"BRETT SIEGEL IS ONE OF THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE PEOPLE IN MIDDLE EAST REAL ESTATE. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING UAE MEGA PROJECTS." Khizer Schon Husain, VP, Schon Properties, Dubai

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Mega Developers: Sorouh

Sorouh is Abu Dhabi's second largest real estate development company (the largest is ALDAR). Sorouh was established in June, 2005 with an overall purpose of turning Abu Dhabi into a leading worldwide business, leisure and lifestyle destination through real estate development. The company is run by Saeed Eid Al Ghafli, Chairman and Mounir D Haidar, CEO. Sorouh has a portfolio of some of the finest Mega Projects in all of the Gulf. According to the company:

'We have established a prosperous national company that will continue to create new employment opportunities and will help to ensure overall progress and economic development of the country. We see ourselves as a professionally competent and ambitious national company working closely with the ground realities prevalent in the market to deliver wisely balanced developments on carefully selected sites for the benefit of all our stakeholders.

'Our projects utilize innovative design, state-of-the-art technology and the latest construction techniques. Some of the world’s best architects and engineers such as Arquitectonica, Carol R Johnson Associates and RW Armstrong have joined forces with us to create inspiring yet practical living spaces that truly bring life in perfect balance.'

The Sorouh Mega Projects:

- Shams Abu Dhabi
- Sky Tower
- The Gate District
- Central Park
- Tala Tower
- Al Ghadeer
- Khalidiya Residential Village
- Golf Gardens
- Saraya Abu Dhabi
- Oyoun Village
- Sas Al Nakhl Phase 1
- Sas Al Nakhl Phase 2
- Abu Dhabi Aviation Residential Complex
- Abu Dhabi Towers
- Al Mashtal
- Al Shamkha
- Mangrove Place
- Movenpick Resort and Spa Al Ain
- Bab Al Bahr
- Nagfa Hotel and Mall
- Real Maroc
- Sister Tower

As you can see Sorouh has an incredible portfolio. Shams Abu Dhabi, located on Reem Island, is the largest of all the Sorouh projects. Shams will contain 100 skyscrapers, 22,000 residential units, and 1 million square meters of landscaped parks and gardens. The entrance of Shams Abu Dhabi will be The Gate District, a cluster of 8 enormous residential, business and retail towers. Other developments in Shams include the 74-storey Sky Tower, the 5 million square foot Abu Dhabi Towers and the 12 tower Central Park project.

Sorouh represents yet another of the great UAE Mega Developers. The company is a leader in Gulf real estate development, and we should all look forward to seeing more and more Mega Projects being developed by Sorouh!

Contact:

Sorouh
Abu Dhabi Mall
East Tower, 5th Floor
P.O. Box 93666
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Tel: +971 2-444-0006
Fax: +971 2-444-0066
Email: info@sorouh.com
Website: http://www.sorouh.com/

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Falcon City Of Wonders, Dubai

Falcon City Of Wonders, which will be located in Dubailand and cost an estimated $2.5Billion to build, is the brainchild of Dubai businessman Salem Al Moosa. In his own words:

"This project is 100% my concept. I started thinking about what I could construct which could be built in a lot of different shapes, and what shapes would be feasible. I wanted to pay homage to the civilization of mankind. I wanted to develop icons and celebrate the heritage, spirit and pride of the UAE. I wanted to make a tourist attraction. We already have desert, water, sun. I didn't want people to come to Dubai and just go to the beach. I want them to have a tourist experience unlike any other place."

Falcon City will be shaped like a gigantic falcon and feature different themed attractions and areas based on the Wonders Of The World. Falcon City will feature:

> Dubai Grand Pyramid. This structure will be the biggest pyramid ever built! It will be a mixed use project that will offer offices, residences and a variety of recreational venues. Two other smaller pyramids will house a Falcon City management facility and a commercial facility,

> Dubai Hanging Gardens Of Babaylon. This structure will house eco-friendly residences, a large variety of restaurants and a beautiful garden overlooking the Falcon City Mall,

> The Great Wall. A gigantic wall built to resemble the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall features one of the largest jogging tracks ever built. The wall will: 'also act as a buffer zone between the theme park and the residential area. Therefore when adrenalin rush addicts are having fun ridding the double looped rollercoaster’s and they are having fun, the noise generated will be blocked by the high wall and as a result people resting at home will not feel or get bothered by them,' according to the developers,

> Dubai Tower Of Pisa. An exact replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy,

> Dubai Eiffel Tower. This replica of the Eiffel Tower in Paris will be the center of the commercial sector of the entire project. It will be surrounded by residences, a shopping arcade, entertainment areas, landscaped parks and gardens,

> Dubai Taj Mahal. This will be an incredible 5-Star hotel designed to look exactly like the Taj Mahal of India! It will be one of the finest hotels in all of Dubailand,

> Town Of Venice. This will be a waterfront development that will offer gondola rides, open air cafes, and a large number of shops. Town of Venice will be the most "romantic" place in Falcon City,

> Dubai Lighthouse. This lighthouse is designed to resemble the huge Pharos of Alexandria lighthouse built in the 3rd century BC on the island of Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt. At that time it was considered one of the 7 wonders of the world, and was the tallest structure on Earth. The Dubai Lighthouse will act as a landmark for Falcon City and also contain residences, retail shops, as well as commercial and recreational offerings,

> The Villas. These are upscale residences located in the "wings of the falcon" area of the project. The villas will be offered in 4 different design themes: Aegean, Andalusian, New World and Santa Fe,

> Falcon City Theme Park. Being designed as a: 'tourism, hospitality, entertainment, leisure and retail mega project. It will cover an area of 4 million square feet (366 Thousand square meters). The Theme Park is being built to make it the most ambitious tourist destination ever created and is being created to appeal to the widest audience of tourists, covering all age groups, nationalities and activities,' according to the developer,

> Falcon City Mall. Located in the Falcon Head area of the project, the mall will feature a large variety of brands from all over the world,

> Falcon City Towers. A development made up of 24 Towers-- some residential, some business and some will be hotels. At the center of this development will be a 1 million square foot park designed to look like New York City's Central Park!

