Dubai is growing so fast that photographs of its skyline seem to be changing constantly, the one consistent feature of the images being the epic industry of the construction cranes, moving implacably among the towers and pushing them ever-skywards, toward progress, to the future. It was said that in 2006 15-25% of the world’s cranes were to be found in this tiny Emirate.
Between 1995 and 2005, Dubai’s population doubled to 1,204,000 and by 2009 had grown to 1,771,000. Dubai today is a global business and tourism hub and is perhaps one of the world’s premier architectural locations, as its almost limitless space and profoundly investor-friendly policies make the Emirate a developer’s and architect’s dream. There are almost too many prestige projects being unveiled to mention, but the beginning of 2010 saw the opening of Downtown Dubai - a complex including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and Giorgio Armani’s Hotel.
Dubai Pearl summons up that dizzy sense of possibility that accompany breathless science fiction depictions of the future, where technology renders life at once simpler but also much more sophisticated; floating cities in the sky reached by flying cars, delicious dinners in a pill, holidays on the moon. With phase one due to be completed at the end of 2013 Dubai Pearl represents the next stage in Dubai’s evolution, offering residents a chance to live, work, shop, relax and vacation in the city of the future.
Situated in the heart of the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone, an area of almost unprecedented investment and simultaneous urban development, Dubai Pearl is a twenty million square foot city. A completely self-contained and walkable environment that represents a step into the future of sustainable urban communities, the complex, when operating at capacity, will be called home by nine thousand residents and be where twelve thousand will come to work.
Designed by renowned German architect Professor Peter Schweger, Dubai Pearl will comprise a revolutionary four tower structure, which consists internally of a pioneering column free design, creating 20% more usable space than standard in the region. The four towers are conjoined at the summit by a platform at the seventy-third story and the classical-inspired podium buildings are set in a ‘walkable’ public realm with exquisitely rendered green areas. In fact over half (56%) of the overall site is dedicated to open spaces, with 35% of the project area landscaped.
An indication of the scale of the ambition driving the project can be found in the litany of brands from the most exclusive echelon of international hospitality that are already signed onto it. The Baccarat and Bellagio Residences will offer the kind of almost limitless luxury for which these two icons of style are world renowned. Other high-spec luxury residences will be focused around central themes, such as fashion or technology. MGM Grand, Skylofts and Quintessentially are the other marquee brands attached to the development and will be bringing their own unique set of design values to Dubai Pearl. Visitors will be invited to choose from a selection of seven five star hotels, and take advantage of the Mall and Retail District. With its open-air courtyards, shaded terraces and exclusive boutiques, this ultra chic retail and entertainment facilities will rival Rodeo Drive and Fifth Avenue for exclusive sophistication and offer the chance to while away whole days in its street cafes, premium grade restaurants, bars and clubs.
Whilst one would expect such opulence on such a grand scale to come at great environmental cost, Dubai Pearl has in fact has been designed to sustainable specifications to the minutest detail, using the latest technology to conserve energy, reuse assets and recycle waste (including a comprehensive water conservation system). Such is the extent and sophistication of its environmentally technology, that Dubai Pearl attained pre-certification from the US Green Building Council (USGBC) at the Gold level for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), one of the most rigorous and prestigious hallmarks of sustainable development.
With a mantra of “work, play, live, stay”, Dubai Pearl aims to provide its residents, guests and workers with a sense of a city within a city, where every metropolitan need is catered for on their doorstep. It will therefore, play host to an array of leisure and retail facilities to rival any of the great city centers of the world - a 1,800 seat opera house; two performing arts theaters; a ten screen cinema; an art boulevard and exhibition galleries; and a music, dance, film and fashion academy.
Once again, however, Dubai Pearl will go further than this, creating a holistic set of services and amenities that will foster a true sense of community amongst its residents. After all, every city needs a clinic and medical center, a kindergarten, a primary school, a community center and library.
It seems, therefore, that Dubai and its new metropolitan hub, Dubai Pearl, are one step further into the future of urban living.
- Ben Stewart
Concept: Urban Development
Expected to be Completed: Late 2013
Tel: 04 390 4945
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dubai Pearl