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A whole new world

A whole new world

30/06/2007 | Channel: Business

Dubai World Central is a new city unlike any other; a new air transport hub that will transform the Middle East into one of the most powerful global centres for logistics, tourism and commerce

Dubai, the commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates, is one of the most affluent areas in the Middle East, and has the most successful non oil-dependent economy within the Arab world. Dubai currently has construction work taking place amounting to over $100 billion, and it is considered one of the most attractive zones  for commercial, business and tourist development in the world.

It is in this environment that plans for the Dubai World Central (DWC) project at Jebel Ali have been born, with phase one work underway in 2007. Over $1.5 billion is already being invested in phase one of the project. DWC is the largest multi-billion dollar mega-development in the Gulf, and consists of six different components - the Dubai World Central International Airport (JXB), Dubai Logistics City (DLC), DWC Commercial City, DWC Residential City, DWC Aviation City and DWC Golf Resort.

The venture is representational of Dubai's phenomenal growth, and as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai states: "We have to make history and approach the future with steady steps, not wait for the future to come to us."

The first phase of construction is currently taking place, beginning with the design and construction of JXB, aiming to be the world's largest airport. Upon completion, it is estimated that JXB will tend to 120-150 million passengers, and 12 million tonnes of cargo every year, making it ten times larger than Dubai International Airport and Dubai Cargo Village combined together. The construction of phase one of the airport has an estimated cost of $8.1 billion, and is home to six parallel runways, each of which is 4.5 kilometres in length, and capable of handling all new generation aircraft including the Airbus A380. Two of these runways are built to CAT-III standards capable of handling instrument landing.

Alongside development of the airport, phase one construction also entails building JXB's cargo terminal and $500 million Dubai Logistics City's Office Park and headquarters, complete with ten office buildings. JXB will also incorporate an executive jet centre, as announced at the end of 2006 by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, Dubai Aviation Corporation - Dubai World Central, Government of Dubai: "The Executive Jet Centre will be one of the biggest in the world in terms of expected traffic anticipated to utilise the facility and the land area allocated for this development. When complete the centre will lead the region in terms of VIP and executive passenger handling and compete with worldwide business aviation facilities. It will be outstanding from an architectural perspective taking into account passenger comfort and privacy and, at the same time, ensuring airport security is maintained."

Sheikh Ahmed outlines the plan for DWC's expansion: “With Dubai World Central we are taking the future into our own hands. Dubai World Central will be a global brand known for its superb facilities and infrastructure and for the boost it will give to local and regional economies and downstream to billions of consumers. It is geography that makes this vision possible with huge land availability in a prime location. The long-term benefits of Dubai World Central to the UAE, GCC and the wider region are phenomenal and will place this emirate firmly in pole position for regional logistics, tourism and commerce. Dubai World Central will not only cater to economic growth but will be a strong catalyst for our next wave of development as a truly global commercial, trade and logistics hub.”

DWC's logistics hub - spread over 25 square kilometres - will supply a regional market of two billion people and, handle cargo within 16 terminals. Also contained within the venture is a residential area to be developed in five phases, covering 8.6 square kilometres. Khalid bin Harib, CEO of Real Estate for DWC comments on the land acquisition process: "We have almost 800 hectares of land set aside for development in Residential City. By effectively splitting Residential City into three sections, we have been able to establish a scale, or range, of prices for plots that can be sold to investors wishing to focus on a particular aspect of development, be it commercial or residential.”

Also planned within DWC is a commercial city, to be developed in five phases, and covering 14.53 million sq metres. This will act as the financial and business hub to the venture, and will consist of 850 towers, averaging 75 storeys overall. It is estimated that all business within the zone will employ around 130,000 people. In turn, the commercial city will also offer super-deluxe homes and luxury villas, as well as 25 hotels ranging from three-star to deluxe.

The DWC venture is one of the most exciting construction projects in the Middle East today, and highlights Dubai's international ambitions and scope. Sheikh Ahmed summarises the intended feel of the DWC: “This will be a 'smart city' - a beacon of future living and working environments. With our smart city approach we are demonstrating our commitment to delivering a leading-edge proposition which will further push the urban aviation development boundaries.”