Dubai Waterfront raises the stakes even higher

Khaled Al Huraimel is the general manager of Madinat Al Arab — the first phase of the massive Dubai Waterfront project. The multi-billion dollar Manhattan-sized city will comprise around 300 million m2 of development and support a projected population of half a million people.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  February 4, 2006

Dubai Waterfront raises the stakes even higher|~|KAHbig.jpg|~|Khaled Al Huraimel: “With the projected increase in population, there is definitely a requirement for such a city.”|~|What is the Dubai Waterfront project?

We launched Dubai Waterfront in January of last year and it is the latest and biggest project from Nakheel, with a size of 300 million m2.
We are building a new city with a population of at least half a million. If you include the Palm Jebel Ali, that figure will be nearer 700 000.
With the projected increase in population in Dubai within the next 10 to 15 years, there is definitely a requirement for such a city.
It is a long-term project; we are looking at 10 years for the infrastructure to be in place,
although not necessarily all of the buildings will be in place by that time.
We will start delivering land for construction in the next eight months.

Do you believe that there will be enough demand to support projects of this scale?

This has always been said about Dubai, and most recently about the Jumeirah Beach Residence.
You must remember that the population of Dubai is currently two million, but by 2020 it is projected to reach four million.
At the moment, Dubai draws about eight million visitors a year, but that is projected to grow to 22 million over the next 10 to 15 years. So there is a demand for more hotels and a lot more residential units — and our project is one of many designed to meet that demand.

What do you think makes this project stand out?

The location is unique, as it is situated on the last natural beachfront in Dubai. It is also centrally located next to the new Jebel Ali Airport. Travelling time to downtown Dubai or downtown Abu Dhabi, will be almost the same.
We also looked at how to maximise the sea view for all the residents, so we have scaled the buildings starting with 10 storeys, rising to 20 storeys and then 50 storeys. We have planned the towers in such a way that everyone will have a sea view.

What are the main features of the project masterplan?

We have master-planned the city, so we have designed the usage for each plot, whether it be commercial, residential or retail.
Anybody who has bought a plot will have three and a half years to start and six and a half years to finish construction. We are being very strict on that. We don’t want plots to be continually traded, so we have included clauses encouraging developers to build.
We will be responsible for putting all the infrastructure in place and selling the serviced land to developers. There will also be land that we will develop.

Other mega-projects in Dubai have attracted criticism from investors because of an apparent lack of forward planning. How will this be different?

Other projects in Dubai may have been sold without the proper information in place. We have learned from what has happened with us and with other developers in Dubai.
We only launched this project when everything was in
place and we had done all the planning.
If somebody buys a plot, he or she will get their construction plan at the time that the contract is signed. Investors will know exactly where their plot is and what the design guidelines are.
Everything will be clarified and from day one we will ensure that we meet the customers’ expectations.||**||

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