Patchay.Com takes over

www.PatChay.Com

To all Malaysia City readers,

This is a major site announcement. I am ‘merging’ this site with my personal site at Patchay.com.

The original contents of Malaysia City will stay as it is, so readers can still leave comments and share info with other visitors, but I will temporarily stop updating this site.

The new website will continue to cover topics related to urban developments and socio-economic developments in Malaysia and around the world, as well as personal topics such as my friends, travels, lifestyle and other fun stuffs.

Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my readers here and I look forward to your return to the new website:

www.patchay.com

— — — — — —

KL Projects & Construction Update

The new page is now at: 

http://www.patchay.com/2009/01/kuala-lumpur-roundup-2008-2009.html

— — — — — —

Merry Xmas and kind regards
Malaysia City

AirAsia’s £99 to London

LONDON, 25 NOV: Malaysia’s long-haul budget carrier, AirAsia X, has announced that its London Stansted-Kuala Lumpur service will take off on March 11, 2009, with fares starting from as low as £99 or RM499 each way, with no fuel surcharge!

“Connecting London – Kuala Lumpur for £99″ : AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes and AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani reveals the London – Kuala Lumpur fare in a ceremony held at London’s County Hall.

AirAsia X cabin crew posing against the London Eye. The low-cost long-haul carrier affiliate of AirAsia announces its latest route connecting London and Kuala Lumpur in London on 25 Nov 2008. 

AirAsia X cabin crew on top of a London double-decker bus that is wrapped with AirAsia and AirAsia X branding. AirAsia X, the low-cost long-haul carrier affiliate of AirAsia announces its latest route connecting London and Kuala Lumpur in London on 25 November 2008.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes (7th from left) and AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani with the airline’s cabin crew posing next to the London double-decker bus.

AirAsia Group CEO Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes has pledged to knock down the price to as low as £49 (RM271) once they increase the flight frequency to twice daily.

He said AirAsia X’s London-KL route was the realisation of a long-held ambition to open up affordable access between Malaysia and Europe for both Asean and European communities.

AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes (left) and AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani in London for the announcement of AirAsia X’s latest route connecting London and Kuala Lumpur. The launch was held London’s County Hall on 25 Nov 2008. 

For the London sector, AirAsia X will use Airbus A340 for the five times weekly direct flights. All flights will use AirAsia’s X’s newly-purchased-and-delivered Airbus A340 planes which will have 286 economy and 30 premium seats.

AirAsia X cabin crew posing against the London Eye. The low-cost long-haul carrier affiliate of AirAsia announces its latest route connecting London and Kuala Lumpur in London.

Fernandes said bookings would start at midday London time today until November 30 for the travel period of March 11, 2009 to Oct 24, 2009.

AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani (left) and AirAsia Group CEO Dato’ Sri Tony Fernandes addressing the media in a press conference at London’s County Hall, after announcing the London – Kuala Lumpur route. 

London would be AirAsia X’s 5th international destination after Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne in Australia as well as Hangzhou in China. It’s affiliate AirAsia Group, which flies short-haul routes in Asia is the region’s first, largest and most profitable low-cost carrier.

www.airasia.com

Photos special thanks to Amazing AirAsia.

The Palm Jumeirah & Atlantis The Palm

The Palm Jumeirah Dubai and the opening of Atlantis The Palm 

The Palm Jumeirah is a Palm-shaped artificial island situated off the Jumeirah coast of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates. It was entirely created using land reclaimation which will artificially create a total of 520km of beachline. It is also currently the world’s largest man-made island.

The Palm Jumeirah development started in 2001, and since then the concept has been duplicated with another two larger Palm Islands currently under development nearby – The Palm Jebel Ali and The Palm Deira. 

The Palm Jumeirah land reclaimation was started in 2001.

The Palm Jumeirah land reclaimation was started in 2001.

The Palm Jumeirah consists of a trunk, a crown with 17 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometre long breakwater. The palm island’s total area is larger than 800 football pitches. 

The crown is connected to the mainland by a 300-metre bridge and the crescent is connected to the top of the palm by a sub-sea tunnel.

The Palm Jumeirah in 2007.

The Palm Jumeirah in 2007.

Over the next few years, as the tourism phases develop, The Palm Jumeirah itself is touted to be one of the world’s premier holiday destination. It has also self-declared as the ’8th Wonder of the World’.

