Dubai's Urbanism by numbers

Dubai's Urbanism by numbers

(Project by Hamza in the studio of George Katodrytis)

Dubai’s Urbanism by numbers
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Dubai�s Population

1800: The population was 800 inhabitants
1822: The population was 1200 people
1908: In the Deira side there were 1600 houses and 350 shops. In the Shindagha area there are 250 houses. In (Bur) Dubai there were 200 houses and about 50 shops. There were about 4000 date palm trees in the town, 1650 camels and 45 horses. In the creek, there were 155 boats for diving and trading and 20 small boats – abras- to take passengers between the two banks of the creek.”
1930: The population was 20,000 (immigrants made up nearly 25%)
1940: The population was 38,000
1953: The population dropped to 20,000
1967: The population was 60,000

The trajectory of the development of Dubai is reflected in its population, which has grown fifteen-fold since 1969: from 60,000 then to well over 1 million today. It is projected that, by 2010, Dubai�s tourist trade will accommodate around 15 million tourists per year, serviced by more than 400 hotels. Comparisons are telling: in 2002, Egypt, for example, had 4.7 million visitors, and Dubai 4.2 million.

2003: tourism overtook oil revenues as the prime source of income. Dubai’s annual gross domestic product (GDP) is now approaching $20 billion. Dubai’s GDP growth was more than 6.5 per cent in both 2002 and 2003.

With only 44 hotels a decade ago, Dubai now has 257, and this new sector already accounts for 16% of GDP.

Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, launched in 1985, has turned a profit every year since it began in 1985; in 2003, despite worries over SARS, terrorism and war in Iraq, its net profit climbed to $429m, carrying 23% more passengers than in 2002. In 2003 they were the world’s biggest buyer of aircraft, spending $19 billion on Airbus and Boeing jets.

Dubai International Airport is the 16th busiest airport in the world.

Hotel guests in 2001: 3,064,701
Hotel guests in 2002: 4,107,236
Hotel guests in 2003: 4,980,228
Hotel guests in 2004: 5,420,724 in 371 hotels and hotel apartments
Hotel guests in 2005: was estimated more than 6 million

2002: Dubai stunned the world when the World Tourism Organization praised it for posting 31 per cent growth in tourist arrivals ââ?¬â?? the world’s highest for the year.

The average length of stay jumped 12.3 % to reach 2.80 days.

2004: Dubai hotel industry�s total revenues were 37 % increase over the previous year.

Beach properties were way ahead of the city-centre hotels in terms of occupancy levels, with a rate of 90 % in August 2004 as against 84.2 % during the same month last year. This is followed by 87.1 % in September 2004 compared with 76.6 % the same period last year.

Deloitte and Smith Travel Research have put Dubai on top with an 86 per cent hotel occupancy rate followed by New York with 82.7 per cent and Singapore at 80 per cent.

2004: Dubai hotels post 37 per cent revenue growth

2005: Dubai is currently expanding its hotel capacity. Over 120 new hotels are expected to be constructed by 2010. These include 80 hotels on the two Palm Islands projects.

Shopping and Malls
In the early 1990s, the region’s malls possessed just 5 million square feet of retail space between them. Today, however, the story is different with the Gulf’s shopping centers laying claim to around 55 million square feet of gross leasable area (GLA) and a retail market worth upwards of $50 billion. With numerous mega-mall projects under way in every Gulf country, the region’s GLA is expected to swell further and reach over 130 million square feet by 2010.

Nakheel’s 1.5 million square feet Ibn Battuta Mall opened in 2006, and was later joined Majid Al Futtaim Investments’ 6.4 million square feet Mall of the Emirates centre, which features the world’s biggest indoor ski resort, a 12-screen cinema complex, over 7000 parking spaces and 350 different stores in the 2.4 million square feet of leasable retail area.

Furthermore, Emaar’s upcoming 5.6 million square foot Dubai Mall project, which is part of the Burj Dubai district, is scheduled for completion in 2007. The complex will contain around 2.6 million square feet of retail space and the world’s largest indoor souk.

The biggest and grandest of all Dubai’s retail projects will be the Elyas and Mustafa Galadari Group’s 6.5 million square foot Mall of Arabia project.

