31 May, 2006

So where the bloody hell are you?

Greenland is not the most inhabitable place in the world, but for the Nakheel miniature version, it (affectionately called G-19) has become the first of the 300 islands to be occupied, that too by a family. Hamza Mustafa, the GM of this $1 billion project is an optimistic man. He believes the project is going to attract dolphins to lay their eggs on the site; the water and irrigation system is apparently easier to to build over here rather than an in a inland city. These and a few other insights make this ProperT.ae interview a fascinating read.

As a General Manager of this project, we can say you are on the top of The World… Have you been involved since the planning stages of the project?
I was initially working with the sales of The World project, but I always been involved with the project since day one, ever since the concept was initiated. It is now over one year since I have become the General Manager for The World. But I have also been closely associated with all the projects since I joined Nakheel from its start.

Rest of article here

P.S. It has to be said that not everyone agrees with Nakheel's PR statement(apparently backed up by scientic facts) of the islands being helpful to the environment.
And does anyone know which family has bought this G-19 where Nakheel had the show villa?

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting read, but why not just provide a brief quote from it and then let people follow the link to read it?

Woke said...

I was trying to figure out how to do that...but I couldnt. Can someone help please?

secretdubai said...

Unfortunately Blogger is very limited as a blogging platform, and doesn't allow things like the LJ cut tag.

The only way to split an article is to use comments (see below). It is useful to quote whole articles from certain sites, because they don't keep accessible archives.

How many stations will be there from Dubai?
Initially only one, but in the near future we plan to create some sort of a smart pass system that exists in other big cities where you can have a day pass, which can be used for all transportation means like the Metro, buses or the ferry. We would also want to link The World with all the other waterfront developments in Dubai as well as the other main areas in the emirate.

How can access of unauthorized boats be controlled?
We want to monitor the access of the boats - each boat will have a transponder allowing us to know where it is stationed and where it is going. This means, at any point in time the boats will be part of an integrated system, and the movement of boats in any area can be detected. This is especially important for the safety and security of the boat owners.

How do you propose to overcome the difficulties facing the distribution of fresh water and power among the islands?
The main idea is to have an island where the water and power distribution system will be linked to the rest of the islands. It is even simpler than doing it in a city, because in a city when you have to place a line, you have to break the street. Here, you just have to make a hole to keep the cable lining to the islands. It takes only four km of cable to connect from the Jebel Ali power plant.

According to the initial plans, as was mentioned in the media, 300 islands in the World we have to been exclusive private islands to be freely designed by the purchasers. Only certain conditions of Nakheel were to be met to keep the harmony of the entire group of islands. Now it is said that 6% will be for private ownership. What prompted to make this change?
The truth is that 80 per cent of the people interested in developing something like The World look for hotel projects. The norm in such cases is to build a hotel with 30 to 40 rooms and have villas around it. You can buy a villa, and the hotel will take care of it. That IS what normally happens to most mid-density projects - developers will build the hotel with a section of villas. It is a hassle free investment -you have villas that are furnished, serviced and maintained. Returns are also guaranteed when you allow the hotel management to rent out the villas. This system comes from the Condo-concept of the US, but for The World it surely makes a lot of sense.

G19 is now the first island to have been completed; could you give us a brief of this project?
GI9 was originally built to be a show villa; it is about 200,000 sq ft with a 20.000 sq ft villa. But it has been recently sold for private use to a family and they are now living there. We don’t own it anymore, and that is all I can tell you about it.

Besides the Australian segment(Oqyana project) of the The World, how many others will be developed as community islands?
Oqyana is a very big project; they bought the continent, comprising 19 islands. They have been changing the shape a bit, which is allowed within a certain limit, as long as the general shape and concept is maintained. By 2008, some of the resort islands will start operating.

Which are the other developers working on The World?
I cannot announce the developers; I have to wait until they are ready to announce whatever they will be constructing on these islands because my deal is to sell them the island. I do not and cannot interfere in how and when they market the project. What I can tell you, however, is that a developer has bought two islands in Moscow, and another has acquired the island of Kuwait.