Besides Atlantis, The Trump and Palm Mall are iconic landmarks on Palm Jumeirah.

Besides Atlantis, The Trump and Palm Mall are iconic landmarks on Palm Jumeirah.

The Palm Jumeirah will feature themed boutique hotels, villa homes, resort-themed apartments, beaches, marinas, restaurants, cafés and a variety of retail outlets. Over 30 beachfront hotels will be opened as early as the end of 2009, including:

  • The Trump International Hotel & Tower – 62-storey iconic tower [www.trumpdubai.com];
  • Tiara Resort & Residence (to be known as Essque Hotel);
  • The Taj Exotica Resort & Taj Grandeur Residences;
  • Rixos’ Ottoman Palace Resort;
  • Oceana Hotel & Luxury Apartments;
  • Kempinski Emerald Palace & Residences;
  • Radisson SAS Palm Jumeirah;
  • The Kingdom of Sheba & The Fairmont Palm Residence;
  • The Royal Amwaj & Movenpick Palm Jumeirah Resort;
  • Dusit Thani Devarana Resort & Spa –> 7-star resort!; 
  • W Hotel Palm Jumeirah; etc.
The Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah under construction in 2006.

The Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah under construction in 2006.

The Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah in August 2007.

The Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah in August 2007.

Other attractions include:

  • Two F-100 Sabre fighter jets have been stripped and sunk within The Palm Jumeirah to create an artificial reef, intended to encourage marine life.
  • The world’s famous cruise liner Queen Elizabeth II will be rested here and transformed into a floating hotel beginning 2009. The cruise liner is due to arrive at The Palm Jumeirah on 26 November 2008.
The Palm Jumeirah on 1 November 2008_1.

The Palm Jumeirah on 1 November 2008_1.

The Palm Jumeirah on 1 November 2008_1.

The Palm Jumeirah on 1 November 2008_2.

The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is a 5.45km public transportation system currently being built to connect the Palm Jumeirah to the mainland, with a planned connection to Dubai Metro in the future. When open next year, it will be the first monorail in the region.  

The Palm Jumeirah villas and signature homes_1.

The Palm Jumeirah villas and signature homes_1.

The Palm Jumeirah villas and signature homes_2.

The Palm Jumeirah villas and signature homes_2.

The No.1 landmark on The Palm Jumeirah is Atlantis, The Palm. The resort is managed by world renowned Kerzner International and modelled after its flagship resort – Atlantis, Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The resort consists of two towers linked by a bridge, with a total of approximately 1,540 rooms. The 630-acre land taken up by this resort alone is equivalent to 64 Wembley football pitches.

And the cost of one night in the Bridge Suite was reported to be USD$35,000.  

The Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah also includes a large water theme park called “Aquaventure”, a dolphin bay and one of the world’s largest aquarium with 65,000 marine creatures (the world’s largest aquarium tank is in the recently opened The Dubai Mall). The water theme park major attraction is a waterslide called Leap of Faith that spits you out from the top of a faux-Mesopotamian temple called the Ziggurat!

The Palm Jumeirah sub-sea tunnel and The Atlantis, which is still under construction in June 2008.

The Palm Jumeirah sub-sea tunnel and The Atlantis, which is still under construction in June 2008.

The Atlantis was finally completed in September 2008.

The Atlantis was finally completed in September 2008.

*** *** ***

Finally, the Atlantis Palm Jumeirah was officially opened yesterday – 20 November 2008 with a big bang!

*** *** ***

Financial crisis? What crisis?

There was no evidence of the global financial crisis as tycoons and celebrities streamed into Dubai on the night of 20 November for the world’s most expensive private party of 2,500 invited guests.

Having spent £1 billion, the owners of the Atlantis hotel, which they hope will become the new symbol of excess in a region already replete with towering statements of wealth, splashed out £13.5 million on its debut.

One of the most spectacular party in 2008, but least known by common people.

One of the most spectacular party in 2008, but least known by common people.

The opening party was incredibly spectacular. It has been said to have been the world’s biggest firework display, a milion rocket firework display with 100 computer-guided rockets makes it 7 times bigger than the opening of Beijing Olympics, which is the largest firework display till last night.

See it for yourself below:

1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7740887.stm [must watch]

2.

3.

