Imagine Disney World on steroids. That may help someone get a sense of the concept for this massive entertainment complex, which will cover 278 sq kilometers. The developer is Tatweer, a government-owned company and subsidiary of Dubai Holding. Dubailand will have six components: theme parks, sports venues, eco-tourism, health facilities, science attractions, and hotels and resorts.

The largest component will be Bawadi, a 10-km-long resort strip consisting of 50 themed hotels, with a total of 60,000 rooms. This district will include AsiaAsia, the world’s largest hotel (6,500 rooms), and other hotels modeled after ancient Egyptian palaces, Hollywood, and London’s Houses of Parliament.

Bawadi ultimately is expected to cost $54 billion and contain 217 million sq ft of indoor floor space; however, construction appears to be halted. ENR’s requests for comment from the developer received no response.

Another component, City of Arabia, a retail, residential, and commercial district, is expected to cost $5 billion. Features include a Mall of Arabia, which at 10 million sq ft would be one of the world’s largest malls; Wadi Walk, a large residential complex set around canals; and Elite Towers, a group of 34 commercial and residential buildings. Moreover, 100 life-size animatronic dinosaurs will be on view at The Restless Planet Theme Park.

Some initial construction has taken place at the City of Arabia. Piling work for the mall, along with shoring work and excavation for Wadi Walk, have been completed. But overall, work has slowed or stalled in the past year. The project’s owner, Galadari Group, did not return messages left by ENR.

Construction of another high-profile attraction, the F1-X Formula One Theme Park, which will be part of Motor City, was suspended in February 2009 when it was 50% complete. The F1-X theme park is owned by Union Properties.

Dubailand will contain a number of other large attractions. The $2.2-billion Universal City Dubai will include a 149-acre Universal Theme Park, 4,000 hotel rooms and 100 restaurants; the “Falcon City of Wonders” will include the Pharaoh Theme Park and full-size replicas of the Seven Wonders of the World; and the $1.9-billion Aqua Dunya development calls for two water parks, three hotels and waterfront retail and dining. Other planned attractions include the Dubai Snowdome, the Great Dubai Wheel, the Islamic Culture and Science World and the Emirates Planetarium.

While many components of Dubailand are now on hold, several have been built and are operating. They include the Dubai Autodrome, Dubai Outlet Mall, Global Village, Al Sahra Desert Resort and the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Location: Dubai

Estimated Cost: $64 billion

Construction Period: 2003-2025

Developer: Tatweer

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