28 abril 2008

The taller towers of tomorrow

The taller towers of tomorrow
“…The world has a new tallest building. Last week it was announced that, rising above the desert coast of the Persian Gulf, the Burj Dubai became taller than any other structure on the planet. And it's not even due to stop climbing until 2009. According to a press release issued by its developers, Burj Dubai currently stands at 629 meters, at least one meter taller than the KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, which has held the mantle of world's tallest structure on and off since 1963. Burj Dubai is already taller than the CN Tower (553.33m), the tallest free-standing structure in the world and Taipei 101 (508m), the world's tallest building which has floors throughout… The exact final height of the Burj Dubai is a closely guarded secret, anything between 700m and 818m (the latter making it roughly twice the height of the Empire State Building) is reported. It is also reported that its total number of habitable floors will be around 162. The arrival of the Burj Dubai, moreover, heralds a new age of skyscraper design that promises to rival the astonishing rise of 20th-century American cities…”

Emaar releases Burj units for sale
“…Emaar Properties will release further residential and commercial units in its $20 billion Downtown Burj Dubai for sale on Saturday, the developer announced on Thursday… When Emaar released properties in the flagship project in February, over 300 people queued for hours outside the Burj Dubai sales centre, desperate to purchase units in the project… Many were armed with cheque books and passports, keen to snap up anything they could… Some buyers were thought to have paid nearly 8 million dirhams ($2.18 million) for one bedroom apartments in the Burj itself, and over 2 million dirhams for one bedroom apartments in Downtown Burj Dubai…”

Scandals in Dubai Cast a Cloud
“…This city-state's real-estate market is booming. Massive building projects scrape the sky. Sales and rental prices appear buoyant as investments flow in from other oil-rich Persian Gulf states, the former Soviet Union, India and Iran… But a series of legal tussles and property-related scandals could dent foreign-investor confidence and tarnish the business-friendly reputation the government has tried so hard to burnish… Earlier this month, the chief executive of one of Dubai's largest publicly traded developers was jailed. And two disputes involving European and U.S. investors have raised concerns about Dubai's regulatory and legal safeguards…”

Dubai Beckons Korean Venture Expertise
“…Last Tuesday, a group of 20-odd CEOs of Korean IT and medical venture firms viewed a desolate desert along the western coast of Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates. Though only one road has been built there so far, this is the proposed site of the Dubai Techno Park, the first high-tech industrial estate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)… "Nearby this location is the world's eighth largest port and the proposed site of an airport," explained a senior local executive to the Korean visitors. "The building site will be rent free for 15 years. Not only power and water but also cooling will be supplied at low cost. No corporate or income tax will be levied at all. Foreign investors may own 100 percent of equity, remit all their earnings, and face no employment restrictions. There exists no other such excellent business lot in the world." Why is Dubai, where the wealth of the Middle East and much of the rest of the world is said to be gathering, so eager to attract Korean venture firms?...”

Dubai Maritime City showcases its Green Building best practices to Nobel Prize winner
“…Dubai Maritime City received on Sunday (April 27th, 2008) Dr. Rajendra K Pachauri, Chief Executive of The Energy and Resources Institute, and the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work in environmental protection. The meeting was focused on showcasing Dubai Maritime City’s strategies on green buildings, environmental protection and sustainable development. Dr. Pachauri was in Dubai to attend the launch of ETA Star’s tower in Dubai Maritime City… According to Dubai Maritime City’s Master Plan, all developers must obtain green building certification under the BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). In addition, all buildings in the Maritime City will be reviewed to asses the degree of compliance with the environmental requirements in terms of design, operations and best practices. This is in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, issued to all builders in Dubai mandating that all new buildings in Dubai should follow these principles…”

Luxury property: the Dubai resorts selling Versace-designed flats
“…You’ve got the handbag, the sunglasses and a wardrobe full of the designer clothes. You might even own a piece from the furniture range. But would you want to live in a home entirely designed and branded by Versace? That’s what the fashion house is hoping. It will open a hotel in Dubai in June next year, with 169 private flats attached – every inch of which will be designed and furnished by Versace, down to the £175 dinner plates... Palazzo Versace Dubai, one of what the group hopes will eventually be 16 branded resorts around the world, is ostentation on the highest scale, inspired by Gianni Versace, the fashion house’s late founder, who once declared: “I don’t want to dress people, I want to dress the environment people live in…”

Abu Dhabi a 'better buy' than Dubai
“…Abu Dhabi is playing catch-up with Dubai, having embarked on major reforms in property ownership some three years after its sister city. But the population of the UAE capital is set to rise from 930,000 in 2007 to 1.3 million in 2013 and two million in 2020, according to new research from Strutt & Parker… Since 2004 more than $130bn worth of real estate projects have been announced. And the figures provided by Strutt & Parker project huge growth in each major property segment in Abu Dhabi… Office space will double to 2.7 million square metres by 2013 and rise to 4.5 million by 2020. Retail space will soar from 860,000 square metres today to 2.8 million by 2013 and 4.7 million by 2020…”

Dubai turns sand into fantasyland
“…Curtis Hegge doesn't usually speak strictly in superlatives. But that was before the 30-year-old moved to Dubai seven months ago… Now the Calgarian, who is living and working in Dubai, claims this degree of grammatical comparison is the only way to describe the mojo of Dubai's ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, and his grand architectural scheme: to turn this tiny patch of parched land in the Middle East into the world's biggest and boldest tourist fantasyland, luring 15 million visitors a year by 2010… Perhaps not coincidentally, Dubai's known oil reserves will most likely be tapped out by that year… Hegge isn't fussed about the timing… "It's a virtual Mecca. The scale and volume of options for tourists are mind-blowing, and the service you get, no matter where you go, makes you believe you're an Arab prince," he enthuses…”

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