Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Prince Alwaleed: Richest Arab In The World!!

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud! The Prince! Richest Arab in the World! Developer of Kingdom Centre! Greatest Arab investor in world history! Worth over $20,000,000,000!! World Famous!!

I first learned of Prince Alwaleed, founder of Kingdom Holding, in 1997 when Forbes Magazine finally brought him into the eye of the public in their 'Annual Billionaire Issue.' Prior to this he was almost unknown to the world. I have been following his amazing life ever since. Here is his portfolio. He actually owns all or part of these major companies.


1. Al Azizia Commercial Investment Company
2. Apple Computer Inc.
3. Arab Palestinian Investment Company Ltd. (APIC)
4. Ballast Nedam N.V.
5. Canary Wharf Group pls
6. Citigroup
7. Consulting Clinics
8. Disneyland Resort Paris
9. eBay Inc.
10. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
11. Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza
12. Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris
13. Four Seasons Hotel London
14. Hewlett-Packard Company (HP)
15. International Financial Advisors K.S.C.C. (IFA)
16. Kingdom Hospital
17. Kingdom Agricultural Development Company (KADCO)
18. Kingdom Centre (covered in last post)
19. Kingdom City
20. Kingdom Holding Company
21. Kingdom Hotel Investments (KHI)
22. Kingdom Schools
23. Kingdom Zephyr Africa Management Company (KZAM)
24. Kodak Corporation
25. Kuwait Invest Holding Company
26. Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation (LBC)
27. Motorola
28. Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts
29. National Industrialisation Company
30. News Corporation
31. Palestine Development & Investment Ltd. (PADICO)
32. Pepsi Co.
33. Plaza Hotel New York
34. Priceline.com
35. Rotana Audiovisual
36. Saks Fifth Avenue
37. Samba Financial Group
38. The Procter & Gamble Company
39. The Savola Group
40. The Walt Disney Company
41. Time Warner Inc.

AMAZING!! The Prince also owns a Palace in Saudi Arabia that is as big as a hotel. His yacht, Kingdom 5KR, used to belong to Donald Trump, The Sultan of Brunei and Adnan Khashoggi - and he is having a bigger one built. He just bought himself his own private Airbus A380, which will be his new "Flying Palace" and go nice with the 747 he also owns!

Prince Alwaleed truly defines the word MEGA! At only 53 years of age there is a very good chance that he will one day become the Richest Man in the World! He never stops! In his own words:

"Unless you live at 150 miles per hour, the world will pass you by."

Here is a great 1 hour interview between Charlie Rose and The Prince:


This video is of The Prince's daughter, Reem, getting married:


This link takes you directly to Prince Alwaleed's holding company, Kingdom Holding:


Here is a great article about a day in The Prince's life. There is also a lot of other information on The Prince here:


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kingdom Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Kingdom Centre, located in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, was built by the richest Arab in the world-- Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. The Prince developed Kingdom Centre not only as the world headquarters for his business empire, but as an iconic symbol for all of Saudi Arabia. The design for Kingdom Centre took 3 years before the Prince was satisfied enough to begin construction. The result is fantastic! Kingdom Centre is the most spectacular Mega Development in all of Saudi Arabia!

According to the developer:

'Its strategic location coupled with unmatched distant visibility distinguishes Kingdom Centre from any other building in the Region. It has transformed the landscape around Riyadh's fastest-growing business and commercial district, crowning Olaya's emergence as the new centre of Riyadh, as its glittering icon rise from the district's highest and most strategic location; at the crossroads of King Fahad Expressway, Olaya Road and Orouba Road, a central location giving it unrivaled accessibility, visibility and prestige.'

Kingdom Centre has 4 major divisions:

1.) Business offices. Kingdom Centre offers the most modern and luxurious office space in all of Saudi Arabia. The offices are in the magnificent Kingdom Tower, the tallest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia. The office tower utilizes "intelligent building" for the highest level of technological sophistication. If I decide to open an office in Saudi, it will be here!

2.) Al Mamlaka. The huge three level mall located in Kingdom Centre. You will find all the luxury brands here, and the two "anchors" of the mall are Saks Fifth Avenue and Debenhams. A unique feature of the mall is Ladies Kingdom, an entire section in the mall where only ladies are allowed to enter. Even all the staff here are female.

3.) Apartments. A large variety of luxurious 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with plenty of upscale amenities. In my opinion, this is the place to live in Riyadh.

4.) The Four Seasons Riyadh at Kingdom Centre. A 5-Star Luxury Hotel that occupies 10 floors of Kingdom Tower. The Four Seasons offers 197 guest rooms and 52 suites, spa and fitness facilities, an outdoor pool, a full service business center and 5,500 square meters of function space and conference facilities.

Prince Alwaleed truly has created a Saudi Icon with Kingdom Centre! It is one of the finest and most well thought out Gulf mixed use Mega Projects I have ever seen. If you are in Riyadh you must see Kingdom Centre.

This YouTube video is of someone driving by Kingdom Tower. You will see just how huge it is compared to everything else around it:


Here is the Kingdom Centre website link:


Here are some good photos and more information about Kingdom Centre from Emporis:


This link takes you to the Four Seasons Riyadh at Kingdom Centre:


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Palm Trump International Hotel & Tower, Dubai

Donald Trump is a smart man! He is one of the richest men in the world, and one of the biggest developers of luxury real estate on the planet. Therefore it came as no surprise to me when Mr. Trump and Dubai Mega Developer Nakheel decided to team up and create the Palm Trump International Hotel and Resort. The Palm Trump will be located on Nakheel's landmark development, Palm Jumeirah-- it will act as an "anchor" for the project. By this I mean that Palm Trump is being located at the trunk of Palm Jumeirah, and will be the first Mega Structure one sees when entering the Palm Island.

Donald Trump had this to say about the project after he and Nakheel formed their partnership:

"I am delighted to invest, manage and sell this project on what is clearly the best location in Dubai. When I look at potential sites for real estate investment, I concentrate on 'location, location, location' and this is not only the best location in Dubai, but the whole of the Middle East.''

...and this is what Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of Nakheel had to say:

"With The Palm Jumeirah development, Nakheel is creating an icon for the twenty-first century, and it is entirely fitting that The Trump Organisation is a key player and investor in realising this vision."

The Palm Trump will cost an estimated $600Million and, like everything Donald Trump develops, it will be very, very luxurious. The Palm Trump will be a 48-storey mixed-use hotel and condo project with a 300 room 5-Star Hotel and 360 freehold residential condos. When the condos are not in use the owner will have the option to make their unit available through the hotel's rental program. Some of the amenities include exclusive access to a private beach and yacht club with tennis courts, gymnasium and fitness center, stylized pools and gardens, spa, fine restaurants, high end boutiques and much more.

The structure of Palm Trump is quite unique featuring a futuristic split linked tower design:

"The Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower will soar into the sky, its twin sets of glazed diamond shaped structures at the top of each tower creating a since of infinity as the glazed elements blur building and sky. In designing the property, we focused on creating a magnet for tourists and residents and a landmark icon on the Dubai skyline," said Donald Trump's son, Don Jr.

Palm International Hotel and Tower will be more than a big winner for both Donald Trump and Nakheel, it will in fact be a big winner for all of Dubai and the UAE. I am sure there will be many more Trump projects to come! Welcome to Dubai, Donald!

