Dubai’s Pearl Jumeirah Nears Completion

Pearl Jumeirah, Dubai, in September 2011. / Image courtesy Meraas.

If you had USD $100 billion to design luxury living, what would you create?

Meraas, a Dubai-based government-owned developer, was tasked with that assignment, and unveiled dizzying plans for Jumeirah Gardens — villas, towers and hotels on reclaimed islands off of Jumeirah Beach — at the 2008 Cityscape Dubai, according to The National.

Four years later, the project has been downscaled but the centerpiece of the Pearl Jumeirah remains. The reclaimed island is 8.3 million square feet, with 300 residential plots, plus “a unique 2 km promenade, central common plaza, two open beaches and a waterfront beach hotel,” according to a company brochure.

Master plan for the Pearl Jumeirah, Dubai. / Image courtesy Meraas.

From the air it looks like a luxury Levittown, with suburban-style cul-de-sacs, but the artist renditions of life on the ground looks like a fairy tale: a family crossing a stone bridge to a gazebo filled with flowers, huge windows facing the downtown with the Burj Khalifa in the background, and palm trees lining the beachfront promenade along low-slung villas. In the heart is a community park. Everything looks fairly walkable.

Artist’s rendition of the beachfront promenade on the Pearl Jumeirah, Dubai. / Image courtesy Meraas.

So who has the money to buy these villas? Apparently a lot of people — in 2010, about half the buildings were sold, mostly to Emirati buyers, but also to wealthier nationalities from the Middle East and Asia, per The National.

Meraas is tight-lipped on when residents will move in, but in 2010 The National said it could be later this year.


Abu Dhabi: Curbing landfill waste and dumping, Dubai’s 2020 Master Plan, New Cruise Ship Terminal

With the grim news that the GCC is very polluted (Construction Week) due to oil drilling and construction, it’s perhaps no surprise that the UAE is looking to drastically reduce its waste and improve sustainability.

There have been 23 cases of illegal dumping in past three months. / Image via Construction Week.

The country hopes to divert 90 percent of its waste in six years , and has cut down on illegal dumping by smartly placing GPS tags on dump trucks. (Construction Week)

Despite there being $185 billion in GCC road projects, mass transit investment does seem to be catching on, spurred by Dubai’s metro and plans to expand it for their 2020 Master Plan. (Construction Week) By 2020, Dubai’s population is expected to grow from 2 million to 3 million. (DSC [PDF])

Why so much focus on transit? Perhaps because Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council apparently has a large staff from transit-friendly cities of Seattle and Vancouver. (Vancouver Sun) Cairo could learn from this, as the city’s streets are at quadruple capacity. (World Architecture News)

Abu Dhabi's new cruise ship terminal. / Image via Abu Dhabi Week.

Elsewhere in the region…
Abu Dhabi is getting a new cruise ship terminal. (ADW)

Doha, Qatar’s $1.4 billion Festival City — for the 2022 World Cup — is starting construction. (Construction Week). The city is also getting a new port, slated for 2016.

Oman quietly is improving its infrastructure — ports, roads, rail and hospitals…with more resorts likely coming. (Construction Week)