"Falcon City of Wonders is one of the most ambitious projects to come up in the city of Dubai, and will significantly enhance the city's appeal as a tourist hub. By capturing the spirit of ancient civilizations and recreating the architectural marvels of the world, at the same time combining it with modern facilities, the project offers a truly unique experience to visitors," said Saeed Al Muntafiq, Director General of Dubai Development and Investment Authority.

WOW! Talk about thinking BIG! Falcon City Of Wonders is truly amazing and is destined to become one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world!

Here is a YouTube video of Falcon City:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TEYhIJXFbRQ&feature=related

This link takes you to the Falcon City website:

http://www.falconcity.com/

This link takes you to the website of Salem Ahmad Al Moosa Enterprises, developers of Falcon City:

http://www.almoosa.com/

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Russia Challenges UAE With Crystal Island & Federation Island Mega Projects!

This really surprised me!! I didn't think the UAE/Gulf Region would ever see any real competition to the spectacular Mega Projects being built there. Then I heard about The Crystal Island and The Federation Island Mega Projects that Russia plans to build!

Crystal Island will be the biggest building in the entire world-- so massive that it will house an ENTIRE CITY within its walls! The architects for this Mega Project are Foster + Partners of London, the same architects who designed The Blue City, Oman.

Federation Island is a gigantic man-made island Mega Project that, once completed, will resemble a small version of Russia. I guess they got the idea from Nakheel, who is building The World Islands, which resemble a small version of the entire world. Federation Island is being developed by M Industries of Russia and designed by Erick van Egeraat Associated Architects.

CRYSTAL ISLAND:

Crystal Island will have four times the floor space of the Pentagon in Washington D.C., more floor space than any other structure on Earth....this includes any structure in the UAE. The building will stretch almost 1,500 feet into the sky and will be a multi-use structure. Crystal Island will include 900 apartments, 3,000 hotel rooms, business offices, a school for 500 students, a movie theater, a museum, a sports complex and loads of shops and restaurants....an entire city....all in one building!

Crystal Island is located in Moscow only 7.5km from the Kremlin. Like so many of the incredible UAE Mega Projects, Crystal Island is a truly amazing looking structure. Here is a quote from Norman Foster of Foster + Partners:

"Crystal Island is one of the world’s most ambitious building projects and it represents a milestone in the 40 year history of the practice. It is the largest single building in the world, creating a year-round destination for Moscow and a sustainable, dynamic new urban quarter. It is a paradigm of compact, mixed-use, sustainable city planning, with an innovative energy strategy and ‘smart’ skin which buffers against climate extremes."

FEDERATION ISLAND:

Federation Island is being developed in the Black Sea off of Sochi, Russia, at a cost of $6.2Billion and will eventually house an estimated 25,000 residents. Sochi is where the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held and Federation Island is scheduled to be finished in time for this event. Here is part of a press release about Federation Island from Erick van Egeraat Associated Architects:

'The archipelago offers residences, hotels, cultural, leisure and recreational facilities. Federation Island will be built in the shape of the Russian Federation and reflects the country’s major geographical features. The Russian river network is used as a reference for the island’s waterlines; the big mountains inspire the island relief.

'Federation Island comprises seven main, more than a dozen private and three breakwater islands. Sandy beaches, dunes, grasslands, bushes, small forests and riverside offer enough variety for accommodation ranging from beach residences, luxury villas and apartments to dune, river and cliff houses.'

It looks like the rest of the world is finally starting to realize the huge potential of developing spectacular Mega Projects like those being built in the UAE/Gulf Region. The Gulf has such a lead, and is developing so many incredible Mega Projects, that I do not think any other region on Earth will even come close to developing what is being built in the Gulf. In my opinion, the Gulf will always be the world leader in Mega Project development....

....and even though The Crystal Island is touted as being the largest building ever built, I would guess that RIGHT NOW in some office at Emaar, or Nakheel, or one of the other great UAE Mega Developers.....they are planning to build something even BIGGER!!

This link takes you to The Crystal Island section of the Foster + Partners website, where you can see The Crystal Island for yourself:

http://www.fosterandpartners.com/News/324/Default.aspx

This link takes you to The Federation Island website:

http://federationisland.com/

...and this link takes you to The Federation Island section of the Erik van Egeraat website:

http://www.eea-architects.com/news/federationisland.shtml

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saraya Islands, Ras Al Khaimah

The Gulf is rapidly expanding with the most fantastic Island Mega Projects ever developed: The Palm Islands, Reem Island, The Pearl Qatar, Durrat Al Bahrain, and many others. The Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah has two Island Mega Projects being developed: Al Marjan Island - which I have already covered in a previous post - and Saraya Islands which I will now cover.

Saraya Islands, being developed by Saraya Holdings, will be a beautiful residential/tourist destination in a fabulous location of RAK situated between the Arabian Gulf and the Hajjar Mountains. This setting reminds me of Santa Barbara, California which is also located between the sea and mountains. What is especially nice about Saraya is that even though the islands are in a very pristine area, they are just minutes from RAK International Airport, and Dubai is also close by, adding further value to this development.

