15 October 2007

Nakheel unveils the 'new map of Dubai'

Nakheel, one of the world's largest and most innovative real estate developers, is marking the opening of Cityscape 2007 by releasing a unique set of images showing the remarkable transformation of Dubai's landscape and coastline.

The photographs of Dubai's past, present and future show how Nakheel is literally transforming the map of Dubai. Satellite imagery shows Dubai in 1973, 1990, 2000 and 2007 and Nakheel is also releasing an image which shows what Dubai is predicted to look like once all of Nakheel's currently announced developments are completed.

As a major part of the Cityscape Dubai 2007, Nakheel will also unveil a new 13 metre-long scale model of Dubai incorporating all current Nakheel projects and other major projects in the city. Spanning from Jebel Ali to Deira, the model offers a preview of how Dubai might look in 2020. At Cityscape, it will be accompanied by a never-seen-before audio visual show which tells the story behind Dubai's and Nakheel's rapid development.

Nakheel is contributing to Dubai's transformation in a number of extraordinary ways. The company is creating an extra 1000 kilometres of coastline through some of the world's most iconic developments such as The Palm Trilogy and The World. Nakheel will be the provider of 50 per cent of Dubai's residential supply by building homes for three million people and also plans to create 10 million sq ft of retail space.

Having already played a leading role in establishing Dubai as a leading tourism destination, Nakheel's planned projects will include up to 250 new hotels - a 50 per cent increase on the current number. The Palm Jumeirah alone is more than doubling the number of beachfront hotels in Dubai, with more than 30 hotels and 14,000 rooms.

Chris O'Donnell, Nakheel CEO comments:

'At Nakheel we are not only building some of the world's most iconic developments, we have the great honour of actually changing the map of the one of the world's great cities - Dubai. We are helping to realise His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai's vision to create significantly more coastline for Dubai and through our waterfront developments we will add over 1,000 kilometres.

'As symbols of Dubai's transformation, developments such as The Palm and The World have already become new landmarks of the 21st century. Projects of this complexity and scale have never been attempted before and our achievements are changing the way the world looks at Dubai. You only have to look at these images to see how Dubai has developed incredibly over the last few decades. We are proud to be part of such an extraordinary story'

Project updates: The Palm Trilogy

From the beginning of construction on The Palm Jumeirah to the first residents moving in it took just five years. The first residents began moving in at the end of 2006 and now over 1,500 homes have been handed over. The Palm's villas and apartments sold out within days of launch and now yield average premiums of 70-120%. Over the next three to four years, Nakheel will transform The Palm Jumeirah into one of the world's premier resorts with an average of 25,000 hotel guests and 20,000 visitors a day. There will be 30 five star hotels including Atlantis and Trump Tower, luxury marinas, and a purpose built theatre for Cirque du Soleil. The QE2 will also be located off The Palm Jumeirah.

The Palm Jebel Ali which adds a further 100 kilometres of coastline is progressing at a rapid pace. Reclamation on the project began in October 2002 and reclamation of land from the original masterplan is now 100% complete. Reclamation of additions to the original master plan, including the lengthening of fronds and widening of the spine is underway. Primary breakwater construction work was completed in December 2006 by leading engineering company, Jan de Nul, and infrastructure work commenced in April 2007 with the construction of six bridges by Samsung which will connect to the mainland.

The first residential properties at The Palm Jebel Ali are due to be ready at the end of 2010. To date, all released properties have been sold with many experiencing premiums of 100%. On completion, The Palm Jebel Ali will be a self-sufficient city of 250,000 people that, along with the Waterfront City development, will create a vibrant new area of Dubai.

At the opposite end of Dubai, The Palm Deira - the newest and largest of the Palm developments - is also progressing well, and in terms of reclaimed land is already bigger than The Palm Jumeirah. Twenty per cent of the reclamation is already complete and reclamation of the entire project is on schedule to be completed by 2013. The Palm Deira will add 226 kilometres of coastline and will be approximately 45 million sqm in size. Eighty per cent of The Palm Deira is expected to be for residential purposes. This new 'city' will include a wide variety of facilities, amenities and public services, from schools to hospitals, places of worship to recreational facilities, shopping malls to sports amenities for use by up to one million people.

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Lebanon Time-Line

Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.