Is this how Dubai will look in 2030?
‘There are a lot of proposals coming from the bigger developers,’ says Bart Leclercq, the Dubai-based head of structures design at global building consultancy firm WSP Group, as we sit down to sift through the growing number of plans jostling for headlines. ‘There’s some really crazy stuff – bigger hotels and bigger malls.’ This is a man whose company has worked on projects including The Shard in London and New York’s Freedom Tower.
So what will Dubai be like in 2030, the date often picked as the latest horizon for development in the UAE? In the past 12 months, more than a dozen large projects – from theme parks to solar energy projects – have been announced in Dubai alone. Like those unveiled in the boom times, some of these will materialise and some may be modified. We’ve spoken to some of the most informed minds to get an idea of what our city will be like, and round up the most innovative.
We all know that Dubai is an ever-changing city with a skyline that’s constantly growing – in the past three years alone the expansion has been rapid, but how will the Emirate look in 2030?
With the excitement surrounding Dubai’s winning bid to host Expo 2020, the city has been thrust into the world’s spotlight, kickstarting work on many a concept set to make it the planet’s first true ‘smart’ destination.
In line with this, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is undertaking a massive addressing system project, changing the names of existing streets, forming new area clusters and districts, and naming them. “A total of more than 7,500 streets have been appointed for re-naming, out of which approximately 500 have already been changed,” said Maitha bin Adai, CEO of the Traffic and Roads Agency (TRA) at the RTA. The areas will eventually form new districts and communities…
‘Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Crossing’, also known as the ‘Sixth Crossing’ will become the world’s longest arch bridge, with a main span 667 metres long. The bridge’s overall length will be 1.6 kilometres, 64 metres wide and will rise 15 metres above the water. The bridge, designed by FXFOWLE Architects, will cost Dhs2.5 billion to construct and form a part of a the Dhs3 billion road project project near The Lagoons, expected to be complete in 2015.
Dubai Adventure Studios
The first five planned theme parks, IMG World of Adventure is due to open next year as the largest park of its kind in the world. It will be based around characters from the Marvel comic universe and Cartoon Network and based in Dubailand. The park will have four zones, and feature a super-fast rollercoaster that will go outside of the main building boasting more twists and turns than Formula Rossa, located at Abu Dhabi’s Ferrari World.
In November last year, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s development company Meraas announced a Dh10 billion plan to build four linked theme parks in the future…
Bluewaters Island Project
Comprised of residential, leisure and commercial buildings, JBR’s ‘Bluewaters’ is going to be a main focus of the area, and serving as the centrepiece of the island project is a 210-metre Ferris wheel to offer breathtaking views of Dubai’s coastline and iconic landmarks.
The piazza at the base of the wheel will be an entertainment zone and a unique venue for private parties, weddings and conferences. Additionally, a large LED screen mounted on the wheel will create an innovative electronic platform for broadcasting movies, advertisements, and interactive information. It will also feature a bespoke souq encircled by a promenade, and host a boutique five star hotel.
Dubai Design District (d3)
Planned to host everything and anything to do with the design industry, the Dubai Design District (d3) is going to feature studios, educational facilities, boutique hotels, high-end apartments and of course a shopping promenade… Take an exclusive tour of the site as it is now, and find out more about the project, here.
It’s sure to become a great landmark that will attract up to two million visitors a year, the Dubai Frame is planned to be 150 metres high, 93 metres wide and is being built to resemble a huge picture frame – through which landmarks representing modern Dubai can be seen. Buildings such as Emirates Towers and the Burj Khalifa are visible on one side, while on the other older parts of the city like Deira, Umm Harair and Karama can be viewed. At the base of the frame will be a museum telling the story of the city’s development.
MBR District One / Mohammad Bin Rashid City
Mohammed Bin Rashid City District One is in work and located less than 3km (4 minutes driving distance) from the Burj Khalifa, just outside of Downtown Dubai – an unrivalled location of vast green space at the heart of the Emirate, it’s planned to become a contemporary new city-within-a-city, with residential and commercial aspects. Plus it will feature a park with the capability to host 35 million visitors a year and the world’s biggest swimming pool – a mere 40 acres.
A project inspired by the tales of Aladdin and Sindbad, Dubai Municipality has announced the concept that is said to have three key building structures, comprising commercial offices and hotel space, with the towers spread over a distance of 450 metres – all located at Al Rigga on Dubai Creek. It’s in work now, with no deadline yet set for completion…
Dubai Opera Distict and Opera House
A 2000-seat multi-use venue envisaged to rival the world-famous Sydney Opera House is set to be built by Emaar, as part of plans for The Opera District in Downtown Dubai.
The venue will be used for opera, theatre, concerts, art exhibitions, orchestra, film, sports events and seasonal programmes, a centerpiece of the district to promote the arts, culture and events scene in Dubai, styled on the traditional sailing vessels of the Arabian Gulf.
Nakheel Mall is the future central focus of Palm Jumeirah, and will have five retail levels with more than 100,000 square metres of shop space, three basement parking levels with 4,000 spaces, 200 shops, two anchor department stores (yet to be disclosed), a nine-screen cinema, medical centre and fitness complex. There will also be a roof plaza with a host of fine dining restaurants, as well as a diverse selection of food and beverage outlets, all expected to be completed in 2016.
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