It was also celebrated in the grandest fashion with the presence of Western celebrities, including:

Kylie Minogue, Lindsay Lohan, Michael Jordan, Bob Geldof, Robert De Niro, Janet Jackson, Charlize Theron, Denzil Washington, Chris Tucker, Mary Kate Olsen, Wesley Snipes, Quincy Jones, Natalie Imbruglia, Gerald Butler, Stuart Townsend, Agyness Deyn, Petra Nemcova, Yasmin Le Bon, Lilly Allen, Mischa Barton, Shirley Bassey, Samantha Ronson, Jermaine Dupri, Daisy Lowe, Jade Jagger amongst others.  

The lit up Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah Dubai.

The lit up Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah Dubai.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan was the luckiest person at the party when he bagged the most exclusive suite stay, while Bollywood girl and former Miss World Priyanka Chopra was named the “Goddess of Atlantis”. 

Also present at the party was HRH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and the royal family of Dubai, Sarah Ferguson – the Duchess of York, local politicians, local celebrities, billion-dollar tycoons Sol Kerzner and Richard Branson, celebrity chefs and fashion designers.   

spiegel.de

The Atlantis is Rising! Source: spiegel.de

The greatest fireworks ever was reported to be visible from space. How cool is that?  

The Palm Jumeirah spectacular fireworks launch on 20 November 2008.

The Palm Jumeirah spectacular fireworks launch on 20 November 2008.

- THE END -

www.thepalm.ae ::: www.palmjumeirah.ae ::: www.atlantisthepalm.com

LegoLand Malaysia?

Latest Update >>> CLICK HERE

Lego theme park for Johor

The Straits Times/The Malaysian Insider

JOHOR BARU, Nov 21 – Lego, the Danish manufacturer of toy building blocks, is close to concluding a deal to build a theme park in Johor.

State authorities familiar with the project said a breakthrough in negotiations were proceeding well and preliminary works on “Legoland Malaysia” could start as early as June next year.

The project, to be sited on some 400 acres of land off Danga Bay, is expected to entail an initial investment of under RM1 billion.

Lego now operates theme parks in Denmark, Britain, the United States, Germany and Dubai. The theme parks, built entirely from building blocks, are targeted at young families and include the whole gamut of exciting roller coaster rides and a variety of other attractions.

Iskandar Investment Bhd (IIB), the investment arm of Iskandar Malaysia, is expected to be the local partner in the project. Speaking in Dubai last month, IIB managing director Arlida Ariff said that as many as three theme parks were being considered in Iskandar Malaysia.

It is learnt besides Lego, IIB is also pursing talks with Universal Studios and Disney Tokyo.

The plan is to have a core theme park covering 600 to 800 acres, and a few smaller theme parks of 50 to 100 acres each. Some 3,000 acres have been set aside for theme parks, including supporting commercial developments, in Iskandar Malaysia.

Discussions are for park operators to take up a stake in the theme parks so that they can have a long-term interest in these ventures.

*** *** ***

Take a sneak preview of LegoLand Theme Parks at WWW.LEGOLAND.COM.

The Dubai Mall

 *Update*

VIDEO PRESENTATION FROM AMEINFO:  

The Dubai Mall : http://www.ameinfo.com/174274.html

The Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre : http://www.ameinfo.com/174970.html

*** *** ***

One of the world’s largest shopping mall has opened in Downtown Dubai despite the global economic gloom.

 
The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall

*** *** ***

The Dubai Mall was officially opened on 4 November 2008.

The Dubai Mall was officially opened on 4 November 2008.

More than 600 retail shops were reported to be ready for business when the doors officially opened at 2pm on 4 November.

The Dubai Mall under-construction in September 2008.

The Dubai Mall under-construction in September 2008.

A model of The Dubai Mall... super freaking huge!

A model of The Dubai Mall... super freaking huge!

Sprawling over a total area of 12 million sq ft, THE DUBAI MALL is situated at the foot of Burj Dubai – already the tallest building on the planet at around 700 meters (2,300 feet) and still under construction.

The Dubai Mall interior_1

The Dubai Mall interior_1

With a projected 1,200 retail stores, The Dubai Mall will be the largest shopping centre-cum-entertainment hub in the Middle East.

The Dubai Mall interior_2

The Dubai Mall interior_2

The mall is scheduled to house branches of some of the world’s best known retail chains, such as London’s renowned toy store Hamley’s, French retailer Galeries Lafayette, UK’s luxury supermarket Waitrose; and Bloomingdales, which has never before had stores outside the United States.

Fashion Catwalk Atrium - a new concept of shopping mall centre court.