See pictures of the Palm Trump here at Emporis:


This link takes you to the Trump website:


This link takes you to the Palm Trump area of Nakheel:


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Noor Al Ain, Abu Dhabi

The first thing I said to myself when I saw the plans for Noor Al Ain was "WOW! ALDAR has done it again!" Noor Al Ain is another ALDAR masterpiece being built in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi. There is a lot of new development starting in Al Ain and it all looks great to me!

Noor Al Ain is a multi use Mega project that will contain a 300-room business hotel, department stores, cinemas, family entertainment facilities, luxury business offices, terraced gardens, parks, walkways, fine and family friendly dining, a health and fitness club, a waterpark and even a huge indoor beach! Noor Al Ain will include 7 towers: 6 residential towers with over 1300 apartments of all sizes and one hotel. There will also be enough parking for 8000 cars and 160,000 square meters of retail and entertainment space. The towers look incredible, very futuristic and cutting edge.

Noor Al Ain will be far more than a residential and business center with a mall. According to ALDAR CEO Ron Barrott, Noor Al Ain will be a unique travel destination:

"Noor Al Ain will be more of a destination than a mall, offering a retail mix and facilities for all budgets designed for the family."

...and according to Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman of ALDAR:

"The creation of this retail and leisure complex will form a new town center and will add great benefit for Al Ain residents to shop, rest and play, whilst also ensuring the region's special character and charm are retained. ALDAR has consulted with world-leading architects to ensure a tasteful development which enhances its surroundings, adding value without compromising the essence of Al Ain."

The architecture for Noor Al Ain is 'based on the popular styles of multi-function shopping areas found at Sydney's Darling Harbor and Brisbane's South Bank, with a modern twist of Arabia," according to ALDAR.

ALDAR continues to amaze me with the Mega Projects they create....and I think Noor Al Ain will amaze everyone who sees it!

Here is a great YouTube video (also in the sidebar of this site) featuring Noor Al Ain:


...and here is the link to the Noor Al Ain website:


Friday, January 25, 2008

The Mega Developers: ALDAR

Continuing with the Mega Developers series, today we will take a closer look at UAE development giant ALDAR of Abu Dhabi. Just established in 2004, ALDAR already has $71Billion in projects being developed, making them one of the biggest real estate developers in the world. ALDAR is run by Ahamed Ali Al Sayegh, Chairman and Ronald Stephen Barrott, CEO. ALDAR is owned by a number of Abu Dhabi financial institutions including:

- Mubadala Development Company
- Abu Dhabi Investment Company
- Abu Dhabi National Hotels Company
- National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels
- National Investor

According to the company:

'ALDAR was established primarily to create world-class real estate developments for the nation of Abu Dhabi, whilst providing a stable and profitable investment portfolio for all our investors. We are dedicated to achieving new standards of innovation, excellence and value in urban design and sustainable development. Our priority is the immediate and future benefit of Abu Dhabi and its residents.'

ALDAR has some of the most spectacular Mega Projects being developed I have ever seen. The company has the "No Limits" attitude of the Emirates and channels this into some of the finest real estate developments in history. Here is the complete list of ALDAR projects:

- Al Falah, UAE
- Al Gurm Resort, UAE
- Al Jimi Mall, UAE
- Al Raha Beach, UAE
- Central Market, UAE
- Mina Zayed Port, UAE
- Abu Dhabi Plaza - Astana, Kazakhstan
- Al Abraj Towers, UAE
- Al Bandar, UAE
- Al Dar Academies, UAE
- Al Dar for Healthcare Services, UAE
- Al Mamoura, UAE
- Al Muneera, UAE
- Coconut Island, UAE
- Crimea Resort, UAE
- Ferrari World Theme Park, UAE
- Noor Al Ain Project, UAE
- UAE F1 Circuit, UAE
- Yas Island, UAE

Any one of these Mega Projects is more than most real estate developers would ever even imagine building...and ALDAR has only been with us for 4 years!! Furthermore, they are planning more new Mega Projects as you read these words!


ALDAR Properties
P.O. Box 51133
Abu Dhabi,
United Arab Emirates
tel: +971 2 696 4444
fax: +971 2 641 7501
websites: http://aldar.com/

You can also find continuously updated ALDAR news, as well as a variety of YouTube videos of ALDAR Mega Projects, in the sidebar of this site.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

CITYSTARS, Cairo, Egypt

Today we will venture outside the Gulf Region and go to Cairo Egypt to cover a landmark Mega Project for this area, CITYSTARS. The largest Mega Project to date for Egypt, CITYSTARS is a gigantic mixed use complex constructed at a cost of $800Million. CITYSTARS is an Egyptian themed colossus and consists of 3 pyramids made partially of glass, surrounded by 11 towers, that make up the complex, and a separate building for the shopping mall/entertainment center.

From the developer, Golden Pyramids Plaza:

'CITYSTARS is the latest landmark in Cairo and consists of three international hotels including 1500 room accommodation options, shopping and entertainment center, a medical center, office and residential towers. The hotels are: InterContinental Citystars, the Holiday Inn and the Stars Suite Hotel. The InterContinental Citystars hotel provides guests and business travelers a choice of 19 versatile function rooms and banqueting halls. The hotels offer all types of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, casino, health clubs and swimming pools, located right next door to Stars Center, the largest retail and leisure complex in the Middle East and Europe. The center enjoys an overwhelming interior design which resembles the inside of a Pharaonic temple with huge pillars, colorful floor design, exotic wooden bridges and water features.'

Stars Center is fabulous! It contains 550 stores, an entire indoor theme park, a 21 screen cinema complex, the largest hypermarket in Egypt and a 20,000 sqm exhibition hall that is host to some of the largest conventions in the region. Stars Center is also a "smart" structure with LCD screens throughout, giving the latest store promotions and a variety of security features.

The office towers at CITYSTARS, called Stars Capital, have been "designed to international specifications providing the largest and most advanced multimedia infrastructure of its kind in the world. Forty-five thousand outlets are available in all the project, CISCO Systems multi-service network offering voice, data and video over the same infrastructure, IP telephony, all available terrestrial stations and CITYSTARS portal," according to the developer.

The 790 room 5-Star InterContinental Hotel at CITYSTARS offers its guests the highest quality luxury accommodations available anywhere in Egypt. What is very interesting here is that the hotel offers a CASINO! You will never find this in the UAE...at least not yet. A 330 room 4-Star Holiday Inn at CITYSTARS will provide a more affordable alternative to the InterContinental, while still providing high quality accommodations. An All Suites Luxury Hotel, to be called Stars Suite Hotel, will be the third hotel in the group and provides another 170 rooms to CITYSTARS.

The residential part of CITYSTARS, Stars Living, is a group of towers offering 266 apartments, duplexes and penthouses overlooking the three pyramids of CITYSTARS and offering unlimited views of the swimming pools, club house, and parks of CITYSTARS.

An ultra modern medical tower will also be built at CITYSTARS called Stars Care. This will give CITYSTARS visitors and residents, as well as the surrounding community, the finest health care available.

CITYSTARS is a prime example of how the Mega Project boom of the UAE/Gulf Region is spreading to other parts of the Middle East. This trend should and will continue!