Once all of Dubai’s huge mall projects are completed, the emirate’s retail space will top the 30 million square feet mark.

The number of international retail brands represented has risen to well over 400 from less than 20 in 1985.

The Mall of the Emirates boasts over 400 retailers and its indoor skiing facility contains over 6,000 tons of snow at any given time and produces 120 tons of fresh snow every 24 hours.

With 95 per cent of the city now made up of expatriates many of whom have a high ‘ready to spend’ disposable income the city’s malls look set to continue to thrive.

Dubai�s over 90% of the 1,517 square mile area is covered by desert

1955: Cement was first imported to Dubai

1956: The first concrete building was completed

1966: Small reserves of oil were found near Dubai and export began three years later. Though significant, Dubai’s oil reserves account for less than 10% of its income.

1970s: Some of the major projects constructed in this decade are Rashid hospital, the Dubai world trade centre (39 floors),

2004: Investors from Saudi Arabia were believed to have ploughed at least $7 billion into Dubai’s construction investment.

2004: Dubai’s GDP recorded a phenomenal increase to $26.7 billion, up from $22.9 billion in 2003.

2005: $90 billion worth of projects were underway in Dubai adding 560 more buildings to its skyline: 121 were in the commercial sector, 320 in the residential sector and 119 in the recreational, service and industrial sectors

2005: After Shanghai (current population: 15 million), Dubai (current population: 1.5 million) is the world’s biggest building site. Dubai’s construction and building sector contributes 12.2% of the emirate’s non-oil GDP and has grown annually at an average rate of 27%.

2005: Dubai International Airport expansion will give the airport capacity to handle 70-million passengers. According to forecasts it is expected to handle around 60 million by the year 2010.

2005: Dubai became the first Gulf Arab emirate to allow non-Gulf nationals to own real estate.

2005: At least $50 billion of residential projects will be built in the next four years, including at least 85,000 new homes

2005: The construction sector achieved the highest growth rate of 29 percent.

2006: The Dubai Marina complex of apartment and hotels when completed, will house a community of 75,000.

2006: Dubai Waterfront project will not only add 375 kilometers of new beach front but will include the largest man-made canal carved out of the desert.

2006: Jebel Aliââ?¬â?¢s Waterfront, a beach front landmark, it will be larger than Manhattan and form the first phase of a larger project that will include Madinat Al Arab (City of the Arabs) and the 75 km (47 mi) Arabian Canal – the world’s largest manmade canal.

An estimated 10% of real estate changing hands in cash-only transactions

New York, Paris, Tokyo or London: these cities took hundreds of years in the making. Dubai took 25 years.

Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world will cost $800m

The World Bank reckons that the reconstruction of Iraq is going to cost $53bn. In Dubai, along the strip of sand that stretches 25 miles along the shores of the Persian Gulf, there is about $100bn worth of projects either underway or planned for the near future.

The Middle East’s answer to Disneyland, called Dubailand, which is far larger than Monaco, is costing $5 billion. It will employ 300,000 people, servicing 15 million visitors.

Dubailand will be 7 times larger than Disneyland Paris.

Dubailand�s replica of the Eiffel Tower will be 70 feet taller than the original and the replica of Taj Mahal 150 percent bigger than the original.

Artificial Islands
Dubai�s natural beach front is 45 kilometers long. Artificial islands will add another 1,500 kilometers of beach front.

Palm Jumeirah: 100 million cubic meters of sand and rock are used to create 60km of artificial beaches. Once complete, it will house 2,000 luxury villas, 2,500 apartments and more than 50 hotels, creating an instant community of up to 50,000 people. The 7,000-man workforce is too large to get on to the palm each morning without creating its own traffic jam: they are shipped in by sea from further along the coast.

The World: 300 artificial islands (of the $3bn project ) made of sand dredged from the sea floor and either dumped or pumped into forms that vaguely mimic the shape of the world’s continents. Every week between 5 to10m cubic meters of sand are delivered to the site. The islands will cost up to $30m each, and that is for the sand alone.

Not over yet
In the words of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, entrepreneur extraordinaire and the driving force behind most of Dubai’s grand projects, “What I achieved for Dubai is only 10 per cent of my vision.”

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