The Saraya Islands, will contain four distinct islands and a mainland village, the Saraya Village. The four islands are referred to as: "Al-Marsa", "Al-Boum", "Al-Sahab", and "Al-Wahat." Saraya Islands will occupy a 5.5 km long natural island forming a lagoon framed by the islands and its corresponding mainland site of approximately sixteen hectares. This unique landscape offers, in addition to the impressive mountain view, two different waterfront experiences. The project exists over an area of approximately 1.4 million square meters, of which 65% are developable and 35% will be left untouched and are dedicated to beaches, common landscaped areas, gardens and outdoor activities.

Dr. Izzat Dajani, Chief Executive of RAK's Investment and Development Office had this to say:

"The Government of Ras Al Khaimah’s objective is to build a diverse economy and to capitalize on the Emirate’s immense potential. The Saraya Islands project is an important step towards the fulfillment of that objective and represents the shared vision of its founding shareholders. It will help propel Ras Al Khaimah into a cosmopolitan tourist destination, by offering exceptional lifestyle, tourism and residential products that blend naturally with the area’s landscape and attractions.”

The Saraya Islands will offer:

> A variety of world class hotels each having a different theme,
> Waterfront luxury villas and apartments,
> Townhouses on the water with their own piers,
> Serviced residential units all including private and semi-private gardens and swimming pools,
> Exotic bungalows,
> A marina and an amphitheatre,
> Amusement waterpark and entertainment village,
> Planetarium and cultural center,
> Spas, shops of all kinds, restaurants,
> Sports facilities - including a sports center, bike and walking trails, a navigation training institute.

Ali Kolaghassi, Vice Chairman and CEO of Saraya, Senior Advisor to Sheikh Saad El-Din Al-Hariri, Chairman of Saraya, said:

"Saraya Islands will become a world class destination. In the natural and unique location of Ras Al Khaimah, where mountains and sea meet in astonishing serenity, the project will offer a themed taste of the Arabian seafaring heritage and tradition. It will afford people of different ages and different interests an unforgettable living, business, leisure and entertainment experience, and impart permanent memories of a heavenly, lavish and serene environment, surrounded by a glorious past and serviced with state-of-the-art luxuries and facilities."

Saraya Islands will be a winner - a BIG winner - for Ras Al Khaimah and the entire UAE!!

This link takes you to the Saraya Islands website:

http://sarayaislands.com/

...and this link takes you to Saraya Holdings, developers of Saraya Islands:

http://www.sarayaholdings.com/

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Palm Deira, Dubai: Largest & Grandest Of The Palm Islands!

Mega Developer Nakheel once again never ceases to amaze me with its third Palm Island project, the Palm Deira! This man-made island colossus consists of 24 islets including the huge Deira Island. Deira Island alone is expected to house 200,000 residents out of an expected total population of 1.1 million people on the entire development! Palm Deira is so big that it will be larger than all of Paris and Manhattan! The Palm Deira will offer an estimated 8000 villas in 3 distinct styles, shopping malls, sports facilities, clubs, marinas, private and public beaches, a wide variety of leisure and recreation facilities, public services and other luxury amenities.

Sultan Ahmad bin Sulayem, Chairman of Nakheel, had this to say about Palm Deira when plans for the project were first announced in 2004:

"We have continued to be inundated with requests from investors all over the world, and in response, a new palm island - similar in shape and concept to those currently being constructed in Jumeirah and Jebel Ali - will be built on the Deira Corniche, in downtown Dubai. The Palm, Deira will be the largest of Dubai's palm-shaped islands and as the previous two Palms, will offer, unique residential area, with thousands of prestigious villas and townhouse residences located on 41 fronds of the island."

Palm Deira will consist of 9 different districts. From Nakheel:

1.) Deira Island. Deira Island forms the gateway to the Palm Deira. This unique domain comprises of a thriving mixed-use district built around an expansive pedestrian boulevard. Flanked by a stunning waterfront promenade Deira Island will provide beach access and a range of leisure facilities.

2.) Palm Crown. Located at the tip of this phenomenal development, 12.5 km into the Arabian Gulf, the Palm Crown will provide the ultimate in style and luxury to a selected number of residents.

3.) Palm Fronds. Separated by stunning canals and facilities on the waterfront, each frond draws a different architectural style. (Remember: there will be 41 fronds on Palm Deira. Palm Jumeirah contains 17 fronds. This gives you a good idea of just how gigantic Palm Deira will be!)

4.) Palm Crescent. Palm Crescent consists of low rise residential properties nestled along golden sandy beaches. Community developments, parks and open spaces will provide residents with a stunning island lifestyle.

5.) Palm Trunk. An Iconic tower rises at the southern tip of the Palm Trunk. This beacon creates a central hub for commercial towers and a highly desirable corporate address. Statuesque bridges connect to the neighbouring islands, offering the bustling corporate district mobility to move around the Palm Deira development.

6.) North Island. This panoramic stretch of land is navigated by water taxi via a central canal, the North Island is home to two full-sized marinas and a large scale leisure development, both offering a bountiful array of aquatic activities and envious water-side lifestyle.

7.) South Island. Internal canals create a stunning atmosphere for the central business district on South Island. Commercial premises here benefit from excellent views of the harbor lanes of nearby Port Rashid.

8.) Central Island. Central Island is a major transit hub for the Palm Deira and has a distinct maritime feel, in keeping with the wharfs, marina and shipyard. A plethora of systematic canals allow streamline transition for the residential and commercial premises that line the waterfront.

9.) Al Mamzar Island. An exclusive, idyllic residential enclave that benefits from a secluded location and peaceful outlook. Al Mamzar Island will boast its own marina for the convenience of its residents.

