For a city that’s obsessed with the superlatives when it comes to technology and infrastructure, it is no surprise that Dubai is imagining the world’s largest entertainment complex. Let’s take a look.
WORDS BY- AMOG S
A long imagined dream, announced in 2003, Dubailand is Dubai’s $64.3 billion answer to the world of entertainment. It is an entertainment complex being built in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which is owned by Tatweer (which belongs to Dubai Holding). It is a vivid example of the city’s vision to not only attract millions of tourists, but also offer its residents a world-class recreation experience. When announced in 2003 it was one of the most ambitious leisure developments ever proposed anywhere in the world. But development was severely impacted by global recession and Dubai’s financial crisis.
The development was put on hold in 2008 but resumed in 2013 with the 72,000 square-meter Dubai Miracle Gardens opening at the beginning of March. Dubailand will host various residential, sports, leisure, entertainment and shopping attractions, some of which are already operational, while the whole complex is expected to open before Expo 2020.
Dubailand is strategically located so as to stay not far away from the airport and the neighboring Emirates.
It is situated on the Emirates Ring Road and is in close proximity to the other landmarks in Dubai like the Burj Al Arab, and the Emirates towers and is only an hour way from the nation’s capital Abu Dhabi.
Dubailand has been sub-divided in to six zones to effectively manage the development and ensure that the growth is balanced in all of the zones.
These zones will provide product diversity, different cultural and socio economic mix and an initial critical mass of projects that will catalyze other peripheral uses.
When completed, Dubailand will have a total area of 278 sq. km and will include 45 “mega projects” and 200 sub projects. And there are more than 22 projects under construction already.
Dubailand is divided into six zones or as they like to call it, worlds.
Attractions and Experience World – 145 million sq. ft. – a world of vibrant characters, with its theme parks clustered around a landmark viewing tower and forming a “must see” attraction. The themed experiences and attractions for the entire family will form both a playground and a spectacle.
It will be eclectic and pulsating, day and night. Projects include: anchor theme parks, The Global Village, themed water parks, Kids City, Giants World and many more.
Retail & Entertainment World – 45 million sq. ft. – The development’s energy center, a vibrant destination of family entertainment and innovative retail concepts in a themed environment. An indoor and outdoor environment providing a vibrant mix of retail and entertainment. Projects include: Flea Market, World Trade Park, Auction World and Factory Outlets.
Themed Leisure and Vacation World – 311 million sq. ft. – The creation of appealing retreats for meeting the international demand for quality vacation village residences and resort hotels.
The attraction is imaginative and creative themed development concepts in an exotic edge of the desert but adjacent to major leisure and entertainment facilities.
Designs are themed escapism and will incorporate amenities such as formal waterfronts, canals, lakes and parks; the area itself is located alongside the Resort’s unique central linear park. Projects include: Women’s World, Destination Dubai, Desert Kingdom and Andalusian Resort & Spa.
Eco Tourism World – 806 million sq. ft. – An area devoted to preserving the desert heritage of Dubai and creating a habitat for animals from the region to be showcased in their elements. This area will also try to recreate the Safari experience and will provide a taste of the desert life through camp areas. Projects Include Desert Safari, Sand Dune Hotels, Desert Camps and Dubai Heritage Vision.
Sports and Outdoor World – 206 million sq. ft. – A stimulating arena of outdoor sports activities and mild adventure that we are sure is a result of the requests and interests of both residents and visitors.
The activities will optimize the use of the expansive area to build facilities capable of hosting world events as American football, soccer, cricket, rugby, etc.
These projects include indoor and outdoor venues, traditional and extreme sports such as Dubai Sports City, Emarat Sports World, Plantation Equestrian and Polo Club, Autodrome and Dubai Golf City.
Downtown – 5.66 million sq. ft. – A gateway to the overall development centered in Dubailand and forming the resort’s downtown, business and administrative district. A unique land bridge with impressive gateway towers and water cascades will create a strong sense of arrival and development identity for the Resort City. The Downtown retains the open space and leisure character of the overall development through its landscaping, water features and grand scale squares and piazzas. Projects include: Mall of Arabia the largest mall in the world. City Walk, which includes art displays, entertainment and outside dining. It also consists of wide boulevards, street cafes and theaters, lush parklands, lawns museums and common gardens. It also consists of Virtual Game World, which will be a cyber heaven with 3D interactive games.
Dubailand is also going to be home to the city’s largest public park, as big as London’s Hyde Park. Once complete, the new park will spread across 350 acres and will be three times bigger than Dubai’s Zabeel Park. It will act as a new destination for residents and tourists and provide a vibrant, natural environment, encouraging individuals to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
The park will provide a number of spaces that encourage exploration of nature and year-round activity for its visitors, including 30 kilometers of pedestrian pathways, 20 km jogging track, over 14 km cycle tracks and over 7 km of nature trails. It will also include 55 playgrounds for children, 45 sports grounds, five major events areas and retail space for shops, restaurants and coffee shops.
The large amount of natural landscape and trees is expected to improve the air quality of surrounding area, facilitate the preservation of existing biodiversity and an opportunity to enhance the urban ecology.
In addition to being a sports and entertainment destination, the public park will host innovation and smart-solutions, including sustainable on-site power generation, waste recycling and natural shading. The park will also have smart cards for ticketing, purchasing and Wi-Fi connectivity throughout.
The public garden will also include 10 sports grounds and one major events space. The park will also help preserve the environment through reducing water consumption by 5 litres per sq. m. and will be home to up to 15,000 trees of native and adopted species.
Besides attracting a huge number of tourists every year, Dubailand is quite popular among residents and visitors thanks to its affordable rents and freehold properties when compared to upscale areas like Dubai Marina and Downtown Dubai.
With comparatively less traffic and availability of schools, sports, entertainment and retail options, cultural hubs, the community is an ideal place for families. For those who like to put their fitness first, they are welcome to use the community swimming pools, fitness centers, gyms and well-being spas that are situated within the community. Located away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the tranquil community is one of the ideal places for those who like to live a quiet and peaceful life.
As massive as this project is, everyone’s eyes are on Dubai Expo 2020, waiting for this mammoth to finish and open its gates to the world. Sure it’ll draw in more tourists. But it’ll put Dubai and the UAE on the world map like never before.