Here are two YouTube videos of CITYSTARS:



This is the link to the CITYSTARS website:


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Omagine, Sultanate of Oman

Mark my words, The Sultanate of Oman is going to develop into one of the most desirable travel destinations in the world. One of the newest and most exciting of the Oman Mega Projects is Omagine. The developer of the project, Journey of Light, Inc. was given approval by the Government of Oman to proceed with the development of Omagine, a mixed use tourist - residential - business Mega Project with an estimated cost of $1.6Billion.

Omagine will be a completely integrated development combining entertainment, cultural, residential, business and leisure components into one dynamic whole. From the developer:

'The Omagine development site is located on an amazingly pristine coastal stretch of beachfront approximately 20 km. northwest of Muscat and only 4 km. from the Oman International Airport. The approximately 1,000,000 square meter property (approximately 245 acres) has one kilometer of beach frontage, but will be developed to have over 7 km. of water frontage - of which 1.8 km. will be beach-front.'

Omagine will offer:

- A magnificent theme park containing 7 pearl shaped buildings, each 60 feet in diameter. Each of these "pearls" in turn will have associated exhibition buildings. This pearl theme park, according to the developer, will be the "Landmark" of Omagine,

- A 5 Star Hotel Resort and another 4 Star Hotel have already signed on, and I am sure more will be coming aboard,

- For hosting live concerts there will be an open air amphitheater and stage. As I have noted in many previous posts, the Gulf will one day become the entertainment capital of the world and all the top performers will be on stage in this region,

- A large variety of shopping venues featuring high end brands as well as shops offering unique products of the Omani culture. Restaurants of all kinds will also be featured at Omagine,

- An enclosed harbor and canal area will offer a desirable waterfront lifestyle destination,

- Office buildings will be part of Omagine creating a very attractive business location for Omani and other Gulf companies,

- Numerous parks, gardens and walkways will be integrated into the project,

- A large variety of residential choices including apartments, villas, condos and town homes.

Omagine truly has it all! I am a big fan of Oman! The potential of this Sultanate is HUGE....and with Mega Projects like Omagine this great potential will be realized.

Here is the link to the Omagine website where you can learn more and view a video of the project:


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Addax Port, Reem Island, Abu Dhabi

Addax Port, like Shams Abu Dhabi, is another Mega Development being built on Reem Island, which is Abu Dhabi's largest and greatest Mega Project to date. Covering a total area of 8.7 million sq feet, and costing $1.8Billion, Addax Port will have its own private bay setting on Reem Island. The project will feature four uniquely designed residential towers and one commercial tower--offering a total of over 3000 luxury apartments and commercial offices.

Mr. Saaed Al Qahtani, CEO of Abu Dhabi Towers Investment Company - a subsidiary of Saudi owned Al Qahtani Group - stated the following about the Addax Port project:

"Addax Port has been conceptualized to become a home concentration of international enterprises and operations headquarters within Abu Dhabi’s vibrant business environment. We aim to provide local and international buyers with projects that answer the growing need for residential and commercial requirement in Abu Dhabi and the UAE at large. We believe that this project will boost the real estate and development industry in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We have already received positive interest from prospective investors, reflecting strong confidence and robust demand for development projects such as Addax Port."

...and why did Al Qahtani Group choose Abu Dhabi? "This is our first real estate venture in the UAE and we chose Abu Dhabi after undertaking a study. We forecast huge demand for commercial and residential property in Abu Dhabi over the next five years. Also, the economy of Abu Dhabi is robust and we are impressed by the vision of the rulers," stated Mr. Al Qahtani.

The Office Tower, being the only 100% commercial tower on Reem Island, will be the center for business on Reem Island and a business center for the Abu Dhabi mainland as well. According to the developer, "As well as an ultra modern facade, the interior design is the pinnacle of convenience and luxury with intelligent workspaces that may be utilized by both the new employee and the CEO."

The four residential towers; Park Tower, Marina Tower, Executive Tower and Light Tower, will offer ultra modern upscale living. These 50 storey high towers will feature a central shopping area, community facilities, landscaped gardens and a beautiful marina which will have extensive road systems and connection networks with the rest of Reem Island and Abu Dhabi offering ultimate accessibility for residents.

Addax Port on Reem Island, due to be finished by January 2010, is destined to become a major business and residential Abu Dhabi landmark.

This link takes you to the Addax Port website:


Monday, January 21, 2008

UAE Will Become Entertainment Capital Of The World

After taking a very close look at all the Mega Entertainment Projects being developed in the UAE, and all the new ones being announced, I can come to no other conclusion than the UAE is going to become the entertainment capital of the world. Lets take a look at some of the projects being developed so you can see exactly what I mean. Some of these projects I have not covered in detail yet, but I will in upcoming posts.

- Dubailand. The largest and most expensive entertainment project ever developed in world history. At an estimated cost of over $100Billion it has become the second largest real estate development in the world, surpassing City of Silk, Kuwait ($86.1Billion). Dubailand is twice the size of Disneyland and contains numerous entertainment and resort choices including: Falcon City, Dubai Sports City, Al Sahara Kingdom, Dubai Golf City, Al Sahara Desert Resort, City of Arabia, Dubai Outlet City, The Global Village, Universal Studios Dubailand...to name just a few.

- Bawadi. This gigantic Strip Entertainment Complex, which I covered in another post, is part of Dubailand and once completed will make the Las Vegas Strip look like a cheap strip mall by comparison. Among its many features will be Asia Asia, the largest hotel in the world.

- MGM Grand Abu Dhabi. A 150 acre Mega Entertainment Development that will bring the MGM Grand and a number of other themed Mega Resorts to Abu Dhabi. The best entertainers from all over the world will come here...all the top names. Huge luxury residential projects will also be located here.

- PKN Princess Resort, Ajman. This Mega Resort, which I covered in an earlier post, will bring "Las Vegas style entertainment to the Emirates," according to the developer. Like MGM Grand Abu Dhabi, the finest entertainers from around the world will perform here. A wide variety of residential and leisure projects will also be built.

- Warner Brothers Entertainment - Aldar - Abu Dhabi Media Company Deal. Entertainment giant Warner Brothers and Mega Developer Aldar together with Abu Dhabi Media Company have signed a huge deal to develop a theme park, film studio, multiplex cinema, hotel and media development center in Abu Dhabi.

- Sega/Emaar, Dubai. Sega and Emaar will be joining together to develop a number of Sega Game Themed indoor theme parks. These theme parks will be located all across the Middle East in malls owned by Emaar Malls Group. Most of these will be entire multi-floor entertainment complexes. The first project to be undertaken by Sega and Emaar will be a two level 76,000 sq ft indoor entertainment and gaming complex in The Dubai Mall, Emaar's flagship mall development and part of Downtown Burj Dubai.

- DreamWorks, Dubai. Just announced a few days ago, film giant DreamWorks and Mega Developer Tatweer, signed an agreement to develop a DreamWorks Theme Park in Dubailand. In addition, a DreamWorks themed hotel, and Dreamworks themed retail outlets and restaurants will be developed.

There are many, many more leisure and entertainment projects being developed in the UAE with numerous others being planned. It would not surprise me to see an announcement for a 'Disney Dubai' or 'Disney Middle East' deal very soon. Furthermore, a report just released entitled 'The Middle East Leisure Landscape 2020' disclosed that the UAE/Gulf Region is spending a staggering $1006Trillion on entertainment/leisure projects!! Nowhere else in the world even comes close to this. Not China. Not India. Not the USA.

