By Arabian Travel News Staff Writer

ATN showcases the ‘wow’ developments set to rise from the sand in an emirate that continues to push the boundaries and hit the record books.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa

No matter how much the international knocks – and mocks – Dubai, you have to admire the emirate’s ability to cast these aspersions aside and focus on its core objectives – developing the destination to world-class standards. At World Travel Market (WTM) in London in November, Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) came out with a series of bold press releases promoting the emirate’s many tourism-related projects that are due to come online in 2010 with headlines reading ‘flagship developments defy the global economic downturn and open in Dubai’.

“Dubai has pioneered some of the world’s most exciting and extraordinary developments and 2010 will be no exception,” said a DTCM statement. “Standing head and shoulders above other destinations, Dubai’s offering will reach new heights when the world’s tallest building opens in December 2009 (ed: now January 2010), along with a number of new hotels, sporting facilities and epic ground breaking developments opening in the coming months.

“These high profile new developments are a clear sign that the emirate is moving into a period of recovery from the global econmic downturn while also providing many new employment opportunities.” Here we profile the many projects that the DTCM has said will open in 2010.

1. Burj Khalifa
The world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, is scheduled to unlock its doors in early 2010 as the centrepiece of the Downtown Burj Khalifa area. This will include the world’s first Armani Hotel, designed, featuring 160 guestrooms and suites, an Armani Spa, a private members’ club, two gourmet restaurants and a nightclub. It will also boast 144 exquisite Armani Residences all furnished in the designer’s ‘homes’ brand, Armani Casa.

2. Dubai World Central Al Maktoum International (DWC-AMI) Dubai World Central, located in the vicinity of the Jebel Ali Port and Free Zone in ‘New Dubai’ is a multi-phase development of six clustered zones: Dubai Logistics City (DLC), Commercial City, Residential City, Aviation City and Golf City, with the world’s largest airport – Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International (DWC-AMI) at its heart.The 140km² development will also be home to the region’s first integrated, multi-modal transportation platform connecting air, sea and land. The costs for the entire DWC development (including all clusters) has been estimated in excess of US $32 billion and work is in progress on the $820 million phase one of DWC-AMI.

Here ATN speaks to DWC-AMI vice president Andrew Walsh about the opening of phase one – which will take place in June 2010 – and the plan for years ahead.

Which airlines are likely to move into DWC-AMI when phase one is open?

We are still talking to a range of carriers – commercial, cargo, government aviation, low-cost, freighters etc – but the level of attractiveness is going to be down to each airline’s own personal product. We are talking to a combination of existing airlines and new entrants, but nothing is confirmed yet.

What are the benefits of airlines moving to Al Maktoum Inernational?

The real benefit is that we will be a multi-modal hub in that we can take advantage of the nearby seaport (at Jebel Ali) plus we have the road network into Dubai, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and into Saudi Arabia. This is very attractive for the cargo industry. The benefits for the passenger airlines is certainly a less-congested airport [than Dubai International], plus the close proximity to new Dubai. We do recognise the current difficulties for Dubai International and the concentrated land mass around it, whereas AMI will be far less congested. There is better access to Abu Dhabi and Al Ain and the by-pass road [that is being extended to the airport] will make it much easier to travel to Sharjah and the Northern Emirates.

What will be the total capacity of the two airports when phase one is opened?

We reached 40.5 million passengers at Dubai International in 2009 and will have 46 million by the end of 2010. At DWC-AMI we will have one million passengers by the end of 2010 so that’s 47 million across the two airports in total by the end of the year. What’s actually available is five million at DWC-AMI [for phase one] and 65 million at Dubai International. With expansion [at the latter], that will increase to 75 million by the end of 2012 with the opening of concourse three. Of course, when it’s completed, DWC-AMI will have the capacity for 160 million.

When will phase two open?

We are not sure but there will be a series of developments opening in between phases one and two, but it could be another 10 years before the passenger terminals are open.

Will the two airports both be operational when DWC-AMI is completed?

DWC-AMI is always the long-term solution for Dubai because capacity constraints at Dubai International are recognised. The absolute capacity at Dubai International is 90 million, but in order for the UAE and Emirates Airline to expand, we need more capacity than that. The decision about how they might work together is still underway.

From what sources will demand for DWC-AMI be generated?

