Dubai has given the green light to yet another outrageous building project – a 4,000-acre complex of towers inspired by characters from Arabian Nights, including Aladdin and Sinbad the Sailor. “Aladdin City” will feature six towers, some designed to resemble Aladdin’s magic lamp, linked by air-conditioned bridges with moving walkways.
“There are many things that we have to look into before we start the project and so we are in talks with other government institutions such as Dubai Trade Centre and other departments that are near to that area,” said Abdulla Mohammed Rafia, Assistant Director General for Engineering and Planning Sector, DM.
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Construction will begin next year, and although the total cost has yet to be revealed, Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, told the Future of Dubai website that it had the funds to finance the project. The towers will reach heights of 34, 26 and 25 storeys, and will include offices, at least one hotel, and parking for 900 cars.
Mr Lootah has previously said that Aladdin City’s towers will be “icons of legends of the past with a touch of beauty and tourism characteristic of the city.” Although located in the historic Dubai Creek area, where wooden sailing boats still cross the river mouth and traders exchange goods in the souks, the new development is outside the area that is currently bidding for World Heritage status from Unesco.
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The complex is the latest in a string of ambitious building projects in Dubai. The Dubai Frame, an 150-metre-high, 93-metre-wide structure similar to the Grande Arche de la Defense in Paris, is scheduled to open in the second half of this year. Dubai Municipality, the emirate’s city council, is also overseeing construction of the Desert Rose, which is expected to cost 30 billion Emirati dirhams (£5.3bn). It will be a “sustainable” satellite city with housing for 160,000 people. Building work is planned to begin next year, according to ArabianBusiness.com. The Dubai Eye, which has been billed as the world’s largest ferris wheel, was due to open in 2015, according to the Daily Mail, but now has a more likely completion date of 2018.