the new Dubai Waterfront development, the 75km man-made Arabian Canal will be fully navigable, with marinas, bridges, islands, beaches and walkways. It’s planned to be 150m wide and 6m deep, and will be able to accommodate yachts up to 40m long. A new 200 sq km ‘city within the city’ will also be built on the bank of the canal.
The gigantic Al Sufouh tram project will stretch for 14km and will comprise 19 stations, serviced by 25 trams carrying thousands of passengers an hour. The tram project will link up with the Dubai Metro service at three stations along central highway Sheikh Zayed Road, as well as connecting to the Palm Jumeirah monorail.