I think Palm Deira, as well as the other two Palm Islands - Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali - will go down in history as Mega Projects on the same scale as the Great Pyramids of Egypt! They will be Icons for Dubai and the entire Middle East!

This link takes you to The Palm website where you can find out more about all 3 Palm Islands:

http://www.thepalm.ae/

This link takes you to Nakheel, developers of the Palm Islands:

http://www.nakheel.com/

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Mega Developers: Limitless

The name says it all! Limitless!! This is the overall view of all the major UAE Mega Developers and Limitless of Dubai, with their grand portfolio of Mega Projects, is no exception! Limitless was formed in July 2005 as a subsidiary business unit of the gigantic Dubai World business group. Many of the top executives of Limitless are from Nakheel, including Saeed Ahmed Saeed, CEO of Limitless and former Projects Managing Director of Nakheel.

Limitless is an integrated real estate development company "with the key objective of diversifying and globalizing Dubai’s portfolio of leading development companies by leveraging the know-how and exposure gained by Dubai World’s real estate initiatives through Nakheel," according to the company. Due to the top executives of Limitless being former Nakheel executives, Limitless has three major strengths:

1.) The master-planning of large scale urban development projects,

2.) Conceptualization and execution of waterfront Mega Project Developments. This of course comes from the Palm Islands and the Dubai Waterfront developments-- and a host of others Nakheel is developing,

3.) Execution of large mixed-use projects. This has been Nakheel's specialty....and according to Limitless:

'In its future endeavours, Limitless is aiming to augment these strengths in real estate development across global markets by partnering with leading providers of real estate services including asset, property and facility management companies, therefore enabling Limitless to offer an integrated development value proposition to its customers.'

The Limitless Mega Projects:

> The Arabian Canal, Dubai. The US$11 billion project involves creating a 75km man-made waterway, which will flow inland from Dubai Waterfront, passing to the east of the new Dubai World Central International Airport before turning back towards Palm Jumeirah. Up to 150 metres wide and six metres deep, it will be able to accommodate boats up to 40 metres long.

> Downtown Jebel Ali, Dubai. This $12Billion Mega Project is one of the largest developments in all of Dubai with an area of 70 million square feet. Downtown Jebel Ali when finished will be an entire self sustaining community.

> Halong Star, Vietnam. A gigantic mixed-use Mega Project being developed along Halong Bay in Vietnam at an estimated cost of $220Million.

> Bidadi, Banglore, India. Bidadi will be India's biggest new urban community and will cost an estimated $12Billion.

> Al Wasl, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Another $12Billion urban community, this time being built in Saudi Arabia. Limitless has plans for more projects in Saudi, as do many of the other top UAE Mega Developers.

> Limitless Towers, Amman, Jordan. Two incredible residential towers that will be the tallest buildings in all of Jordan! Limitless Towers will feature the world's highest suspended swimming pool - 125 metres above the city - connecting the two towers. The glass-bottomed pool - accessed from the 40th storey of each building - will provide a bird's-eye view of Amman and the surrounding landscape! Estimated cost of this Mega Project is $300Million.

> Karachi Waterfront, Pakistan. A complete new city containing residential, business, commercial and entertainment offerings of all kinds. Estimated cost is over $20Billion.

> Malaysia International Halal Park, Selangor, Malaysia. A huge mixed use project that will eventually house 200,000 residents and will also contain manufacturing plants, training and research centers, offices, entertainment and retail facilities, as well as parks and water features.

Other Limitless Mega Projects include: Residential North Puteri Harbour- Malaysia, Quattro Hotel and Business Park- UAE, Jumeirah Group Village South- UAE, International City- UAE. As you can now see, the scope of Limitless is truly vast, covering all parts of the world.

Limitless likes to refer to itself as a "Super Planner," and according to Limitless CEO, Saeed Ahmed Saeed:

"By super planning we are talking about projects stretching over thousands of hectares, so we will be planning and developing cities the size of Paris or San Francisco from scratch.” WOW!! Now you know why this company calls itself Limitless!

Limitless is a truly incredible international Mega Developer. Their Mega Projects will all become world landmarks!

Contact:

Limitless,
Limitless Building
Alkhil Road
P.O. Box 261919
Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 4 360 1818
Fax: +971 4 360 1819
Email: info@limitless.ae
Website: http://www.limitless.ae/

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bahrain World Trade Center

I must say that the Bahrain World Trade Center(BWTC) is one of the most beautiful Mega Projects I have ever seen. In fact, all of the Bahrain Mega Projects are stunning! Situated on the Manama waterfront, the BWTC comprises two 50-storey sail- shaped office towers. The towers are the first of their kind in the world, using wind energy to provide approximately 11 - 15% of the electricity needed to power the buildings. Wind power will be harnessed by three massive turbines, supported by bridges that span the distance between the two towers. In addition, the towers will feature the most advanced SMART technology available anywhere in the world!

BWTC will also be home to the ultra luxurious MODA Mall. This mall will contain 40 of the most high-end brands in the world including: Emporio Armani, Cartier, Chopard, Gucci, Hermes, Dolce & Gabbana, Furla, Christian Lacroix, Just Cavalli, Vertu, Ermenegildo Zenga, Kenzo, Rolex, Tiffany, Agent Provocateur, Fendi, Versace, Bottega Veneta, Loewe, Mathew Williamson, Valentino and more! Moda will also feature some of the finest gourmet restaurants in the world. This is what Duaij Al Rumaihi, Associate Director of DTZ Bahrain, the leasing and managing agents for the BWTC development, and Center Manager of MODA Mall, had this to say about MODA:

"The BWTC complex has provided the ideal location for these well-known brands to enter the Bahrain market and expand their presence in the Gulf region. The BWTC and MODA Mall represent the highest standards and an element of exclusivity that is unmatched in the Kingdom, which will allow it to fill a unique niche and help to meet the growing demand in Bahrain and across the Gulf region for luxury fashion brands. MODA Mall is set to emerge as a leading fashion destination for discerning shoppers as well as those looking for a cosmopolitan venue with a diversified offering of restaurants and cafes."

