A stalled tourism project in Dubai that was once planned to be bigger than Las Vegas is set to be revived, its master developer Dubai Holding has confirmed.
Bawadi, part of Dubai Properties’ Dubailand scheme, was pitched as the largest hospitality and leisure development in the world estimated to cost in the region of AED100 billion ($27.2 billion on today’s rates) when it was first announced in 2007.
The UAE’s state news agency WAM reported at the time that it was to be developed by a 50:50 joint venture between Bawadi, which is part of Tatweer, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, and Emaar Properties.
Bawadi was to contribute 70 million square feet of land (said to be worth AED3.85 billion at the time), while Emaar would contribute AED3.85 billion in cash in the scheme.
The scheme has yet to materialise and was understood to have been shelved when the global recession hit.
However, Dubai newspaper Emirates 24/7 has quoted Dubai Holding CEO Fadel Al Ali as saying the project is to be revived.
“The Bawadi project, a joint venture between Dubai Holding and Emaar, is currently in its early stages and progress will be communicated in due course,” Al Ali said.
A spokesperson for Dubai Holding told Arabian Business that the news report was correct, but declined to provide further information.
It is understood that a formal announcement would be made when agreements had been finalised.
When announced in 2007, Bawadi was envisaged as the longest chain of luxury hotels in the world, built along a 10-kilometre-long stretch in Dubailand close to Arabian Ranches, featuring 51 luxury hotels and 60,000 rooms, Emirates247 reported.
The project was to have a total built-up area of 60 million square feet, including 2.7 million square feet of commercial space and 3.2 million square feet of retail properties and 1,500 restaurants.
Bawadi was also to have a residential element – including 18,000 homes with green parks and lakes as an integral part of the scheme.
An Emaar Properties spokesperson said: “As a matter of policy we do not comment on market speculation. We will announce details about the project as and when they are finalised.”
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