Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of UAE real estate giant Emaar, has suggested building a floating bridge from Dubai to Nakheel's The World manmade islands development, as part of a plan to rescue the troubled project.
In an interview published this week with Arabian Business, Alabbar said: “Somebody has to put it back to life. I would probably build a bridge straight into it now – a floating bridge. You need a bridge to at least one of the islands and from there people can go to all the different islands. You need to bring life to it.”
Announced at the height of Dubai’s real estate bubble, The World epitomised the city’s boom-time ambition and helped launch Nakheel’s reputation for man-made islands.
The project ran aground in the wake of the global financial crisis with almost all of the buyers on the project failing to begin construction. Owners have told Arabian Business that they have been unable to develop the islands due to lack of vital infrastructure.
Nakheel has previously said that 70 percent of the 300 manmade islands have been sold and that building work is the responsibility of the owners.
Alabbar added: “I like The World. I like the project. I would have probably done it [given the opportunity] and probably changed a few things. Otherwise I really like the project.”
Asked whether he would consider developing such a project, Alabbar said: “It’s not my business, not my project, but if somebody asks me I would be happy to suggest it. But it’s a fabulous development. I like it.”