I hope you can now see why I think the UAE will become the entertainment capital of the world. With their great "No Limits" attitude, and the huge amounts of money to back it up, the UAE shall emerge as the world's premier entertainment destination.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Mega Developers: Emaar (part 2)

Continuing from yesterday's post I will now give you the list of all of Emaar's real estate development projects:

- Arabian Ranches, UAE
- Boulder Hill, India
- Emaar Towers, UAE
- Emirates Hills, UAE
- Emirates Living, UAE
- Gold Souk Complex, UAE
- L'Ussailly, UAE
- Oukaimeden, Morocco
- Saphira, Morocco
- Tinja, Morocco
- Diamond Bar Island City,Pakistan
- Mixed Use Developent - Karachi, Pakistan
- Master Planned Communities - Islamabad, Pakistan
- Al Khobbar Lakes, Saudi Arabia
- Eighth Gate Project, Syria
- Amelkis II, Morocco
- Amelkis IIl, Morocco
- Bahia Bay, Morocco
- Hyderabad Convention Center, India
- 29 Burj Dubai Boulevard, UAE
- Al Sahab, UAE
- Armani Residences, UAE
- Bawadi Mixed Use Development, UAE
- Canyon Views, Pakistan
- Centro Towers, UAE
- Crescent Bay, Pakistan
- Downtown Burj Dubai, UAE
- Dubai Marina Towers, UAE
- Emaar Golf Homes, UAE
- Esplanade at Chennai, India
- Ghadeer Townhouses, UAE
- Healthcare City, Algeria
- King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia
- Majara, UAE
- Marina Al Qussor, Tunisia
- Marina Plaza, UAE
- Marina Promenade, UAE
- New Bali, Indonesia
- New City of Sidi Abdullah, Algeria
- Novotel Hyderabad, India
- Palm Drive at Gurgaon, India
- The Highlands, Pakistan
- The Lakeside, Turkey
- The Loft Towers, UAE
- The Old Town Island, UAE
- The Palm Springs at Gurgoan, India
- The Views at Mohali, India
- Tuscan Valley Houses, Turkey
- Zowara Abu Kemash Project, Libya

Emaar owns either all or part of the above list of developments. It is estimated that their total investment in these developments is $136.5Billion!

Amazing! All this accomplished in only 10 years! Without a doubt Emaar is the largest and greatest real estate developer in world history.

The Main Headquarters of Emaar is located at:

Emaar Business Park, Building 3
Dubai, UAE
tel: +971 4 367 3333
fax: +971 4 367 3000
website: http://emaar.com

Now you have a much better understanding of Emaar and the massive scope of the Number One Mega Developer in the world!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Mega Developers: Emaar (part 1)

In addition to covering the Mega Projects of the UAE/Gulf Region I am also going to cover the companies that develop these incredible projects: The Mega Developers. Number one in this group is Emaar of Dubai. They are the largest real estate developers in the world. Emaar is so big that rather than thinking of it as a company you can think of it as a COUNTRY! Emaar is GIGANTIC! To give you some idea of just how large Emaar really is I will give you this list of Emaar's Organization Structure:

- Emaar Dubai, UAE
- Emaar Education, UAE
- Emaar Healthcare Group, UAE
- Emaar Hospitality Group, UAE
- Emaar Hotels and Resorts, UAE
- Emaar International, UAE
- Emaar International Jordan
- Emaar Malls Group, UAE
- Emaar Misr for Development Company, Egypt
- Emaar Morocco Offshore
- Emaar Syria
- Hamptons International Holding, UK
- WL Homes, USA
- RSH Limited, Singapore
- Emaar Algeria
- Emaar Libya
- Emaar Tunisa
- Emaar Turkey
- Emaar APIC India
- Al Shamiyah Real Estate Development Company, Saudi Arabia
- Emaar Pakistan
- Emaar Lebanon
- Emaar Middle East
- Emaar GIGA Karachi Pakistan
- Emaar IGO Syria
- Emaar Properties, Canada
- Emaar Properties Gayrimenkul Gelistirme, Turkey
- Prestige Resorts Morocco
- Turner International Middle East, UAE
- Amlak Finance, UAE
- Emaar DHA Islamabad, Pakistan
- Emaar MGF Land, India
- Emaar Industries and Investments, UAE
- Emaar Financial Services, UAE
- Emrill Services, UAE
- Emaar the Economic City, Saudi Arabia
- Dubai Bank, UAE
- Dubai Banking Group, UAE
- Azem Properties, Azerbaidjan
- Budget Hotels, India
- Dubai Real Estate Institute, UAE
- Emaar Indonesia
- Emaar Palestine, Palestinian Territories
- Emaar Property Management Academy, UAE
- Emaar Saudi Arabia
- Emaar Utilities, UAE
- Leighton Construction, India

Emaar owns either all of part of the above! You really have to respect a company that has grown this big - and they have only been around since 1997! Impressive to say the least. Emaar is run by Mohammed Ali Abbar, Chairman and Vinod Kumar Gomber, CEO.

In my next post I will give you the list of every Mega Project Emaar is developing throughout the world.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Burj Al Alam - The World Tower, Dubai

Burj Al Alam Tower once completed will be another Dubai record breaker. The Al Alam, at 108 storeys and with an estimated cost of $1.1Billion, will be the tallest commercial building in the world! The tower is strategically designed to accentuate the view of Business Bay Creek on the South side and the Burj Dubai super-high rise tower on the North. Being developed by Fortune Group and financed by Amlak Finance, it will be the crowning glory of Dubai's Business Bay development.

Burj Al Alam is designed to resemble a dazzling crystal flower. From its 108 floors, 74 will be dedicated to offices and 27 storeys will be taken up by a 5-Star Hotel - the world's highest hotel - with 200 suites, and a group of 104 serviced apartments. The top of the tower will have a 6 storey crown made to look like the opening of a flower's petals. This crown will contain a sky garden, observation deck, roof top spa and exclusive club. Also located in the Al Alam will be a shopping mall featuring luxury designer brands and a variety of upscale restaurants. The entire project should be completed sometime in 2009.

The CEO of Amlak Finance had this to say about the project:

"Amlak is delighted to have partnered with Fortune Group to provide finance for this mammoth commercial project. The uniqueness of Burj Al Alam consists not just in its height, but also in its aesthetic totality. Together with Fortune Group’s global expertise and Amlak’s track record with real estate financing in the UAE, customers will be able to avail the best in realty investment.”

From the developers:

'Guests will marvel at the array of pleasures that make this prestigious landmark a one-of-a-kind destination. A place singularly designed for comfort and enjoyment, brightened by a spirit of easy elegance. Burj Al Alam is distinguished by its lavish decor and breathtaking surroundings - plus the caring, exceptional service of our handpicked staff. At every turn, Burj Al Alam magically combines the elements of nature, landscaping, architecture and fine art into a striking masterpiece.'

...and about the roof top spa:

'Experience pure joy and elaborate pampering at our exclusive roof top spa. It is here where your highest expectations will be met. At this luxurious oasis, personalized spa programs, services and treatments will combine to offer an array of well-being pursuits. Soothing massage therapies, skin and body treatments drawn from Eastern principles, expert hair and nail services, and signature treatments utilizing plants and minerals will characterize the range and variety of treatments and services offered at the Spa. And your body, mind and spirit will love you for it!'

