Man-made Island Nears Completion
By JIM KRANE, AP Business Writer
>>With 14,000 laborers toiling day and night, the first of Dubai's three palm-shaped islands is finally about to get its first residents.
The Palm Jumeirah, a 12-square-mile island group, is part of what's billed as the largest land-reclamation project in the world, the product of five years of brute hauling of millions of tons of Persian Gulf sand and quarried rock.
When fully complete by 2010, the Palm Jumeirah will be an offshore city, with some 60,000 residents and at least 50,000 workers in 32 hotels and dozens of shops and attractions, Nakheel said.
The $14 billion project is a key part of this booming city's ambitions to rival Singapore and Hong Kong as a business hub, and surpass Las Vegas as a leisure capital.
Nakheel's two copycat Palms, the Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira, have also been delayed by design changes and other factors, Kazim said. A nearly finished fourth Nakheel archipelago, shaped like a map of the world, has attracted few buyers and remains mostly unsold.
Meanwhile, laborers living in a cruise ship moored offshore are scrambling to finish enormous concrete houses that are crammed together on the palm island's 17 "fronds." The fronds are narrow peninsulas as long as a mile, attached to the island's main trunk. Nakheel will hand keys to owners of 1,350 homes by Nov. 30, Kazim said.
The 1,500 room Atlantis Hotel is already under construction by South Africa and Dubai-owned Kerzner International, and is expected to be finished in 2009. The hotel will be similar to its Atlantis hotel in The Bahamas.
A redesigned Trump Hotel and Tower on the island is also expected to open sometime in 2009, Kazim said.<<
Can Disney be far behind?