Revealed: Dubai's doppelganger designs
The city is famous for its replicas and doubles of architectural wonders around the world
1. The Atlantis Paradise Island is a resort and waterpark located on Paradise Island, The Bahamas. Opened in 1998, it was created by South African hotel magnate Sol Kerzner and Kerzner International Limited. 1a. Dubai’s replica, Atlantis The Palm, opened a decade later in 2008, with its grand opening celebrations costing a reported $20m and attended by a star-studded crowd. 2. New York’s Chrysler Building was for a short stint the world's tallest building when it was completed in 1930 before it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. A landmark on the Manhattan skyline, these days the art deco-style building built by car manufacturing tycoon Walter P. Chrysler is owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council. 2a. The Al Kazim Towers, also known as the Business Central Towers, in Dubai Media City bear a striking similarly to the Chrysler Building. Dubai’s doppelganger 53-storey twin towers were topped out in November 2007 and completed in early 2008. 3. The Champs Elysees is arguably one of the world’s most famous boulevards, with the Paris landmark dotted with a chic mix of luxury fashion labels, Parisian cafes and anchored on either end by iconic monuments the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concord. 3a. The master developer behind Dubai’s Motor City, Union Properties, last year announced plans for a Champs Elysees-style strip at its Green Community development. UP boss Ahmed Khalaf Obaid Bin Touq Al Marri said it would be fashioned on the famous Paris boulevard with "the same activities as the Champs-Élysées". The length was yet to be defined but "maybe it is 1km”, he said. 4. Still on Paris and its most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower. Opened in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle, a World’s Fair held in Paris, the iconic building is the most visited paid monument in the world, attracting an annual 7 million visitors. 4a. Replicas of the Eiffel Tower of various scales exist around the world, including outside the Paris Las Vegas hotel and casino and, in design at least, the Tokyo Tower. Dubai is keen to add to this list with the developers behind Falconcity of Wonders flagging their own version of the Eiffel Tower in the broader project master plan. 5. The World-Heritage listed Taj Mahal, in Agra, India, is described as one of the world’s finest examples of Mughal architecture. Built between 1631 and 1648 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third and “favourite” wife, has been revered for its love story and is a popular destination for couples. 5a. The Taj Arabia in Dubai, planned by developer Link Global, would be a 400-room hotel four times the size of the Agra mausoleum and form part of the long-delayed Falconcity of Wonders. Initially slated for completion in late 2014, despite criticism from Indian cultural officials, the latest opening has been set for 2015. 6. The Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis in Egypt, is also the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Constructed over an estimated 10 to 20-year period around 2560 BC, at 146.5m it was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. 6a. Plans for the long-delayed Falconcity of Wonders include construction of a three-pyramid Pyramid’s Park, to sit alongside other planned global monuments including the Eiffel Tower, and Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The 40m sqft development was first launched in 2005. In 2014, about 550 villas are expected to be completed. 7. La Grande Arche de la Défense is a monument and building in the Paris La Défense business district. Built following a design competition in 1982, which was won by Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen, the hyper cube-shaped structure was inaugurated in 1989. 7a. While by no means a replica, The Gate building in the Dubai International Financial Centre still bears some striking similarities to La Grande Arche. The first building of DIFC, which officially opened in 2004, the 15-storey landmark houses the Dubai Stock Exchange. 8. Big Ben is the nickname for the great bell of the clock tower to the north of the Palace of Westminster in London. Built in 1858, it is one of the British capital’s most iconic landmarks. The tower was officially renamed Elizabeth Tower in 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. 8a. The Al Yaqoub Tower is a 328m tall skyscraper along Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, completed in 2013. Its design was inspired by Big Ben, or Elizabeth Tower, although it has no clock faces. 9. Dubai’s Burj Al Arab is perhaps the city’s most recognised landmark, alongside the Burj Khalifa. Built on an artificial island 280m off Jumeirah Beach, the building also claims to be the world’s only seven-star hotel. 9a. In a reverse doppelganger, the design of US billionaire developer Donald Trump’s Trump Ocean Club in Panama was inspired by Dubai’s Burj Al Arab. In an usual move, builder Newland International Properties Corp in 2008 took the step of seeking a court protective order to prevent the owners of the Burj Al Arab from threatening a lawsuit over the design. 10. Las Vegas is renowned for the replicas. How long before Dubai's most iconic landmark, the seven-star Burj al Arab hotel, joins the line-up in the Nevada desert? Jumeirah told us that during the boom years there was talk of such a plan but it was scrapped during the downturn. However, a prominent Vegas real estate expert claimed “it was only a matter of time” before such lavish plans are resurrected.