Wow! Time to reserve my office space! Burj Al Alam is truly an amazing commercial tower! If you had your office here you would never wan't to go home! This Mega Project is another great step being taken by Dubai to become one of the major business locations of the world...and that is exactly what Dubai, and the entire UAE, is becoming!

Here is an excellent YouTube video of Burj Al Alam:


This link takes you to the Burj Al Alam website:


Thursday, January 17, 2008

UAQ Marina, Umm Al Quwain

UAQ Marina is the second of two major Mega Projects being developed in the Emirate of Umm Al Quwain (UAQ). Al Salam City, which I have already covered, is the other Mega Project going up in UAQ. Emaar has teamed up with the Government of UAQ to develop this project which should reach completion in about 4 years at an estimated cost of $3.3Billion. UAQ Marina is located in a coastal setting on the shore of Khor Al Beidah Lagoon and covers over 1,500 acres. This project, along with others, is designed to facilitate the transformation of UAQ into a premier Gulf destination.

According to Sheikh Abdullah Bin Rashid Al Mualla, UAQ Deputy Ruler:

"Umm Al Quwain has great potential to be a major player in the real estate market. It is with the support of developers like Emaar that the Emirate can take advantage of its natural attributes and create world class destinations like Umm Al Quwain Marina."

Mohamed Ali Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar, had this to say:

"There is huge potential in the UAE, much of which remains untapped. Dubai, inspired by HH General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has shown how much can be achieved. Umm Al Quwain, an unspoiled haven of natural beauty, offers immense possibilities and Emaar is poised to augment this, courtesy of the vision and commitment of the rulers of the Emirate. Our aim is to create a community of special neighbourhoods bordering an open stretch of water with views of the marina against a backdrop of the Arabian Gulf. The shoreline has been shaped to maximize the opportunity for waterfront development and recreation."

UAQ Marina will be divided into 5 districts:

- Townhomes. High quality gated residences located near the Marina and Town Center. Gardens, playgrounds, parks and other recreational facilities will all be included.

- Exclusive Island. The name says it all. This will be the most luxurious neighborhood in UAQ Marina creating a "dream lifestyle which may be aspired to by many, but will be lived only by a select few," according to Emaar. This community will be separated from all others by a private bridge, adding to its overall exclusivity. Sounds great to me!

- Villas. A wide variety of Mediterranean style villas with beautiful waterfront locations. Most will have easy access to the Town Center and Marina.

- Marina and Town Center. This is the center of the entire project. Here you will find both a spectacular crescent shaped Marina with a capacity of 600 berths, and the Town Center which will contain boutique hotels, shops, restaurants, cinemas, a yacht club and much more!

- Community Facilities. These will include: schools, clinics, fitness clubs, swimming pools, parks, walkways and just about everything else you could imagine to make life good!

I think UAQ Marina will be a great addition to UAQ and the entire Gulf Region. It is another master planned community from Emaar designed to transform the UAE into one of the most desired locations in the world.

Here is a link to the UAQ Marina website:


This link takes you to the UAQ Marina section of the Emaar website:


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bawadi: Largest Entertainment Development In The World, Dubai

Take the Las Vegas Strip, bring it about 300 years in the future...and then put it on steroids and you have Bawadi, a Super Mega Project which, according to the developer Tatweer - a member of Dubai Holding - will be the largest hospitality and leisure development IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! As usual, another Biggest In The World Mega Project for Dubai!

Bawadi is being developed as part of Dubai's overall plan to increase tourism to over 15 million by 2010. According to Saeed Al Muntafiq of Tatweer:

"The launch of this project effectively signals the next major phase in tourism development in Dubai as we look forward to the next eight years of major growth. Strategically this development represents a significant platform in the development of tourism in the Emirate, in terms of growing capacity, and will confirm Dubai as one of the world's premier destinations."

Bawadi will cost over $30Billion and will offer:

- HOTELS. A total of 51 hotels with a combined room capacity of over 60,000! All the great hotel brands of the world will come to Bawadi, which will have the highest concentration of hotels anywhere in the world. The hotels at Bawadi will be in a number of catagories including: hotel resorts, themed hotels, boutique hotels, shopping mall hotels, regular un-themed hotels and Bawadi hotels. All of these hotels will effectively double Dubai's hotel room capacity.

Some examples of themed hotels being developed by Tatweer at Bawadi include: the Desert Gate Hotels & Resorts, the Wahat Alkuttab Hotels, the Desert Beach Hotel & Resort, the Land of Arabia Hotels & Resorts, the Wild Wild West Hotels, the Africa World Hotels, the Europa Hotels & Resorts and the Pirate's Cove Hotels & Resorts.

- ENTERTAINMENT. There will be a huge variety of entertainment offerings at Bawadi, probably the single largest source of entertainment in the world! Las Vegas Style shows, concert halls, cinema from all over the world, outdoor sports facilities, museums, night clubs...just about anything you can imagine, and then some, will be here!

- CONVENTION CENTERS. Bawadi will be the region's largest convention center destination offering: hotel based convention centers, stand alone convention centers, exhibit halls, and many, many meeting areas and banquet rooms. Bawadi will be able to handle any convention of any size in the world!

- RETAIL. As you might imagine the spectrum of retail offerings available at Bawadi will be second to none! There will be a total of 40 million sq ft of retail space at Bawadi!! Retail will be broken down as follows: themed malls, mega malls, hotel shops, outdoor shops, boutique malls, underground malls, high end luxury malls - and much more. I think this will be the largest concentration of retail stores found anywhere on the planet.

Bawadi will make the Las Vegas Strip look like a cheap strip mall by comparison! Dubai never ceases to amaze me! One fabulous Mega Project after another!

Here are two good YouTube videos of Bawadi. Be prepared to be amazed:



This link takes you to the Bawadi website:


This link takes you to Tatweer, developers of Bawadi:


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bahrain Bay

I am a big fan of Bahrain. The Mega Projects being developed there are truly outstanding. What really strikes me is the architecture. It all looks like something from a time 200 years in the future! One of the best examples of this is the spectacular Bahrain Bay. A massive mixed use residential, business and commercial man made island Mega Project located just off of Manama, capital of Bahrain. Bahrain Bay will be linked to Manama by two bridges allowing for problem free transportation.

Bahrain Bay is being developed by Arcapita Bank and a group of Bahrain investors. A completely new Four Seasons Hotel will be the centerpiece of the development, and once finished will be the tallest building in Bahrain. The plans include 220 rooms, conference facilities and a private beach, all designed with the high standards of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. The Arcapita headquarters will be another landmark of Bahrain Bay, whose innovative design will provide over 18,000m2 of office space for the growing number of international businesses opening up in Bahrain.

Here is a quote about the project from Mr. Atif Abdulmalik, CEO of Arcapita:

"There are many aspects that make Bahrain Bay a particularly attractive opportunity. The demographic changes within Bahrain, its proximity to the rapidly growing Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and the location within Manama's prime northern corridor make this a compelling project. Added to these, the early commitment of the highly regarded Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the innovative architectural design and the experience and track record of each of the companies involved in the development are among the many other components that make this a unique proposition."