Fashion Catwalk Atrium - a new concept of shopping mall centre court.

The Gold Souk atrium

The Gold Souk atrium

Attractions within the mall that have opened include:

  • The mall’s main attraction is The Dubai Aquarium, one of the world’s largest aquarium tank plus a 270-degree walkthrough tunnel. The aquarium will eventually house up to 33,000 aquatic animals, including 400 sharks and rays combined.
  • Adjoining with the aquarium is the Discovery Centre, an educational open-air experience with rainforest and oceanic settings. Here you’ll walk on the canopy above a miniature river or see exotic animals like the piranhas and humbolt penguins.   [www.thedubaiaquarium.com]   
  • The world’s largest Gold Souk (gold marketplace) with 220 retailers.
  • The Middle East’s first Olympic-size ice skating rink.   [www.dubaiicerink.com]
  • The 850,000 sq ft multimedia-enhanced Fashion Catwalk Atrium.
  • 14,000 undercover parking spaces.
The Dubai Aquarium

The Dubai Aquarium

The Dubai Aquarium

The Dubai Aquarium at the official opening.

Other attractions within the mall include:

  • Middle East’s first SEGA Republic indoor theme park covering 76,000 sq ft that will open early 2009. Expect high adrenaline thrills just like in SEGA video games!
  • KidZania, a 80,000 sq ft children’s edu-tainment centre that will open mid 2009.
  • Reel Cinema, a 22-screen cineplex with a total of 3,000 seats, including a 350-seater hall that will be Dubai’s largest, an arthouse cinematic hall and 4 premier class halls. Reel Cinema is a joint venture with Singapore’s Cathay and is due for opening later in 2009.
  • The Grove, a state-of-the-art indoor-outdoor retail concept with fully retractable roof, which will bring in an outdoor community feel with tree-lined walkways, a lifestyle retail mix and a mix of casual dining cafés and restaurants.  
  • Fashion Avenue with 70 flagship stores dedicated to haute couture.
  • Waterfront Atrium, with views of the Burj Dubai and the Dubai Fountain, a musical water fountain spreading over 2 soccer fields that shoot water to heights equivalent to that of a 50-storey building. The fountain is currently under-construction.
  • Oasis Fountain Waterfall.
  • Adjoining The Address Downtown Burj Dubai and The Address Dubai Mall are two 5-star hotels opening in just a few weeks time.
The Grove @ The Dubai Mall

The Grove @ The Dubai Mall

Intereting retail outlets in The Dubai Mall include:

  • Hamley’s, 32,000 sq ft toy megastore that will include London’s Regent Street mini replica, has opened for business.
  • New York’s Bloomingdale’s first overseas branch that will open in 2010.
  • Galeries Lafayette, French departmental store opening in February 2009.
  • Waitrose, British high-end supermarket has opened.
  • Unconfirmed major tenant is Barneys of New York.
  • Other major tenants include Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Zara (flagship), Forever 21 (megastore), Kinokuniya Bookstore, Dean & Deluca, Crate & Barrell, etc. 
  • Close to 100 fashion stores, this mall is truly a global all-in-one fashion powerhouse – from Armani to Club Monaco, Dolce & Gabanna to Ed Hardy, Fendi to Gucci, Harley Davidson to Jean Paul Gaultier, Karen Millen to Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs to Porsche Design, Ralph Lauren to Salvatore Ferragamo, Ted Baker to Van Cleef & Arpels, Versace to Zilli.
  • Dubai’s largest foodcourt with 40 outlets, plus an organic foodmart, plus another 120 restaurants, fastfoods and cafes.
  • Notable fastfood chains include Charley’s Grilled Subs, Fatburger USA, New York Fries, Taco Bell, Uno Chicago Grill. Cafes are aplenty – from Armani Cafe to Cold Stone Creamery, Espressamente Illy to Krispy Kreme, Le Pain Quotidien to Patchi Chocolates, Starbucks to Whittard of Chelsea.
The Dubai Mall Ice Skating Rink

The Dubai Mall Ice Skating Rink

The funny thing is Dubai has announced that it will build another mall that will be larger than this, to be called the - Mall of Arabia Dubai – that will have a total gross leasable area of 10 million sq ft as compared to The Dubai Mall’s 3.8 million sq ft.

Shop till you drop!

Shop till you drop!

The Dubai Mall expects an estimated 30 million visitors within the first year of opening. Globally, the mall has already won 5 distinctive awards prior to opening.

