'Aladdin City' - A Reality

Ever dreamed of living in Genie’s lamp? Dubai provides an opportunity to experience this. The Dubai Municipality (DM) is officially starting the design of ‘Aladdin City’. The project will comprise almost 111,480 square metres of commercial and hotel space and 900 parking spots. It is expected to begin construction by next year and aims to increase tourism and boost the economy by the 2020 World Expo.

The project will be spread across 4000 acres and will include three main towers shaped like the genie lamps. The towers will be 25, 26 and 34 storeys high and will be connected by 450 metres moving walkways like the magic carpet of Aladdin.

As much as the proposal sounds funky and exciting, it seems to be another one of Dubai’s projects that will have high environmental impacts and offcourse this issue is not spoken about. The complex will spread over a distance of 450 metres on the historic Dubai Creek. The site will sit outside the area that is currently bidding to become a UNESCO world heritage site. Even though the towers are proposed to be built on the Dubai Creek there doesn’t seem to be any physical connection to the water body, like the walkways are elevated from the water and lose the opportunity to connect with the creek.

Dubai in past has already built artificial islands like Palm Jumeirah, The World and Palm Deria in the Persian Gulf. These islands have affected the marine life of Dubai and the region has lost almost 70 per cent of its coral reefs since 2001. Such developments do a lot of damage during and after the construction process. For example, almost 94 million cubic metres of sediments was dredged during the construction of Palm Jumeirah Island.

It looks like Dubai has not learned from its past and intends to start impacting the water quality of Dubai Creek now. It will be interesting to see how this proposal will respond to the environmental and heritage concerns related to the project are addressed.

To read complete story of ‘Aladdin City’ follow the link below:


By Amruta Purohit, Urban Designer


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