UAE-based architecture practice Dewan has been appointed to design the huge Al Nakheel City project in Basra, Iraq.
The project is set to contain over 100,000 houses which could accommodate up to one million people, according to the region’s governor, Khalaf Abdul Samad.
The development will cover 145km2 of land near the city’s Khor al-Zubair port. Dewan said that the project would provide “world-class and modern sustainable housing” for Basra. It will also have an industrial zone, a hub for free zone activity, the port and a new airport. New medical, recreational and cultural facilities are also being built.
A ceremony laying a foundation stone for the city took place last week. The project will be split over 15 phases and could take up to 25 years to complete. The first phase, involving the design work and construction scheduling, is costing $4.6m and is set to complete by the end of 2013.
Dewan’s founder and chairman, Mohamed Al Assam, said: “As a major supporter of the construction efforts in the Iraqi housing sector, we are extremely pleased to be part of this significant project, which will see the establishment of an integrated community within a nurturing and sustainable environment.
“We will utilise the vast expertise gained from working in the UAE, which has become a regional hub of world-class developments in the region, to ensure that all the governorate’s and other stake holder’s objectives are met and exceeded.”
He added: “This project’s importance stems from the fact that the city of Basra not only represents the only marine gateway to Iraq, but that it also serves as the main axis of trade into the Arabian Gulf and the region.
“In addition it serves as the economic capital of Iraq, and is home to a number of cultural and historical monuments. In light of this, our designs will incorporate different elements that are consistent with the region’s cultural and historical elements.
“These requirements will blend seamlessly by utilising design best practices in modern urban planning, ensuring that Nakheel City is designed to the highest creative and environmental standards without sacrificing the local context and cultural peculiarities of Basra.”