WWW.THEDUBAIMALL.COM

Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, is renowned for grandiose and often extravagant projects, including a series of man-made islands and luxury hotels. In September, it launched the world renowned Atlantis-branded water-themed resort billed as the most unique in the Middle East.

The Atlantis on manmade Palm Jumeirah off Dubai coast was opened in September 2008.

The Atlantis on manmade Palm Jumeirah off Dubai coast was opened in September 2008.

The Race to Build the World’s Tallest

Malaysia City
Published: 23 October 2008

Financial bailouts and credit protection from London to New York to Sydney. We have heard about what might be the worst global economic crisis for half a century.

But wait a minute.

In the midst of worldwide stock markets tumbling as if Isaac Newton’s gravitional ideas were in control, three nations in the Middle East are battling all out to build the future world’s tallest skyscrapers. It sounds like a comic book fantasy to me but when I first saw the architects’ plans posted in an online forum, I was stunned for a moment.

Dubai’s state-owned master developer, Nakheel first unveiled their masterpiece in Cityscape 2008, a global real estate exhibition three weeks ago. Days later, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Al-Waleed unveiled his $27 billion wonderland to be built near Jeddah’s international airport. Kuwait’s ongoing ‘City of Silk’ project was also reportedly going for the challenge.

Ironically now is the best time for many Western architects.

Against all odds, Dubai is expanding its economy by building more and more before its oil runs out in a few years time. All this comes at a great cost: Dubai’s international borrowings were extremely high, given such tight credit market today. 

Statistics showed that Dubai’s oil exports currently account less than 10% of its total revenues, and that tourism, trade and finance were far more important to its growing economy.

No matter how the world thinks about Dubai, Dubai believes in one vision, and it is this vision that inspires this emirate to greater achievements.

*** *** ***

Malaysia City takes a review of some iconic, mind-boggling projects unveiled recently:

Proposed Jumeirah Gardens is near Burj Dubai

Proposed Jumeirah Gardens is near Burj Dubai

1. Three closely bunched inter-connected mega-skyscrapers would shoot in the sky, connected by skybridges and grand arches.

Each tower will be at least 600m/2,000 feet, housing hotels, offices, shops and luxury condominiums. The tallest tower will be at least 850m/2,790 feet making it the second tallest in the world.

Proposed One Dubai, Jumeirah Gardens

Proposed One Dubai, Jumeirah Gardens

The mega-structure would have more than 13 million square feet, making it one of the world’s largest as well as tallest complexes. Besides that, a tower of light would knife into the sky between the buildings. Canal boats would glide underneath. This is One Dubai to be built at the newly proposed US$95 billion Jumeirah Gardens by Dubai-based developer Meraas.

One Dubai in perspective...

One Dubai in perspective...

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2. One Park Avenue, another mixed-use tower in Jumeirah Gardens that would rise about 600m/2,000 feet, its undulating form evoking Dubai’s heritage of pearl trading. The project would contain more than 4 million square feet of offices, condominiums, apartments and hotel rooms. Excavation has begun.

Proposed One Park Avenue, Jumeirah Gardens

Proposed One Park Avenue, Jumeirah Gardens

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3. Park Gate, which would consist of six midrise towers arranged in facing pairs, creating a shaded garden space (garden hanging at the top upside-down?) comparable to Middle Eastern markets. The mixed-use project would allow energy from one building to be shared with another. Quoting the developer’s statement, foundation work has begun.

-

4. Park Gate will further be complimented by Meraas Tower, a mixed-use skyscraper of about 550m/1,800 feet tall, combining hotel space, offices and living units.

Proposed Park Gate and Meraas Tower, Jumeirah Gardens

Proposed Park Gate and Meraas Tower, Jumeirah Gardens

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5. The Atrium at Madinat Al Arab, Waterfront Dubai will rise as two arching towers, blending together at the 47th level as one to form a sculpted gateway, framing and maximising view to the Gulf and the City. The distinguished design captures the sophisticated essence of the international and dynamic city that is Dubai. Scheduled for completion in 2013, this project is the second by Gold Coast, Australia developer Sunland Group.

The Atrium Tower, Madinat Al Arab, a Waterfront Dubai precinct

The Atrium Tower, Madinat Al Arab, a Waterfront Dubai precinct

[Located on the western shores of Dubai , Waterfront Dubai will transform 1.4 billion square feet of empty desert and sea into an international community – for an estimated population of 1.5 million people – that is twice the size of Hong Kong Island. For more info, click here.]

