Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Dubai World Islands: landmarks of ingenuity
Following another great article from my favorite urban culturist about Islands and their roles in cultures and literature I was dragged to dig a bit further into the subject of the Dubai World Islands. Watching the accompanied 3D simulation movie I was first under the impression this megalomaniac project is yet in design stages and that nothing is really there. I was very wrong. This thing is already there. The first island is already there owned by Formula 1 race car driver Michael Schumacher.
According to Mark Amherst from privateislandsblog.com, probably the most popular blog on the internet dedicated to private islands, the $7 million dollar island seen below was given to Schumacher by Dubai’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Moktoum. Other celebrities who have purchased property there include Rod Stewart who spent $3 3 million to buy the island of Great Britain. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2008.
Thanks to Google Earth and googlesightseeing.com we can keep an eye on this project ourselves (get the kml file here). Yet, there is also an official project website at http://www.theworld.ae where the company behind it named Nakheel (Arabic: نخيل palms or palm trees) Properties offers some official movie clips that just showed up on YouTube for us to watch.
Nakheel describe themselves as "Dubai’s premier development company" that "has changed the very texture of the city with landmarks of ingenuity, distinctive residential communities, unique retail offerings and unprecedented investment opportunities." Regardless of what you we think of the environmental and sociological aspects of this project, I think the later statement is pretty much accurate. Judging based on the buzz around this and the fact its really happening, I think they are also doing a pretty good marketing job. More about Nakheel Properties in this Wikipedia page. Official website at www.nakheel.ae