It’s important that we look at the passenger side. We have said for some time that we would exceed 40 million passengers at Dubai International in 2009 and we had already done that before the end of the year. Unlike many airports globally, we continue to report growth. Over the last few months we have seen double-digit growth (year on year in terms of passenger numbers). Of course, the growth is not as strong as we witnessed from 2007 to 2008, but never-the-less, it is positive. It’s the same on the cargo side where we have seen marginal growth this year. In the list of top 10 airports in the world (where we are number five) the other nine airports have lost volume, but we are growing. DWC-AMI is located in a place that brings the airport and seaport together, plus we are a global hub that brings three continents – Europe, Africa and Asia – together. We are a multi-modal hub and it’s important to have an airport that can grow and expand.

Al Maktoum International
• A single A380 compatible runway

• Passenger terminal with capacity of five million passengers per annum (expandable to seven million) at a cost of  $275 million • A cargo terminal building with a capacity of 250,000 tonnes per annum (expandable to 600,000 tonnes) at a cost of $76 million • A 92-metre air traffic control tower

When completed:

• Up to four passenger terminals • 160 million passengers per annum (compared to 90 million at Atlanta) • A final cargo capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum • Five parallel runways, 4.5km long, each separated by a minimum of 800-metres

3. Kidzania
Children are in for a treat in 2010 with the opening of Kidzania at Dubai Mall, a city made for and run by children, where they can drive buses, fly aeroplanes and work in restaurants. It is an initiative of Emaar Retail, which has already opened attractions such as Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, SEGA Republic, Reel Cinemas and Dubai Ice Rink at the mall.
KidZania will feature offices, schools, a fire station, race track, radio station, pizzeria, hospitals, a bank, ATM machines, theatre and fashion ramps, all scaled down to a smaller, child-friendly size. Kids can choose a preferred ‘role’ – from teachers and doctors to construction workers and mechanics – and are provided with costumes to complete the experience. But perhaps the piece de resistance is the Emirates Airline component of this edutainment centre.
The airline is creating a real-life airport and airline environment with features including aircraft bodies and cockpits and check-in counters. Kids can even dress up in Emirates Airline pilot and cabin crew uniforms.
4. Jumeirah Golf Estates
Dubai’s goal to position itself as one of the world’s leading sporting destinations is already underway with the Greg Norman-designed Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates already opening at the end of 2009 for the inaugural Dubai World Championship, which culminated with the Race To Dubai.
The resort will also house three other courses, Wind, Fire and Water, designed by Greg Norman, Vijay Singh, Sergio Garcia and Pete Dye.
Members are already playing the Earth course and the Fire course is set to open early this year.
5. Tiger Woods Al Ruwaya Resort
Continuing the golf theme, despite the recent controversy surrounding international golf star – and now play boy – Tiger Woods, the Tiger Woods Dubai and Al Ruwaya Golf Club is also set to open in 2010.
It will boast an 18-hole championship course with “dramatic elevation changes, lush landscaping, stunning water features and an overall design that will challenge and entertain golfers of all playing abilities”.
Residential and hospitality components will include 197 residences, a boutique hotel, a spa, a fine dining restaurant, a professionally staffed golf academy and the Al Ruwaya clubhouse.
6. The Meydan Racecourse
Meydan Racecourse will open its doors this month playing host to a number of high-profile events including Dubai International Racing Carnival and the Dubai World Cup.The new racecourse will be able to accommodate 60,000 spectators in the 1.2-km long grandstand.
A horse racing museum and gallery, hotels, restaurants and an IMAX theatre are also planned. Hotel operator Banyan Tree has also been appointed to manage a hotel complex and all-pool villa resort at Meydan.
The racecourse is part of Meydan City, which will also include Horizons – a mixed-use development comprising commercial, residential and retail space, as well as an 80-berth marina; Godolphin Parks – a residential complex and shopping mall; and Metropolis – a commercial, retail and residential
7. Dubai Metro
Following the opening of the Dubai Metro in 2009, the next stage – the Green Line – is scheduled to open in June 2010 with the completion rate in constructing several stations ranging from 50% to 80%. The project comprises eight underground stations, 12 elevated stations, 8km of underground track and 15km of above ground track to be served by 17 trains in 2010, increasing to 42 in 2015 and 50 in 2010.
The route covers the area between Al Nahda Street to Healthcare City and the estimated journey time from start to finish of the Line is approximately 26 minutes. Dubai Metro is the world’s longest fully-automated rail transport system and when completed, it will have 70km (43 miles) of lines and 47 stations.
There are three classes of travel – ‘Women & Children’ (a special car for women and children with more space to allow strollers and bags); ‘Gold’ (more spacious, higher level of privacy, luggage space and leather seating; and ‘Silver’ (standard class with 25 to 27 seats).
8. The World
Development on Nakheel’s The World project will continue in 2010. Work will begin on as many as 20 of the planned 300 luxury man-made islands and with two more islands selling in October last year; only four islands remain on the market in the current schedule.


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