-

Crazy? Not just yet.

-

6. The Anara Tower will stand next to the American University of Dubai, along Sheikh Zayed Road. When completed, the tower will be the third tallest building in the world with about 650m/2,150 feet in height.

Proposed Anara, Sheikh Zayed Road

Proposed Anara, Sheikh Zayed Road

The multi-use building will feature offices including the developer, Tameer’s own global headquarters, retail, a 250 room super-luxury hotel, 300 apartments, penthouses and even a major art gallery with a mixture of auctions and exhibitions of some of the world’s great art – something Dubai has lacked.

Anara is topped by a massive circular void with a huge glass pod in the middle aimed at being the ultimate high-rise restaurants in the world. The restaurant is supported by three legs as if they are blades of a wind turbine.

-

But this is Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, already home to numerous man-made wonders such as the artificial palm-shaped islands and the current world’s tallest structure, proclaimed even before it is due for completion next year.

The same developer for the Palm and The World islands three weeks ago made public for an even-taller, mixed-use skyscraper, one that that would rise to a height of more than 1,000m or 1km/3,281 feet — easily taller than two Sears Towers (or equivalently two Petronas Towers in Malaysia), or three Empire State Building stacked on end.

-

7. Nakheel Harbour & Tower will be the most ambitious urban project ever undertaken. It is a new city within the city of Dubai. The exact site for the proposed project is adjacent to Nakheel’s Discovery Gardens.

The man-made artificial inland harbour will be the first of its kind in the world. The masterpiece of the harbour will be the world’s tallest structure – Nakheel Tower – standing more than 1,000m/3,281 feet (the official planned height is a secret but a leaked report mentioned 1,440m or 4,600 feet above ground), and will be surrounded with another 40 towers ranging in height from 20 floors to 90 floors.

Proposed Nakheel Harbour & Nakheel Tower

Proposed Nakheel Harbour & Nakheel Tower

The Nakheel Tower itself is expected to take more than a decade to be built. The single structure is essentially made out of 4 individual towers connected with skybridges at every 25m – an engineering feat! The reason to this is to allow wind to flow through and thus putting a limit to the sway of the supertall tower during windstorms. When completed, it is expected to be home to more than 55,000 people and a work place for more than 45,000 people.

Some staggering facts and figures: 

- 4 towers interconnected - bisected glassy retail podium of 100,000 sqm connecting to a canal – projected 228 floors – 14,000 residential apartments – 14 luxury hotels (within a single building) offering 3,500 rooms – 150 high-speed lifts – 2 million m2 of space – the building will experience 5 different microclimatic conditions due to its height – due to the high-speed shuttle lifts one may be able to see the sunset twice from the bottom and again from the top of the building

A comparison of the tallest towers built (left) and under-construction (right)

A comparison of the tallest towers built (left) and under-construction (right)

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8. Ziggurat was unveiled at the recent Cityscape Dubai. It is by far the “funkiest” project ever envisioned. Ziggurat is an environmentally sustainable futuristic city housed inside a pyramid. The city will be entirely self-sufficient in energetic terms and supported by a carbon neutral system producing zero carbon dioxide emissions.

Ziggurat - a sustainable concept under one roof

Ziggurat - a sustainable concept under one roof

The city will employ natural renewable energy resources of solar, wind and steam making it completely self-sustainable. A transport system with vertical and horizontal links connects all parts of the pyramid.

Ziggurat - the future is here

Ziggurat - the future is here

The ginormous pyramid will cover 2.3 square kilometers, will be able to sustain a “community” of up to 1 million and will have plenty of green spaces for recreation and agriculture.

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9. Dubai City Tower (aka Dubai Vertical City) is a “visionized” proposal (recent proposal) for a 400-storey skyscraper of 2.4km/1.5 miles in height, almost twice the height of Nakheel Tower mentioned above. No official details are out yet so it remains a mystery.

Dubai City Tower is as good as a vision

Dubai City Tower is as good as a vision

In the past, there has been some futuristic mile-high proposals such as Tokyo’s X-Seed 4000 and Millenium Tower, but none are as real as the above.

-

Elsewhere in the region, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait is giving Dubai a run for the world’s tallest building title.