BWTC will also offer:

> A 5-Star Sheraton Hotel,
> A variety of leisure attractions including a new state of the art fitness club,
> A sky-lit garden court,
> Restaurants of all kinds...and much more!

Commenting on BWTC at the Property Arabia 2007 Expo, Claire Hughes, of DTZ, said:

"We are pleased to take part in this successful industry event, Property Arabia 2007. We have been overwhelmed by the interest in the project from a vast number of local, regional and international companies looking for distinctive projects and properties such as the BWTC. The event also presents the ideal opportunity to highlight the development's other facilities such as MODA Mall, which is set to become the Kingdom's first ultra high-end shopping center, housing the largest and most exciting array of top luxury retailers."

As noted earlier, the BWTC is located in Manama, the Capital of Bahrain. Manama was rated the TOP CITY 2006/07 in 'Foreign Direct Investment Magazine's Middle Eastern Cities of the Future Ranking.' Dubai ranked number two, so Bahrain actually BEAT Dubai! Here is a quote from the magazine:

"Strong economic potential, good human resources and security, plus a high standard of living and A STRING OF MEGA PROJECTS, have catapulted Bahrain's capital city, Manama, to the top of 'Foreign Direct Investment Magazine's Middle East and North African Cities of the Future 2006/07' contest."

BWTC has it all! Fantastic location. Fantastic architecture. One of the finest malls in the world. The most advanced SMART technology. This Mega Project will become an icon for Bahrain and all of the Middle East!

Here is the link to the BWTC website:

http://bahrainwtc.com/

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi: New Cultural Mecca For UAE

The UAE is not only becoming the financial and entertainment center of the world, but the cultural center as well. Saadiyat Island, another of the magnificent Abu Dhabi Mega Projects, will become a cultural mecca for the Middle East and the entire world. An island off the coast of Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat – which translates as 'Island Of Happiness' – is located to the north east of Abu Dhabi City and it occupies an area of 27 square kilometres, the entire project is due for completion by 2018 at an estimated cost of $27Billion.

According to the developers of Saadiyat, the Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Company - TDIC - Saadiyat will be:

'A premier island destination as well as a modern, integrated residential community, Saadiyat will eventually be home to an estimated 150,000 residents with a full compliment of leisure and tourism facilities, as well as civic and cultural amenities. Saadiyat will be linked to Abu Dhabi City by two iconic causeways, one of which will operate a light rail system and a 10 kilometre long highway with bridge, making it a mere 5 minute drive from the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi and close distance to Abu Dhabi International Airport.'

Saadiyat will be divided into 7 distinct districts as follows:

1.) Cultural District. This is the district that will make Saadiyat a Middle East and world cultural icon. The Cultural District will be home to five major cultural institutions designed by internationally renowned architects and a Biennale Park setting with pavilions designed to host international art and cultural fairs and events. The Cultural District will also contain; a city-facing quayside, an iconic 7-Star hotel, exclusive villas, retail shops of all kinds, harbors and green parks. The Cultural District will feature five cultural institutions:

- The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi
- The Louvre Abu Dhabi
- The Performing Arts Centre
- The Sheikh Zayed National Museum
- The Maritime Museum

More cultural institutions may be added. New York University will be opening a study abroad campus on Saadiyat as well.

2.) Al Marina District. This will be a business district for both Middle East and international companies. The Marina District will also offer luxury residences, boutique hotels and a variety of entertainment and leisure facilities.

3.) South Beach. 'A secluded yet dynamic beachfront development which is the heart of Saadiyat’s family destination resort offering which will set new standards for coastal communities. South Beach will be a place for people to live, for businesses to invest, for visitors to enjoy, culture to celebrate and nature to thrive,' according to TDIC.

4.) The Wetlands. This area will contain a golf course and exclusive villa residences. The entire area will be an eco-friendly natural setting offering a lifestyle of peace and seclusion.

5.) Eco Point. A secluded area containing boutique eco-hotels.

6.) Saadiyat Beach. Designed to be an international tourist destination, Saadiyat Beach will contain a championshop golf course designed by Gary Player. Saadiyat Beach will also contain; 5-Star Resort Hotels, private and public beach clubs, luxury golf residences, and 9 kilometres of natural beaches.

7.) Island Lagoons. Waterside residential area that will contain a large variety of upscale waterfront residences.

What a Mega Development Saadiyat is! Surely a master-planned Mega Project like Saadiyat Island will make the UAE a new cultural mecca for the entire world!

Here is the link to the Saadiyat Island website:

http://www.saadiyat.ae/

This link takes you to TDIC, developers of Saadiyat:

http://tdic.ae/

Monday, March 10, 2008

Prince Alwaleed's $496,000,000 Flying Mega Project!!

Continuing on from my last post about The Arab Billionaires, let's take a look at one of the most unique and amazing Mega Projects anywhere. One that flies....and belongs to the World's Richest Arab-- Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia! The Prince is one of the greatest businessmen in history and perhaps the greatest Arab investor EVER. The Prince founded and controls Kingdom Holding, a conglomerate with interests in some of the largest companies in the world including Citigroup, Newscorp, Disney, Apple, Time Warner, and many more.