How much of The World has actually been sold?
We are not going to sell all the 300 islands - we don't want to do that, in fact. We will initially keep around 100 islands and sell the other 200. What is currently left for sale are 10 islands. We have sold around 30 per cent of the World - around 92 islands. As far as the last 200, in 2008, we'll invite a selection of 10 big developers to give an option. Why this? The World project is Dubai's most exclusive project, we don't want to sell the whole thing like, for instance, the Palm Jumeirah, and we want to keep the project controlled. The people who finally buy an island should be major developers, people who understand the uniqueness of the chance to build on one or more World islands. We have rejected many potential buyers. Not every developer is prepared nor has the knowledge of building on islands; some people even came to me wanting to build towers on the islands, imagine that! It doesn't make any sense, why would you want to build a tower here? Then you find people like Richard Branson who has a few island resorts over the world and owns an island too. He knows about island development, and that's the buyer profile that we are looking for - people that know what to build on. If we would only allow one building on an island that is not in harmony with the concept of the islands and the rest of the building - it could spoil the entire project, and we want to avoid that. I have to think of The World community and what we are delivering as an added value to Dubai, that is why I am so selective.

Access to the World can only be by sea or air. Will it be served by water airplanes or is there a plan to build small airports in any of the islands?
Maybe; we will have one for tourists but it will be something small. You are not far away from the land. We are anyway planning two runaways to be built.

What is approximately the total investment for Nakheel in the project?
The total investment for Nakheel for the construction of the islands and the infrastructure is $1 billion, and from that as I mentioned earlier, the breakwater alone is costing $230 million.

It has been said that The World and The Palm projects has cause irreversible damage to the marine life. How is Nakheel taking care of these issues?
I don't have an opinion, I have scientific facts. We are not harming the environment in the long run; we are actually building and enhancing the environment. All the materials that we are using are natural - rock and sand - not chemical or anything that could be damaging to the marine life. Because the project is sheltered we already have proven that even dolphins and other type fishes come to the site and lay their eggs. It is like building a golf course on the desert; you are bringing in the environment, not damaging it.

If we don't look after the environment this project will never sustain itself. The whole idea of our planning is that in 5 to 6 years time the islands must look after themselves and that Is our ultimate goal. We are using the forces of nature to do that. Yes, we know that sand will move from here to there but we also have studies that prove to us how and when it will move, and we use that knowledge to the benefit of the self- - sustainability of these islands. As with the break water, we are not just guessing how high a wave can be someday; we are giving an allowance for 4 m high waves. We had calculated the highest wave reached in 100 years and it was 3 metres. We had added another meter to be on the safer side.

The maintenance cost of these islands, whether private or communal, will be very high. Is that an issue for investors?
People who want to buy private islands are more - it is not that they cannot afford it; we do have a few people who bought a few islands who are specially creating their dream home in Dubai. They are letting their imagination run high, building palaces and castles, amazing things ... The common thing is to have a house here, another in London and another in LA, but not so many anymore. For the very rich the average price is $25 million. And maintenance at the World does not come a lot - the only thing is to maintain the breakwater and the canals. We are selling the islands along with your segment of water.

Woke said...

Thanks for that valuable tip. It is rather strange that blogger does not have that option. A file hosting option(maybe limited to 1mb)will be useful too.
I had done an OCR scan from a magazine. Dont think it is available online.

Grumpy Goat said...

You learn something new every day. I didn't realise dolphins laid eggs!

Aside from the duck-billed platypus, they're the only mammals that do :o

albob said...

So no talk about the shifting currents causing erosion of Dubai's beaches then? I don't know where I heard this but I can remember something like "it's a constant battle with the forces of nature" coming from one of the Nakheel guys.
Interesting that they decided to make "the world" more like a resort, definitely makes more sense that way.

I actually tend to believe Nakheel about the environmental issues. Once the dust settles from the construction I'm sure the fish will be replenished. However, these islands could also attract new species which weren't there before and that's not necessarily a good thing. I've heard stories of things like that happening where the introduction of a new species caused and imbalance of the ecosystem and wiped out another species that was there before.

Anonymous said...

dolphins don't lay eggs.

r

Woke said...

albob... Think twice before taking Nakheels views on environment and marine life for granted. Waiting for dolphins to lay eggs (grumpygoat..internet is a source of misinformation as it is for information) in the World Islands doesnt sound like a good idea.

Grumpy Goat said...

Constant replenishment of beaches implies constant dredging, with the attendant problems of the silt being constantly stirred up. The underwater dust will - IMO - never settle.

As for the putative oviparous dolphins, my previous post was apparently not dripping with enough irony.

Anonymous said...

it was in a fairly reliable western publication (economist or similar) that the g19 island/villa was sold to bigMdaddy and it's the only thing built on the world. if you search getty images you will find pics of it. look closely and you will see the main problem with this so-called brillant idea.

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