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‘Floating city’ to come up soon in Maldives

Maldives Floating City, a benchmark for vibrant communities
Update March 15, 2021

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Click here for the Maldives Floating City Website

Parag Deulgaonkar, EMIRATES 24/7, Nov 2011

Building a “floating city” of 20,000 houses next to Male, capital of the Maldives, may be the answer for the tiny nation’s agony of finding a new homeland for its populace as some of its coral reef islands face an imminent threat from the rising sea level.

Although Dutch Docklands, a Netherland-based sustainable floating architecture specialists, has already signed up with the government of Maldives to build a “commercial” floating development, comprising a golf course, convention centre, private islands, valued at $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion), it has proposed the idea to build “affordable” housing for the locals.

The company will soon unveil the first floating island with six to eight affordable houses that people can see, feel and walk.

“It is not only about reinforcement of tourism, but also reinforcement of society. It is about giving and taking. We want to share our know how, gained from commercial projects, with the less fortunate and provide them with affordable floating housing,” Paul van de Camp, Chief Executive Officer, Dutch Docklands, told Emirates 24/7.

Over 80 per cent of their 1,190 islands are no more than a meter above sea level, with Male being one of the most densely populated islands in the world. The government had previously thought of buying land from other countries and moving its people there.   Maldives is also in need of over 20,000 houses between now and 2022 and they have no more land to build those.

“We are working on the master plan, which we have already partly presented to the government and the President of the Maldives, in which we make affordable floating islands. We can provide them with a whole ‘floating city’ of 20,000 houses next to Male,  where the locals can live in floating houses.”

Golf course designer competition in Dubai

Dutch Dockland will also be announcing of the name of the designer’s for their $500-million 18-hole floating golf course soon after this year’s Dubai World Championship.

“We have selected already six top golf course designers, who will each, just after the Dubai World Championship, give a full presentation how they think they can assist us by making not only the first floating course, but also the most environmentally friendly golf course in the world. Soon after this we will then announce the winner,” van de Camp informed.

The course, which will be connected through underwater tunnels, is due for completion in 2015 at the latest. It  will be located around 15 minutes by boat from the airport to attract all residents and visitors.

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Green light for Dubai’s first private floating islands

By Parag Deulgaonkar
Emirates 24|7


Oqyana World First to have 33 floating houses with own beach, garden and pool

Oqyana Real Estate and Amillarah Private Islands will create will be 33 luxury floating private islands with each having a garden, pool and beach. (Supplied)

Dubai-based Nakheel has given the go-ahead to the developer of the floating islands, which are part of Oqyana World First, on The World, an artificial archipelago of over 300 islands, according to the project developers.

“Nakheel has now granted our project with all the necessary permits in order to take the next step,” Oqyana Real Estate and Amillarah Private Islands said in a joint statement.

The developer claims it was the ‘first’ floating project ‘officially approved’ on The World, which has been developed by Nakheel, a wholly-owned government entity.

In January 2015, the two companies signed a deal to create a series of floating private islands as part of the project located on Australasia.

There will be 33 luxury floating private islands with each having a garden, pool and beach.

“We are offering floating private islands, tailor made to the clients specifications, based on our Dutch heritage of hundreds of years of working with the water,” Paul van de Camp, CEO, Amillarah, told Emirates 24|7.

“We do not want to start any sales before all permits are granted and all technical details are engineered.”

Completely stable on the water, the base of the island is built to last for far over 100 years and will create a new underwater habitat for sea life, the company states, adding, it is building similar islands in Maldives and in Miami in the US.

Oqyana World First comprises high-end villas, apartments, hospitality and retail elements.

In May 2015, this website reported that Kleindienst Group, developer of the Heart of Europe development on The World, had sold 35 of 42 Dh6.5-million ‘floating seahorses’, which will have the master bedroom and bathroom totally submerged underwater, to Gulf Cooperation Council nationals, Europeans and Indians.

The World

The World project is nine-kilometres wide and seven-kilometres long.

It covers an area of 931 hectares and will add 232km to Dubai’s natural 67km of beachfront.

The islands range from 150,000 to 450,000 square feet in size.

The project is divided into private estate island zones, commercial zones, which have low/mid/high density resorts, hubs for ferry transfer points and public visitor areas.

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Floating islands on ‘The World’ could be a reality soon

Parag Deulgaonkar, Emirates 24/7, Nov 2011

Investors who bought a water mass along with their islands on The World project have now an easier alternative than starting construction on their islands – getting a “self-sustainable” floating island.

This time the concept has been introduced by the Dutch company which won the competition to build Nakheel’s Floating Proverb – spread across 89 floating islands around Palm Jebel Ali. The project, with a surface area of 220,000 square metres, is to spell out an Arabic poem when read from the air.

“We are seriously looking at launching a floating island on The World. And we are in talks with some private investors,” Paul van de Camp, Chief Executive Officer, Dutch Dockland, told ‘Emirates24|7’ in an exclusive interview.

Majority of investors in The World bought a water mass when they bought their islands. Today to make the islands ready for construction, they will have to pour in a lot of money. Instead, they could have a “self-supportable” floating island that can be constructed in combination with the already existing landmass and will therefore become much more feasible.

“As all the equipment is within the island and is therefore completely self supporting; the owners do not have to depend on getting any infrastructure ready.”

In October, however, a Dubai-based joint venture revealed the “floating island” villa concept for the owners of islands in The World project, called ‘Ome”.

When asked about the floating proverb, Van de Camp states: “It was brilliant concept. We have worked on it and the concept is still there.”

A floating stadium for Qatar?

Not just a floating island, Dutch Docklands, the company that has a reputation for producing zero footprint floating projects, has numerous other concepts building a floating Olympic village and a stadium.

Well, they will soon be pitching this concept to the Qatari government and looking to turn it into reality.

Van de Camp believe that one of the very good opportunities for them as a company is that Qatar will be hosting the World Cup and bidding for the Olympics.

“They will need to build infrastructure and stadiums. Although for many people it will be quite a visionary thought, but we can build a floating stadium or even a whole village for them.”

He adds: “We haven’t spoken to the Qatari government as of yet, but we have this serious idea of floating infrastructure for the Olympics.”

In May 2010, Dutch Dockland entered into a joint venture with the government of Maldives to develop several floating facilities such as a 18-hole golf course, hotel and private villas.

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