Explore the best of old Dubai
Dubai’s reputation as a glamorous destination was cemented when the city built one of the world’s tallest buildings, the Burj Dubai, in 1999. It was one of the first to do so. Its $1.9bn tower was capable of housing 16,500 residents in 193 luxurious apartments, including sea view duplexes and oversized penthouses. Many locals hoped that the Burj Dubai would become the focal point of new sea side developments in the city, but developers in Dubai took a different view.
“Dubai needs to separate itself from old Dubai,” says Dhoby Ghaut Properties founder Mohammed Adel Al Habbai. This is a cheap property in Dubai Dubai has no shortage of great old hotels, but the old tradition was always of handing over prized properties to local families and selling on parts to foreigners. In fact, one of his most expensive hotels has been bought by Dubai’s royal family, while his latest building, the Dubai land Landmark Tower, was sold to a Chinese property investor for $300m.
The world has always loved its great old hotels and the scene is only getting better. Dubai land will be one of the world’s most ambitious developments, with a few old hotel buildings (called “retro hotels”) mixed in with the futuristic skyscrapers, and several of Dubai’s finest old hotels are already in the works, like the World’s Fair, which will serve as a tourist attraction for locals and tourists alike.
High above the old city, the sea level sea walls of great Dubai have become so thin that even the piers have become inadequate, according to Alessandro Conti of Andrei Tretiakoff Architects. “People don’t need to have a beach on top of them,” says Al Habbai. Instead, the land adjacent to the sea wall will be developed. The land that Al Habbai is developing is called the Eastern Harbor and he has already sold the oceanfront plot for $120m to luxury resort company Emaar.That land is almost finished, with access between the old Dubai and old Jumeirah on one side and a new beachfront development in front of it, the Dubai land Landmark Tower. Alongside the hotels and buildings that will serve as “retro hotels” in old Dubai, there is the most ambitious project yet. Facebook Twitter Pinterest East coast of the UAE: luxury resort: Dubai land.
Dubai land is being built in the eastern region of the city, an area that Al Habbai thinks will become the center of future Dubai’s efforts to reclaim its old glory. His company is building not one building, but eight: a super tall residential building called Wonders of the World, two beautiful cultural complexes (one a museum, one an amphitheater), a waterfront promenade, a marina and a skyscraper with hundreds of apartments on top.
The 870-foot high Wonder of the World is a $1.3bn project that will house one of the world’s largest collection of ancient statues from across the world. It is a cheap property in Dubai. Alongside them will be the world’s tallest hotel, measuring 80 stories and costing up to $450m. It will be one of the first skyscrapers built on the beach, although Al Habbai is reluctant to say which one, fearing that another construction firm could claim his title as the world’s tallest sea-facing skyscraper.
Alongside the Wonders of the World is the Dubai land Landmark Tower, a super tall skyscraper built for locals and tourists in great Dubai alike that will feature the world’s largest swimming pool, a 450-room hotel, five hotels with 350 rooms each, 35 restaurants, two museums, an amphitheater and a large number of cultural and entertainment facilities. “This is a great asset that will help build the city. All tourists and locals come to Dubai to visit the new city but not everyone knows the new city. This will give you access to the new city. It is an investment on a beach with a lot of potential,” says Al Habbai.
Dubai land is just one of a handful of huge projects underway in great Dubai. The coastal strip that is being developed by Al Habbai’s company, One More Dubai, includes a new city with two fantastic golf courses, the tallest shopping center in Dubai (the Dubai Mall) and the second tallest hotel (Dubai land Beach Hotel).
On the other side of Dubai is the waterfront development called East Coast of the UAE. There, in an area called Jumeirah Beach, great old hotels will be built to become hotels, including the Sea breeze, one of the city’s original luxury hotels. Alongside them will be a hotel and recreation center (a great old hotel called the Jumeirah Beach Hotel), and a luxury beachfront hotel that is being sold to an Italian property investor, which Al Habbai says is going to be the biggest hotel in Dubai when it is finished. As it is a cheap rent property in Dubai.
“We were given permission from great Dubai to develop Jumeirah Beach in the 90s and we had an agreement to build a hotel for the government but then the government did not pay and we were not given the hotel,” says Al Habbai. Instead, Al Habbai has broken away from the government and built a marina, restaurants and an entertainment center that locals will be able to enter without a hotel ticket.