Exclusive: Dubai's Nakheel plans road link to The World islands

Government developer adopting idea mooted by Emaar boss Mohamed Alabbar earlier this year

Dubai’s Nakheel is in advanced talks to build a road link to The World manmade development in a bid to boost land prices and encourage sales of the remaining islands, a source told Arabian Business.

The government-owned developer is said to be drawing up plans to build the road link from the Jumeirah area of Dubai out to The World, an artificial archipelago of islands in the shape of a world map and located 4km off the city’s coast, a source close to the project claimed.

Launched in 2003, with dredging work starting in 2005, around 70 percent of the islands were sold but the 2008 property crash saw a halt to work on the islands, with several owners caught up in legal wranglings with the master developer.

One of the islands – Lebanon – has been turned into a beach resort, while Nakheel CEO Ali Rashid Lootah said in an interview this month the unsold islands would be offered for sale once the market had fully recovered.

The source said the aim of the road bridge was to help boost sales prices for the remaining islands and as a catalyst for existing owners to start construction work.

"Accessibility to any development is critical for success and so building a hard link to at least a part of the development should unlock value amongst those potential investors who have looked at the scheme but have had logistical concerns," Nicholas Maclean, managing director Middle East of real estate consultancy firm CBRE.

The idea was mooted by Emaar chairman Mohamed Alabbar during an interview with Arabian Business earlier this year when he suggested building a floating bridge out to The World.

“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,” Alabbar said.

“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,” he added.

In response, Nakheel CEO Sanjay Manchanda appealed to the Emaar boos to work with the master developer on the project.

“If he has a proposal of building a bridge, probably he should come and we will see how we can do it,” Manchanda said in April.

* Nakheel no longer responds to media enquiries from Arabian Business, nor does it grant Arabian Business access to any of its media events or announcements.

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Posted by: MAF

A important road that connects the Gardens to the main exit points was closed precisely on July 18, 2013. That says a lot doesn't it. Nakheel please get your act together!

Posted by: Dave

And another road that connected Furjan villas to Jebel Ali E77 Road was closed on 12th December 2013 for no obvious reason. Why do developers have such a big problem with roads that give relief to drivers ?

Posted by: Sam

Ahha, how about building a bridges and appropriate roads to already set up communities like Jumeira Park, Discovery Gardens and JLT. The traffic is horrible. There is no official entrance to Jumeira Park and J.Islands. You will be driving in circles for hours before finding the exit! Nakheel should put some emphasis on these great communities and fix their entrances as they are still temporary with red cones flashing since 2007!

Posted by: Pauline

Maybe they want to have a think about another island they have called Palm Jebel Ali which is sitting waiting to be built on.....its not rocket science!

Posted by: nice

have they thought about parking....if you can get somewhere by car - you need to be able to park....? Cars are not the answer... a temporary road link to help with construction might be a runner but anything permanant will not work.

Posted by: MMM

i have a feeling the media and developers are reaching to their PR archive from 2006 and copy pasting the news from then. did we all forget 2008 ever happened? what did we learn? what measures are we taking to prevent 2008 to happen again? and most importantly how reponssible is the media this time around to stop hyping news and injecting steroids in the stories?

Posted by: Ahmed

The market fundamentals are better than 2008, with an improving economic picture globally as well as a solid recovery in local performance. Government intervention is already apparent with efforts being made to curb speculative buying activities.

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