Bahrain Bay will be divided into 10 seperate zones each having unique aspects. For example:

- Zone 1 will comprise mostly marina residences with private boat accommodations that will have direct marina access,

- Zone 5 will be a mixed use zone, the centerpiece being two office towers,

- Zone 7 will be home to the North Tower, an office tower surrounded by parks and including retail shops and restaurants,

- Zone 8 will contain the ultra luxurious Raffles City Bahrain, featuring the finest apartments and penthouses, high end retail shops and some of the finest restaurants anywhere in the Gulf,

- Zone 9 will be the new World Headquarters of Arcapita,

- Zone 10 will be the Four Seasons Hotel, Bahrain. As I noted earlier, this hotel will in fact be the centerpiece of the entire Bahrain Bay development.

Bahrain Bay is truly spectacular! It is a Mega Project designed and planned to be an integral part of the ever growing Kingdom of Bahrain!

Here is a YouTube video of Bahrain Bay:


This is a link to the Bahrain Bay website:


...and here is the Arcapita website:


Monday, January 14, 2008

Ajman Marina

I continue to be very impressed with the Mega Projects being developed in Ajman. This Emirate is really starting to shine! As I noted in my earlier post about PKN Princess Resort, Ajman is in the midst of a real estate BOOM. Investors are plowing billions and billions of dollars into Ajman real estate projects, and for good reason...this Emirate has ENORMOUS potential! I feel that Ajman is very attractive for those wishing to invest in the Emirates. You can still get some great real estate deals, if you know what you are doing, that will appreciate greatly over the next 5 years and beyond.

One of the most important Ajman Mega Projects, and one of my favorites, is the Ajman Marina. The Saudi firm Tanmiyat is developing the Ajman Marina and it has been designed by HOK Planning Group. Total cost for the project is $3Billion with completion expected in 5 years. The plans I have seen of Ajman Marina look great!

According to Tanmiyat, Ajman Marina will contain:

- High and low rise Residential Towers,

- High and low rise Commercial Towers,

- District cooling plant,

- Educational areas,

- Civic areas, roads and infrastructure,

- Grand Mall and other retail areas,

- Iconic luxury hotel and furnished apartments,

- Boulevard: Food and beverage venues (high-end themed cafés and restaurants); Surrounds the Marina area, accommodates more than 40 food and beverage outlets and more than 40,000 sqm of retail areas,

- A huge Green Park to make the marina a fully complete city including amenities for all family members. The green area will give marina residents a place to breathe and spend quality time with their children,

- The Yacht Club: A Marina platform that includes docking spaces and boat servicing facilities. Offers more than 300 berths to cater sports activities in the marina and provides a chance for companies to offer recreational activities and marine services in addition to a variety of water sports.

Here are some of the competitive advantages Tanmiyat sees for Ajman Marina:

- Strategic one-of-a-kind location in Ajman Waterfront Marina,

- Investment opportunity to all nationalities - Free Hold Regulations,

- Business opportunity - Free Zone Regulations,

- Proximity to major cities in UAE and especially to Dubai,

- Tourism friendly regulations - Luxurious Hotel Tourism Events, hosts, hospitality and leisure prospects,

- Mixed Used Project.

Here is a quote from Ajman Marina General Manager, Azad Nouri:

"Elite investors and realty developers have shown a keen interest to invest in the Ajman Marina due to its wide mixture of attributes, such as the huge size of the project, the fact that it is multi-use, and the reputation of Tanmiyat. The Ajman Marina is expected to have a very positive impact on the real estate, commercial and tourism sectors of the Emirate. The project includes a yacht club and residential towers that boast a view of the marina and the shores, in addition to restaurants, entertainment facilities, a large shopping mall, hotels and offices."

Now do you see why I like Ajman Marina so much? It is fantastic! As I said earlier Ajman is TAKING OFF! Great potential exists in Ajman. Potential that is swiftly being realized!

This link will give you pictures and photos of Ajman Marina as well as more information:


Here is the link to Tanmiyat:


Here are three great articles about the Ajman real estate boom:




Sunday, January 13, 2008

City Of Silk (Madinat Al Hareer), Kuwait

City Of Silk stands out as one of the most amazing Mega Projects I have ever seen...and I have seen them all! First of all, at a cost of over $86Billion, this is the second largest real estate development in the world-- second only to King Abdullah Economic City of Saubi Arabia, which I have already covered. City Of Silk will be located in Subiya, Kuwait and once completed will house 700,000! City Of Silk will also be home to the world's tallest tower, the Burj Mubarak Al Kabir, which will soar 1001m up and by itself be a complete "city in the sky." But this tower is only a "small" part of the City Of Silk! The City will be a multi purpose economic, residential and commercial development and, according to Atkins Global, one of the developers of the project:

"The plans for Madinat Al Hareer involve significant new infrastructure, including a new seaport and an international airport, to support an integrated urban masterplan in the form of a series of centers dedicated to business, sports, culture, environment, media, industry, education and health. Adherence to high environmental standards and the principles of sustainability are themes that will drive the design and the result will be a spectacular new multi-purpose city, linked to Kuwait City by the new Jaber Al Ahmed bridge across Kuwait Bay. Halfway across the bay, the bridge will alight on two islands that will contain exclusive private developments."

Madinat Al Hareer will include many resorts, an entire desert preserve, a total of 28 lifestyle communities and a free zone. The city will also feature a business city and an area for forums and exhibitions, centers dedicated to sports, culture, environment, media, industry, education and health. It will include tourism centers, hotels, resorts, public gardens and spacious residential areas.

Here are a few of the cities that will be part of City Of Silk:

- Leisure City. Many resorts, luxury hotels, villages, and retreats all located along the waterfront. A gigantic sports complex and sports academy with a sports medicine center will also be housed here.

- Film and Media City. Television and film production companies will be located here all geared to delivering a new Arab movie and television era.

- Industrial City. A new city of industry to service Kuwait and other parts of the Gulf.

- Finance City. This will be the business center for City Of Silk. It will be host to international trade, finance and commerce. Finance City will also be a catalyst for business investment in the Middle East from all around the world.

- Culture City. Split into three precincts, the culture city will be where academic, diplomatic, and policy studies will be concentrated and where scholarly research, archaeological pursuits, art and historical museums will be located.

- Silk Road Free Zone. A free trade zone for investment and business development. Located next to a new international airport, it will connect to an expanded rail, air and road network extending far into Central Asia.

WOW! And I didn't even list all the different cities! City Of Silk will also contain 28 different lifestyle zones, each offering a unique theme such as: sports, film, research, business, art, technology and so on. Remember, City Of Silk will house over 700,000 residents!

City Of Silk is truly one of the most magnificent Mega Project developments in world history. It will bring enormous success to Kuwait and the entire Gulf Region. City Of Silk is a true Masterpiece!!