The Prince, of course, is a busy man and thus does a lot of flying. Being the World's Richest Arab, Prince Alwaleed does not settle for an ordinary private jet. The Prince, in fact, is the first individual to order a private Airbus A380. The cost? A whopping $320,000,000!! The Prince has also announced that he will be spending another $176,000,000 to customize his new jet.....for a TOTAL COST OF $496,000,000!! This "Flying Palace" as it is being called, certainly deserves Mega Project status with a price tag of HALF-A-BILLION DOLLARS!! And this Mega Project flies!

The Airbus A380 is the world's biggest passenger plane. It is as tall as a 7 storey building. The wings are so big that each one is the length of a football field. The 380 can easily carry 853 passengers. The plane has 6,640 square feet of living space-- the same amount of space that most mansions have! The minimum flight crew needed by The Prince for each flight is 15-- most mansions don't even have 15 servants. And...to top it all off...Prince Alwaleed ALREADY owns his own private 747 Jumbo Jet!! You have to admire The Prince, he is the living embodiment of the word Mega!

The Prince's Airbus is being designed by Ed├ęse Doret and some of the incredible accommodations aboard will include:

> A Super Futuristic/Arabian overall theme for the entire plane,
> Grand Entrance,
> A Movie Theatre,
> A Gym,
> A Sauna and Whirlpool Bath,
> A variety of spacious bedrooms including The Prince's own Master Suite,
> An Office where The Prince will conduct business,
> Gourmet Kitchen,
> Luxury Dining Room,
> Conference Room,
> Two VIP Lounges,
> Wet Bar,
> A Game Room,
> And...best of all... a PRIVATE MISSILE SYSTEM, in case someone decides to attack The Prince while he is in flight!!
>> There will be, I am sure, many other amazing features to this Flying Mega Project!

Prince Alwaleed, who created the magnificent Kingdom Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has done it once again with this Half-A-Billion Dollar Flying Mega Project! This is truly "Life At The Top!"

Friday, March 7, 2008

The Arab Billionaires! Richest Arabs On Earth!!

Each year Forbes Magazine comes out with their 'World's Billionaires List.' This is the most eagerly awaited and respected "Rich List" in the world. This year Forbes found 1125 Billionaires! I have been following this list since it first came out in 1987 and there is nothing else like it. Forbes really does an amazing job finding these Super Rich people. I have gone through the entire list and here, according to Forbes, are the Arabian Billionaires- followed by how much they are worth:

1.) Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal - Saudi Arabia - $21BIL
2.) Nasser Al-Kharafi & Family - Kuwait - $14BIL
3.) Naguib Sawiris - Egypt - $10BIL
4.) Mohammed Al Amoudi - Saudi Arabia - $9BIL
5.) Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair & Family - UAE - $8.9BIL
6.) Maan Al-Sanea - Saudi Arabia - $8.1BIL
7.) Sulaiman Al Rajhi - Saudi Arabia - $7.4BIL
8.) Mohammed Al Bin Issa Al Jaber - Saudi Arabia - $5.3BIL
9.) Onsi Sawiris - Egypt - $5BIL
10.) Saleh Al Rajhi - Saudi Arabia - $4.7BIL
11.) Nassef Sawiris - Egypt - $3.9BIL
12.) Saleh Kamel - Saudi Arabia - $3.5BIL
13.) Abdullah Al Raji - Saudi Arabia - $3.2BIL
14.) Khalid Bin Mahfouz & Family - Saudi Arabia - $3.1BIL
15.) Abdulla Al Futtaim - UAE - $3BIL
16.) Majid Al Fattaim - UAE - $3BIL
17.) Saif Al Ghurair & Family - UAE - $2.8
18.) Khalaf Al Habtoor - UAE - $2.5BIL
19.) Saad Hariri - Saudi Arabia - $2.3BIL
20.) Najib Mikati - Lebanon - $2.3BIL
21.) Taha Mikati - Lebanon - $2.3BIL
22.) Mohammed Al-Bahar - Kuwait - $2.1BIL
23.) Bassam Alghanim - Kuwait - $1.6BIL
24.) Kutayba Alghanim - Kuwait - $1.6BIL
25.) Ayman Hariri - Saudi Arabia - $1.6BIL
26.) Mohammed Al Rajhi - Saudi Arabia - $1.6BIL
27.) Samih Sawiris - Egypt - $1.5BIL
28.) Sulaiman Algosaibi - Saudi Arabia - $1.4BIL
29.) Said Khoury - Palestine - $1.2BIL
30.) Hasib Sabbagh - Palestine - $1BIL

Forbes never claims to find all the world's Billionaires, and they usually exclude Royalty from their list - Prince Alwaleed is the exception - and stick mainly to business people. In order to give you the most complete list of Arabian Billionaires available, I will now list those Arab Billionaires in the ArabianBusiness.com '50 Richest Arabs List' that, for one reason or another, did NOT appear on the Forbes list. Here they are:

