Abu Dhabi to build $14.71 b. gateway city

Abu Dhabi plans new US $14.71 billion Water City

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By  Eudore Chand Published  February 19, 2005

A new gateway city will be built at a cost of US $14.71 billion as a grand entrance to the UAE capital Abu Dhabi. The waterfront development is expected to house 120 000 residents when completed and is said to be Abu Dhabi’s largest yet tourism-related project. The master plan and designs for the new city have been completed. The ‘Water City’ at the road entrance of Abu Dhabi in the Al Raha district will be developed by the emirate’s newly set up real estate development firm of Aldar Properties PJSC. “The UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has approved Aldar Properties’ master plan for a new city district at Al Raha as the new gateway to Abu Dhabi city. Maximising the water frontage at Al Raha Beach, the new city will provide a lifestyle destination embracing residential, commercial, cultural, entertainment and public amenities,” said Aldar chairman Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh. “We are delighted to be directed by His Highness the President to undertake this significant, landmark development in the heart of our capital,” Al Sayegh said, adding that work is due to start immediately Taking inspiration from capital cities with extensive water frontage, the new city district will occupy an area of 6.8 million m2 along the Abu Dhabi to Dubai highway on reclaimed land at Al Raha Beach. Development costs are estimated at $ 14.71 billion (AED 54 billion) with a total built area of 12 million m2 — in high rises that would reach 60-storeys into the sky to low-rise developments at the water’s edge. Water City is being planned for a resident population of 120 000 inhabitants and will be integrated with Khalifa Town ‘A’ by road and related transport links, as well as the recently completed Al Raha Beach Hotel. Malone Buchan Laird & Bawden, the architectural and master planning firm of Australia’s Buchan Group, has been involved with the designs of the development. Aldar officials said that the underlying theme of the development will be to enhance Abu Dhabi’s natural wealth of water and beach frontage. A new feature will be a water taxi service, serving all parts of Abu Dhabi island as well as outlying islands such as Saadiyat and the airport. This will provide a new form of urban transport for the city and add to the tourism offer for the emirate.

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