See City Of Silk for yourself with this great video:


Here is the City Of Silk Website link:


Here are 5 pictures of City Of Silk:


Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Pearl Qatar

The Pearl Qatar is yet another grand Island Mega Project of the Gulf. The Pearl, being developed by United Development Company (UDC) of Qatar, is a man made island being built at a cost of $2.5Billion off the coast of Doha, Qatar. The Pearl will have a Riviera style theme and is in fact being called The Arabian Riviera. Some of the features of The Pearl include:

- Riviera style living in luxury apartments , town homes, penthouses and villas,

- An international yachting hub with three marinas that will house 700 yachts,

- Three 5 star hotels,

- 2 million square feet of international retail shops, restaurants and entertainment venues of all kinds,

- A family destination with schools, parks, gardens, beaches and community facilities,

- Perfectly located just 20 kilometers from Doha's International airport.

From UDC, developer of The Pearl:

'UDC intends to make The Pearl-Qatar a unique living and cultural experience that integrates the best of the country's past and present. A primary objective is to incorporate a diversity of high quality living environments - from high-end luxurious villa living with private sandy beaches to fashionable apartment-style accommodation with sweeping sea views. Diversity and quality of accommodation is a key objective in the project's master planning.'

Upon completion The Pearl will house over 40,000 residents in 11 themed areas: Porto Arabia, Viva Bahriyah, Costa Malaz, Isola Dana, Abraj Quartiers, Perlita Villas, Giardino Villas, Quanat Quartier, Medina Centrale, Floresta Townhouses and The Villas.

Each themed area will present its own appeal. For example, Porto Arabia will be:

'The epitome of Riviera Arabia living, and home to The Pearl-Qatar’s main harbor, Porto Arabia combines elegant towers and townhouses in a spectacular location. The Island’s first phase is set around a colourful waterfront – La Croisette – a lively 2.5 kilometre pedestrianised concourse lined with fine shopping and dining, its architecture inspired by the best French, Italian and Spanish architecture.'

...and Viva Bahriya will be:

'Architecturally themed to echo the very best of the Maghreb – with Moroccan-styled town homes and apartments exuding Moorish elegance - it features a recreational central island crowned by a magnificent luxury hotel. A haven for watersports enthusiasts, whilst quieter than neighbouring precincts, there is never a dull moment at this enviable beachfront location.'

The Pearl, which should be completed by 2009, is Qatar's first freehold development and first international real estate project. It is the largest real estate venture in Qatar's history. Those who own property on The Pearl will be given Qatari residency visas and will be given unrestricted freehold titles to the property they own.

The Pearl Qatar is one of the most fabulous man made island Mega Projects of the Gulf and the greatest real estate venture in Qatar history. The Pearl will propel Qatar to further glory!

Here is a YouTube video featuring Sabban Towers, a development on The Pearl:


This is a very short YouTube video featuring a scale model of The Pearl:


Here is a link to The Pearl Qatar website:


This is a link to the UDC website, developers of The Pearl:


Friday, January 11, 2008

Shams Abu Dhabi, Reem Island

Shams Abu Dhabi is one of the most magnificent mixed use residential/business/entertainment Mega Projects in the entire UAE. Shams will be an entirely self contained community located on the gigantic Reem Island in Abu Dhabi, which I have previously posted about. Shams is being developed by Sorouh and will take up about 25% of Reem Island and is estimated to cost $7Billion. Shams will contain over 100 skyscrapers! Furthermore, there will be about 25,000 residential units that will one day house 60,000, so you can see how huge Shams Abu Dhabi will be!

Shams will be divided into different districts including:

- The Canals. Retail and entertainment offerings of all kinds will be housed along these canal walkways. Water taxis will also be featured here that will act as a delightful transportation medium for getting around Reem Island.

- Theatre District. According to Sorouh, this district will provide a 24/7 entertainment destination that will attract visitors from all over the region and beyond. From Sorouh: "Cinemas and theatres will afford entertainment and stimulation for residents and drive business into nearby cafes, clubs, restaurants, bistros and retail outlets as well as specialty boutiques and other venues."

- Marina District. Designed to be one of the most luxurious yachting havens in all of the Gulf, this oval shaped district will attract the yachting elite from all over the world. The Marina will also provide transportaion to mainland Abu Dhabi.

- Sky Tower. This is one of the most beautiful skyscrapers I have ever seen! Sky Tower is a 74-storey combined residential and commercial property that will be: "equipped with extensive and state-of-the-art sports and leisure facilities as well as a community oriented shopping mall, it offers residents the opportunity to develop both their professional and social lives. At just 5 minutes from the city centre, it is perfectly positioned for premier living and business in Abu Dhabi," according to Sorouh.

- The Gate District. Made up of 8 of the most amazing buildings anywhere in the UAE, The Gate District is an architectural masterpiece. It will be a mixed use district offering luxury high rise residences, state of the art office space, world class hotels and shopping malls.

You can now see how incredible Shams Abu Dhabi will be. I think it will become a premier UAE destination attracting people from all over the Middle East and from other parts of the world as well.

Here are two great YouTube videos (also located in the sidebar of this site) so you can see Shams Abu Dhabi for yourself:



Here is the link to the Shams Abu Dhabi section of the Sorouh website:


Thursday, January 10, 2008

50 Richest Arabs!!

Every year ArabianBusiness.com publishes a great list called the 50 Richest Arabs. The wealthiest and most powerful Arabs in the world are all on this list, and many are in one way or another involved in the UAE Mega Projects. This list makes for great reading and I think all of you will be interested in looking it over. Here are the Top 10 Wealthiest Arabs in the World taken from the ArabianBusiness.com Top 50 list:

1 . Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud ($29.5Billion)/Saudi Arabia/Banking & Finance
2 . The Al Rajhi Family ($24Billion)/Saudi Arabia/Banking & Finance
3 . The Hariri Family ($17.8Billion)/Lebanon/Technology
4 . Nasser Al Kharafi ($12Billion)/Kuwait/Retail
5 . Maan Al Sanea ($10Billion)/Saudi Arabia/Construction & Industry
6 . Mohammad Al Amoudi ($9.2Billion)/Saudi Arabia/Energy
7 . The Bin Laden Family ($8.5Billion)/Saudi Arabia/Construction & Industry
8 . Abdulaziz Al Ghurair ($8Billion)/UAE/Banking & Finance
9 . The Olayan Family ($7.2Billion)/Saudi Arabia/Banking & Finance
10 . The Sawiris Family ($6.2Billion)/Egypt/Technology

Here is the link to the entire 50 Richest Arabs list at ArabianBusiness.com:


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) wants to emulate Dubai! Who can blame them? So what do they do?? They develop their own gigantic island Mega Project to rival the Palm Islands of Dubai. This RAK Mega Project is called Al Marjan Island. In fact Al Marjan is made up of 5 man made islands, and yes Al Marjan will be just as impressive as the Palm Island developments of Dubai!

The 5 islands of Al Marjan will feature:

- Ten major hotels now onboard, with more to come.

- At least one marina complete with a marina village full of luxury condos and townhomes.

- A water themed park with attractions for the whole family.

- A variety of luxury resorts.

- A wide variety of villa residences including "floating villas."

- Shops and restaurants of all kinds as well as a variety of sports facilities.

- Business areas, etc., etc.

Directly from the developer of Al Marjan, Rakeen:

"Located 27 km southwest of Ras Al Khaimah town centre, the Al Marjan Island is the first man-made island project to be developed in the Emirate. The cluster of five coral-shaped islands extend over 2.7 million m2 and is worth over USD1.8 billion. Land reclamation is planned to finish by December 2007. Development completion is planned for June 2009.