- Bin Laden Family - Saudi Arabia - $8.5BIL
- Olyan Family - Saudi Arabia - $7.2BIL
- Kanoo Family - Bahrain - $6.1BIL
- Gargash Family - UAE - $5BIL
- Al Shaya Family - Kuwait - $5BIL
- Mahdi Al-Tajir - UAE - $4.1BIL
- Mohamed Abdul Latif Jameel - Saudi Arabia - $3.1BIL
- Shwan Al-Mulla - Iraq - $3BIL
- Nadhmi Auchi - Iraq - $2.8BIL
- Al Zamil Family - Saudi Arabia - $2.8BIL
- Issam Fares - Lebanon - $2.4BIL
- Hussain Sajwani - UAE - $2.4BIL
- Sheikh Walid Al Ibrahim - Saudi Arabia - $2.3BIL
- Mohammed Shafik Gabr - Egypt - $2.2BIL
- The Al Rostamani Family - UAE- $2.1BIL
- Omar Ayesh - UAE - $2.1BIL
- Boodai Family - Kuwait - $1.85BIL
- Shoman Family - Palestine - $1.8BIL
- Tareq Sultan - Kuwait - $1.7BIL
- Al Tayer Family - UAE- $1.65BIL
- Munib Masri - Palestine - $1.62BIL
- Ziad Manasir - Jordan - $1.5BIL
- Fayez Sarofim - Egypt - $1.5BIL
- Nemir Kirdar - Iraq - $1.4BIL
- Galadari Family - UAE - $1.32BIL
- Sheikh Suleiman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Majed - Saudi Arabia - $1BIL
- Saaeb Nahas - Syria - $1BIL
- Ahmed Ezz - Egypt - $1BIL

WOW!! Now you have what I believe to be the MOST COMPLETE LIST OF ARAB BILLIONAIRES AVAILABLE ANYWHERE - though no doubt there are more that nobody has discovered yet! I have listed ALL the Arab Billionaires from BOTH the Forbes list AND the ArabianBusiness.com list-- and believe me, most of these Super Rich Arabs are either directly or indirectly involved in the Mega Projects!

Please Note: The net worths given after each Billionaire are the best estimates that Forbes and ArabianBusiness.com could come up with and thus should not be considered 100% accurate 100% of the time. The net worth of these individuals can change rapidly. For example, ArabianBusiness.com has Prince Alwaleed's net worth listed as $29.5BIL on their '50 Richest Arabs List,' which came out December 2, 2007. However now, just a little more than 3 months later, Forbes estimates his wealth at "only" $21BIL. This is beacause The Prince has huge investments in Citigroup and other stocks that have been getting destroyed in the USA stock market. Therefore in 3 months The Prince has lost an astounding $8.5BIL!!! This illustrates how fast the wealth of the Billionaires can change.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Mega Developers: Hydra Properties

Hydra Properties is one of the fastest growing Mega Project developers in the UAE. All of the Hydra projects are world-class and some of the finest developments I have seen anywhere. Hydra says its mission is to change the landscape of the UAE by delivering the latest concepts in state of the art Mega Project developments:

'Driven by a passion for excellence, Hydra Properties will be the name behind some of the most prestigious residential and business developments in the UAE. Hydra Properties utilizes its professional expertise to manage projects from end to end including land purchase, appointment of award-winning architects, execution and monitoring of projects with contractors and follow-up to final handover. The processes and practices that are followed are in line with world standards. Hydra Properties is renowned for its ability to provide superior product value,' according to Hydra.

Hydra is run by Mubarak Matar Al Hameeri, Chairman and Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim, CEO. Hydra uses a 10 step process in its Mega Project development:

1.) Location. Finding the perfect area for each development,

2.) Theme. Establishing a unique identity for each project,

3.) Facility. The infrastructure required for an efficient, practical, convenient and fulfilling lifestyle,

4.) Quality. All facets of each project must be of the highest quality standards,

5.) Environment. The natural environment is always protected, conserved and enhanced,

6.) Lifestyle. Creation of projects that enrich the lives of those who live and work there,

7.) Service, Brand and Image. To ensure complete customer satisfaction through every stage of project development,

8.) Participation. Involving custumers in the further development and operation of the projects to maximize their enjoyment and sense of ownership,

9.) Added Value. Creating projects of such high standards that their investment value will increase,

10.) Commitment. Hydra has an overall commitment of excellence in every project they develop.

The Hydra Mega Projects:

- Hydra Avenue, Reem Island
- Hydra Corporate Towers, Reem Island
- Hydra Executive Towers, Reem Island
- Hydra Waves, Mazatlan, Mexico
- Golf Walk, Abu Dhabi
- Downtown Tower, Dubai
- Hydra Twin Towers, Dubai
- Hydra Village, Abu Dhabi
- Marina Spirit, Reem Island
- Hydra Towers, Dubai
- Hydra Heights Towers, Reem Island

After being presented with the very prestigious Arabian Business Special Award, Dr. Al Fahim had this to say about Hydra Properties:

"With the ongoing real estate and construction boom in UAE, and many attractive opportunities world wide, Hydra Properties found that it is the time to pursue a fortified business strategy. Several factors helped to get the company there; the right environment, a management with a sense of the future, and a proper team, made Hydra Properties, within a very short period, a recognizable brand in different parts of the world."

Hydra Properties is one of the finest Mega Project developers in the world. The future of this company is extremely bright and the entire world shall benefit from their spectacular Mega Projects!

Here are 3 Hydra Properties YouTube Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf5NGhnJy0s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az6ulavwxxw&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwSIEZ1E974&feature=related

Contact:

Hydra Properties,
Essa Saleh Al Gurg Office Tower, 6th Floor
Banyas Road
P.O. Box 118889
Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 4-229-4499
Fax: +971 4-229-4447
email: info@hydraproperties.com
website: http://www.hydraproperties.com/

Monday, March 3, 2008

DuBiotech: Dubai Moves Strongly Into Global Biotechnology Market

Dubai is moving ahead full force on all fronts! Not only is Dubai becoming a leading financial, business and tourist destination-- this forward thinking Emirate is getting involved in the huge biotech/pharmaceutical industry as well! DuBiotech, which stands for Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park, is being developed by Dubai Holding and is the Middle East's first science and business park devoted to life science research, education and industry. Dr. Abdulqader Alkhayat, Executive Director of DuBiotech, had this to say at the ArabLab Expo:

"We aim to be at the forefront of the life sciences industry by encouraging research and development. Our recent MoU to launch the Gulf Anti-Doping and Monitoring Enterprise (GAME), the AED289-million Nucleotide Complex laboratory and the BioTiqania Training Institute will enable Dubai to evolve as the pioneering destination for biotechnology professionals. Our support for ArabLab show for the third consecutive year stems from our commitment to nurturing the growing life sciences industry in the region."

