Dubailand construction halts

25 April 2008

UAE: The ruler of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has ordered a halt to construction of the country's 300 million m2 Dubailand project.

The decision follows criticism that too many contracts have been awarded, but that few have actually started, according to local media reports.

Over 200 individual projects were originally planned for the development, but construction is underway on just 21 of them. Many of the schemes that have been stopped are real estate developments, however, the project's core schemes look set to continue construction.

Located 20 km from the centre of the Dubai, Dubailand was billed as the biggest leisure-based development in the world. The original plan comprised 45 main projects and 200 sub-projects, together with 55 hotels and resorts providing 50000 rooms.

The 21 projects given the go-ahead include the AED 5.5 billion (US$ 1.5 billion) Legends Dubailand theme park, the AED 3.67 billion (US$ 1 billion) City of Arabia, which includes the Restless Planet dinosaur park, and the AED 1.98 billion (US$ 540 million) Dubai Sports City.

Other projects approved include the AED 499 million (US$ 136 million) Dubai Sunny Mountain Ski Dome and the AED 848 million (US$ 231 million) Aqua Dunya waterpark.

The US$ 5.52 billion project, announced in early 2004, was expected to be complete later this year. It is thought unlikely that it will now meet this deadline.

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