Dubai – The Ever-Changing City

At the present time, the centre of the construction boom is undoubtedly Dubai. In the hotel sector alone there are plans to build 150 more hotels over the next five to seven years, expanding the number of hotel rooms from 20,000 in 1990 to 55,000.

Other new projects underway in Dubai are the $2 billion Dubai International Financial Centre, a huge office complex rumored to include a major skyscraper; the $2.5 billion expansion of the Dubai International Airport; the $3 billion Palm Island project; $1.6 billion Dubai Marina leisure and residential development; $1.6 billion Festival City mixed-use development; further phases of the Dubai Internet City and Media City; and the new Convention Centre at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

In addition, Emaar Properties is developing the Emirates Hills/Emirates Lakes into a massive residential new town, and Majid Al Futtaim has a massive shopping mall and indoor ski resort under construction on a nearby site.

Around the Gulf region shopping malls are under construction all over the place. But for now the focus of building activity is Dubai, and all these new offices, homes and hotels will need furniture and interior design.

In 2003, the value of building projects under construction in the UAE were estimated at $28 Billion. The projects include new high-rise commercial/residential districts, hotels, houses, hospitals, schools, universities, public parks, large shopping centers, beach resorts, man-made residential islands, the massive expansion of the airports in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and other commercial premises.

Future Development

o The World Island ($4 billion)

o China Town ($650 million)

o Two Palm Islands ($6 billion)

o Dubai Lost City Project ($165 million)

o Gardens Shopping Mall ($200 million)

o Dubai Pearl ($820 million)

o Hydropolis Hotel ($500 million)

o Wellness and Hydrotherapy Center ($120 million)

o Burj Dubai

o The Dubai Marina

o New Dubai International Airport

o The Dubai Mall

o Dubailand

The World Island

Construction of a central tourist centre, in the form of coastal islands. Hotels, apartments and leisure facilities will be erected on each island. The individual islands will be laid out so as to give the shape of a world map. Each island will be of a different size and will have a theme suitable to the country it represents. This project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2008.

Two Palm Island

The construction of two islands in the shape of a palm tree. Palm Jumeira (5km long) and Palm Jebel Ali. Almost 2,000 villas, 40 luxury hotels, 2 sea and water theme parks will be constructed on the islands. In addition, there will be bridges, tunnels, shopping centres and entertainment centres. The project is scheduled for completion at the end of 2007.

These two project are the most expensive projects, but other more notable projects are in progress as well.

The China Town development involves the construction of 25 buildings, office buildings, a shopping centre, apartments, hotels and entertainment facilities. This construction project measures approximately 357,167 m 2 in overall size. In addition the Dubai Marina is aiming to become a city-within-a-city with an overhaul that will provide new residence for 40 000 people