DuBiotech is a truly massive life science Mega Project and the following life science sectors and activities will all be actively represented at DuBiotech:

Life Science Industry Sectors:

> Biotechnology:
- Medical
- Industrial
- Agricultural
- Environmental
- Equine
- Animal / Marine
> Pharmaceuticals
> Neutraceuticals
> Nanotechnology
> Medical Devices
> Bioinformatics
> Forensic Science

Life Science Industry Activities:

> Diagnostics
> R&D including Drug Discovery
> Manufacturing / Storage
> Sales & Marketing
> Distribution
> Consulting / Service Providers
> Training
> CROs & Clinical Trials
> Financial Institutions

The facilities offered at DuBiotech will be vast and include:

- Office Space. A wide variety of office facilities to accommodate every possible need,

- Laboratory Space. Here companies can conduct research and development in a cost effective manner by leasing lab space and having access to shared equipment and other services,

- Pre-Built Units. These pre-built facilities are specifically designed for storage, distribution and light manufacturing for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Other pre-built facilities will include analytical, animal and cell and tissue culture units,

- Land Lease Plots. For companies wishing to build their own facilities, rather than use those that have been pre-built,

- DuBiotech is so huge that it will be an entire city unto itself and also offer: hotels, schools, hospitals, residences, retail and leisure areas.

DuBiotech is being developed in phases and by September 2008 the Nucleotide Complex will be operational. This 4-storey structure, part of the pre-built unit facilities, will offer laboratory space for life science research. The Nucleotide Complex will allow biotech and other life science companies wanting to open up in the Emirates to do so without having to build their own facilities. They simply rent space at DuBiotech and go from there. Another big benefit of operating in DuBiotech is that it is a Free Zone and thus 100% tax exempt! DuBiotech is, in fact, the world's first Free Zone devoted to life science.

Here are some of the companies that have already signed on with DuBiotech: Amgen, Asia Cryo-Cell Private Limited, Al Zahrawi Medical Services, Getz Pharma International, Pfizer International, Welcome Healthcare, MerckSerono Middle East, Genzyme Middle East, Respironics International...and many, many more.

DuBiotech represents a big step for Dubai and all of the UAE in the huge life science industry. If what Dubai has already accomplished is any indicator, DuBiotech and the future of science in the UAE looks very good indeed!

Here is the link that takes you to the DuBiotech website:

http://www.dubiotech.com/

Saturday, March 1, 2008

MGM Grand Abu Dhabi: Las Vegas Glamour & Excitement Comes To UAE!

Get ready for spectacular Las Vegas style entertainment in Abu Dhabi! MGM Mirage, one of the biggest casino companies in the world, and Mubadala Development Company of Abu Dhabi, have teamed up to create the Mega Entertainment Project: MGM Grand Abu Dhabi. The project will be located on the Abu Dhabi waterfront and take up 50 acres of land. It is expected to cost $3Billion and is projected to be completed by 2012.

From the Managing Director of Mubadala, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak:

"This agreement is another exciting project in Mubadala's property development portfolio of innovative and commercially viable projects that contribute to the steady growth of Abu Dhabi's society. MGM Mirage's experience and luxury brands compliment Abu Dhabi's offering of the finest hospitality and entertainment experiences for both residents and tourists."

MGM Grand Abu Dhabi will consist of 3 separate hotels, an MGM Grand hotel and two other MGM themed hotels. Although there will be no gambling at any of these hotels there will be world class entertainment and numerous leisure offerings. One major entertainment feature will be a 12,000 seat arena that will be host to A-List Las Vegas shows that appear at MGM's Las Vegas properties, as well as acts from the Middle East. The world famous Cirque du Soleil is expected to appear at MGM Grand Abu Dhabi as well as a great number of pop stars like Justin Timberlake who has already appeared in Abu Dhabi to standing room only crowds.

"This development will leverage the capital resources and asset management proficiency of Mubadala with the world-renowned expertise of MGM Mirage in design, development and operation of exciting destination resorts. We are thrilled that our first project with Mubadala will create a destination and icon for Abu Dhabi. We see tremendous potential for this development and we are confident that this will be the first of many successful ventures with our Mubadala partners," said Terry Lanni, Chairman and CEO of MGM Mirage.

MGM Mirage will develop and manage the project for a fee. Mubadala Development, however, will actually own MGM Grand Abu Dhabi. The property, aimed at the high-end market, will have "unparalleled views of the city skyline" and "stunning panoramic views of the waterfront," the companies said in a press release. This project will also offer elite waterfront residences, spas, high end shops, fine dining, etc. In short, everything you would expect to get in Las Vegas.

As good as all this sounds it is only the beginning. You see, this is just phase one of a three phase plan for MGM Grand Abu Dhabi. The next two phases will offer more residential choices including luxury apartments, villas, condos and estates. There will be even more entertainment offerings and many other fabulous options that will be revealed as the project develops.

I think MGM Grand Abu Dhabi will be fantastic for Abu Dhabi and all of the UAE. It will help to make the UAE a world class entertainment and tourist destination. It will add glamour, exciting entertainment and an electrifying nightlife to Abu Dhabi. And mark my words, the world will come!

Here is the link to the Mubadala website:

http://www.mubadala.com/

This link takes you to the MGM Mirage website:

http://mgmmirage.com/

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