-

10. Kingdom City Tower is a masterminded project of Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. He was quoted as saying he will build the world’s tallest building in the Saudi city of Jeddah. The building will be more than a kilometer high (1,000m/3,281 ft) high and will be part of a larger urban project that will cost 100 billion Saudi riyals (US$26.7 billion).

Kingdom City was announced shortly after Nakheel Harbour

Kingdom City was announced shortly after Nakheel Harbour

The tower itself will span 23 million square meters (248 million square feet) and will include luxury homes, hotels and offices.

-

11. The City of Silk is a US$132 billion urban development located 120km from Kuwait City. It is inspired by the historical trade route of Silk Road between Asia and Europe. The new city is hoped to create a new sustainable metropolis that will be home to an estimated one million people. The project also aims to reduce Kuwait’s dependence on revenues from oil.

The City of Silk is Kuwaits vision

The City of Silk is Kuwait's vision

The centre-piece of this city will be Burj Mubarak al-Kabir, a 1,001m tall tower, almost 200 metres taller than the Burj Dubai and twice the height of Taipei 101. Its height is a reference to the classic work of Arabic literature, The One Thousand and One Nights.

The architects have said that three blades will be built near the top of the tower, that will carry a mosque, a church and a synagogue to signify the unity of the three monotheistic religions.

The project also includes the contruction of several artificial islands, a 26km highway, Olympic facilities and an education hub. 

-

Closer to home, Shanghai has also announced a new supertall that would succeed the recently completed tallest building in China, the Shanghai World Financial Centre. 

-

12. Shanghai Center is a proposed development adjacent to SWFC and Jin Mao in Pudong district.  The tower will host 9 indoor gardens and a public park. Construction is expected to start pretty soon and scheduled to be completed in 2013, unfortunately after the World Expo in 2010. 

The winning bid for Chinas upcoming tallest tower

The winning bid for China's upcoming tallest tower

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-THE END-

 

References: Skyscrapercity World and UAE; AME Info; The National UAE; Gulf News; Nakheel LLP; Nakheel Harbour & Tower; Meraas Development; Tatweer; Timelinks; CNN; Chicago Tribune; Gensler; Wikipedia

Badawi’s legacy in Medini Iskandar

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has unofficially resigned so to speak, but will only officially do so in March next year after his party polls.

The question is how well will his tenure be remembered?

Or has he left any good legacy for the country and people, at least so far? I wouldn’t want to mention deeply about this issue but all I can remember from his few years of popular-then-very-unpopular premiership was nothing more than his so-called “Economic Corridors”.

This week at a global real estate event in Dubai, Iskandar Malaysia – one of Mr Badawi’s brainchild corridor project has revealed an ambitious multi-billion dollar development in the Iskandar region of Johor, the southern state neighbouring Singapore.

Medini - Iskandars Financial District

Medini - Iskandar's Financial District

It is called Medini Iskandar (City) or simply known as Iskandar Financial District, which is to be developed by a consortium of investors mainly from the Middle East. (It was also announced that the Iskandar region would have at least three world-class theme parks.)

The unveiling of this urban-centric project came after the privately-funded Penang Global City Centre project in the northern economic region of Penang, another brainchild of the Prime Minister, was scrapped by the recently-elected Opposition government of Penang.

Medini Iskandar

Medini Iskandar

I’m here trying to be a little pessismistic on the prospect of Iskandar Malaysia, not really because it was a brainchild of an unpopular Prime Minister but more of the fact that our political uncertainty since March 2008 is taking its toll (or has had) by driving out the “forces” to other emerging economies, perhaps China and India.

The fact is Malaysia last year already had an “investment deficit” or negative flow of investments due to fund outflows exceeding the inflow of funds (such as FDI and tourism receipts?) into our country, according to the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2008. What more can you say for this year.   

And then we have a record-breaking inflation rate then doesn’t seem to drop at all when crude oil prices already trade well below the $100 per barrel mark (consumer prices at pump have dropped a little). So I ponder why is our government putting enormous importance to mega-projects that no one cares at all than the welfare of the people who are suffering from a 27-year high inflation?      

It is even harder to believe the viability of this dream corridor amidst a very nasty financial crisis evolving in the developed world. The ongoing crisis in the US and Europe will certainly hit Malaysia’s export-oriented economy very very hard. And we all know this for sure.  

In the end, many corridor projects will just be Dreams, not until everything in the world including Malaysia gets better. Mr Badawi would certainly want his Iskandar Malaysia legacy to live on under the hands of his successor, that most of us already know.

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