The Al Marjan Island is designed to become a haven of luxurious living and an unparalleled leisure destination. This incredible development will comprise of waterfront homes, floating villas, hotels, resorts, sporting facilities and commercial areas."

Al Marjan Island looks amazing! It is right up there with the Palm Islands of Dubai! This Mega Project will do wonderful things for RAK and the rest of the Emirates.

Here is a direct link to Rakeen where you can see and read more about Al Marjan Island:


Monday, January 7, 2008

The Blue City, Oman

The Sultanate of Oman, like the UAE, is experiencing phenomenal growth. And like the UAE, Oman has some truly amazing Mega Projects of its own. The greatest of these is The Blue City (Al Madina Al Zarqa). The Blue City is a gigantic mixed use development that will contain residential, business, commercial, leisure/hotel/resort, educational and medical properties and projects. The Blue City will cover 14 square miles and is located 60 miles from Muscat, capital of Oman.

The Blue City is an entirely new development and when finished in 2020 will house over 250,000 residents making it one of the largest Mega Project developments in the Middle East. The project, being developed by Al Suwaidi Investment and Tourism Company, is expected to cost $20Billion.

The Blue City will have over 9.3 miles of beachfront area which will be home to many spectacular resorts and hotels. This feature of the project will also make Oman a primary tourist destination. Oman is already known as one of the most beautiful vacation destinations in the Middle East. The Blue City can only enhance the vacation appeal of Oman throughout the Middle East and the rest of the world.

The Blue City will be formed of clustered communities with schools, a university, stadiums, two PGA golf courses, a marina, hotels, a concert hall, shops of all kinds and souks. The waterfront will be developed as luxury resorts. The architecture of The Blue City is a traditional Omani style designed to appeal to tourists as well. Foster + Partners of London have been hired as the official architects of the project.

Here is a quote from Foster + Partners relating to the many residential offerings of The Blue City:

"Each residential community will have its own identity. The apartment buildings will offer residents their own private courtyard and discreet car-parking. The material palette will comprise locally sourced stone and timber. Borrowing from the indigenous architectural heritage, the design is small scale, compact and organic. It is inherently sustainable through passive means, such as natural ventilation, careful orientation – to minimise direct sunlight and maximise ventilation - and the manipulation of the thermal mass of the buildings."

The Blue City is a truly grand Mega Project that will be the shining star of Oman and a spectacular addition to the Middle East!

Here is the link to The Blue City area of the Foster + Partners website. It contains many excellent pictures of the project:


...and here is the link to The Blue City website:


Saturday, January 5, 2008

King Abdullah Economic City, Saudi Arabia. Biggest Mega Project in the World!

Saudi Arabia, like the UAE, is experiencing a massive construction boom. Saudi is investing a staggering $637Billion in project development. Their biggest Mega Project is King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) which is, in fact, the BIGGEST MEGA PROJECT IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!! The total cost of KAEC is estimated at $120Billion! Even the UAE can't beat this one. However the UAE is still involved here. How come? Beacause KAEC is being developed by none other than Emaar of Dubai! Dubai has taken a very big interest in Saudi development and is investing heavily in this region of the Gulf.

KAEC is so huge that when finally completed it will house 2,000,000 residents and create 1,000,000 jobs. KAEC will contain 6 distinctive areas:

1. Sea Port

2. Industrial Zone

3. Central Business District made up of commercial businesses, hotels, retail stores and a financial island

4. Resort Zone

5. Educational Zone

6. Residential Communities

Some of the facilities will include parks, recreational areas, healthcare centers, a huge stadium, beach boardwalks, lagoons, monorails, skywalks, FIVE YACHT CLUBS, etc., etc.

KAEC is so big and so fantastic It may end up being the number one Middle East Mega Project...FOREVER! However knowing the UAE as I do I can't help but wonder if one of the big UAE developers already has plans to outdo KAEC!

Here are some YouTube videos of KAEC:



Here is a great photo of a scale model of KAEC:

(note that there is a magnification button in the lower right hand corner of this pic)

This is a link to the KAEC website:


This link is to Entaj, which is a kind of industrial version of Silicon Valley that will be part of KAEC:


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Dubai Marina

The Dubai Marina is one of the premier Mega Projects being developed by Emaar, the largest real estate developer in the world. Dubai Marina is one of the world's largest master planned waterfront developments and will cover an area of over 50 million sq ft, contain more than 200 apartment towers and other luxury residences, and once complete be home to over 70,000! It is being called the Emirate's version of the French Riviera.

Amer Belshelat of Emaar had this to say about Dubai Marina:

"It is only once you step within the community that you realise it is a waterfront city within the city with stores, entertainment, boat club, restaurants, endless amenities, a two-million dollar musical fountain- the only one of its kind in the country- and much more."

One of the many features of Dubai Marina is the Marina Walk, an upscale promenade featuring many fine dining restaurants and some of the most exclusive shops in the world. As Mr. Belshelat of Emaar states:

"Dubai Marina is all about lifestyle, this yachters paradise has been designed for luxurious living and relaxing. It is a place where people can refresh themselves after a hard days work."


"Let me try to sum up Dubai Marina: Beautiful promenade, awesome sunsets, incredible ocean-front real estate and super fun restaurants. This place is where charm, variety and convenience truly come together. Everything you need for carefree daily living is near at hand, right within your neighbourhood. It's the urban waterfront lifestyle you've dreamed about."

Wow! Dubai Marina is undoubtedly the ultimate in waterfront living in the Middle East. In fact, I think this Mega Project will offer the best waterfront living anywhere in the world. Emaar is once again doing a superlative job with the development of Dubai Marina.

There are several YouTube videos of Dubai Marina in the sidebar of this site. Here is the Dubai Marina website link:


This link takes you directly to the Dubai Marina section of the Emaar website:


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Mina Al Fajer Resort, Fujairah

Mina Al Fajer Resort is a new $200Million Mega Project being developed by Mina Al Fajer Real Estate LLC and will be located in the Emirate of Fujairah. The resort will be built in a beautiful area of the Hajar Mountains exactly where the sea and mountains meet. According to Mr. Abdulrahman Al Awar, Director of Development:

"The philosophy was to develop a property that will preserve the unique charm and heritage of the location while providing a contemporary and luxurious twist. The result is a spectacular mountain resort with a superb sea-front that will include a marina, 48 mountain villas, 13 solarium villas, and 80 marina apartments, in addition to a five-star hotel to be managed by Fairmont."

The overall vision for the project is to "maintain strong connections between the water, sand, mountain, sun and the sky - resonating clearly with the Emirate's topography," continued Mr. Al Awar.

Mina Al Fajeer Resort is the first major luxury resort to be developed in Fujairah. More are expected to follow as this Emirate is undergoing a real estate development boom. Beacause of the importance of this project to Fujairah:

"We have commissioned renowned designer Xavier Bole to create the entire concept of the property and Erga Progress to design and help us supervise the construction and implementation of the project. These are some of the biggest and most prestigious names in the industry; their experience and expertise will help ensure the project is built in accordance to world-class quality standards," added Mr. Al Awar.

The completion date for Mina Al Fajer Resort is scheduled for the end of 2009. This UAE Mega Project will place the Emirate of Fujairah on the fast track to becoming a world class destination.

Here is the link to Mina Al Fajer where you can find out more:


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