City of wonders

Masterplan of The Falconcity of Wonders.

ADh5.5 billion ($1.5 billion) mega project that embodies the UAE’s heritage while bringing together under a single development the architectural wonders of the world is poised to take off with work already completed on the initial villas on the development.

The Falconcity of Wonders, set to rise up in the shape of a falcon with outstretched wings – emblematic of the UAE’s heritage – will feature gigantic structures based on the architectural wonders of the ancient and modern world when completed.
This ambitious purpose-built city-within-a-city – which aims to be self-contained and multi-faceted residential, tourist and recreational destination – is being built along a stretch of the Emirates Road on a 4 million sq m area within Dubailand.
Work on this five-phase project is due to start with the developers having already successfully sold the first phase of villas to investors, says a spokesman for the project.
Falconcity has recently launched the second phase called ‘The Wings’ – a second collection of 200 tastefully-appointed villas, which are located in the wings of the ‘falcon’ layout and have been designed in four distinct themes by the National Engineering Bureau (NEB).
“The first phase of Falconcity of Wonders was an unqualified success. Since its inception, the City has elicited tremendous response from investors and end-users leading to the successful sales of our villas. We are now gearing up to present designs of the new villas to investors and homeowners in view of the growing market demand for properties and the upbeat outlook of the regional real estate market as a whole,” says Salem Al Moosa, Falconcity of Wonders chairman and CEO.
Falconcity also recently appointed the leading infrastructure consultancy firm, Hyder Consulting Middle East, to carry out infrastructure design for the project. “To realise our vision of Falconcity becoming a truly landmark project, it is imperative for us to partner with reputed firms every step of the way. Infrastructure design is a core process of any project, which makes the agreement with Hyder Consulting extremely significant,” Al Moosa points out.
The project is envisaged as a land of civilisations, reflecting the lifestyles and cultures of people from different eras and different parts of the world. The City is an architectural blend of the UAE’s desert life, its cultural past, ancient cultural influences and modern amenities. It also recreates in a single complex in Dubai, architectural wonders of the world such as the Pyramids of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Eiffel Tower, India’s Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. In fact, the project intends to build even larger replicas of the some of the original marvels – for example, the Taj Mahal complex at Dubailand will be a 150 per cent larger than the original in Agra while the Falconcity’s Eiffel Tower Residence will be 70 ft taller than the famous structure in Paris. Other buildings in downtown Falconcity will also be influenced by the different architectural styles originating from Rome, London, Venice, India, Lebanon and Yemen.
The highlights of some of the other major components include:
• Dubai Eiffel Tower Residence: It will enjoy a central location in the city’s commercial sector, which hosts commercial, residential, recreational and retail elements. The tower surrounding represents Falcon Elysees, which will be richly landscaped with parks, cafes, gardens and fountains. Around the perimeter of the tower complex would run a circular shopping arcade enriched by famous brands of fashions and styles.
• Dubai Grand Pyramid: This structure, designed to be the biggest pyramid in the world, will emulate the Egyptian architectural wonder in a modern-day context. It will be a multi-functional complex housing residences, offices and other recreational avenues. The development will also include two smaller pyramids – one of which will host the Falconcity management facility, while the other will be commercial premises in the theme park
• Town of Venice, located by the waterfront will be developed with open-air cafes, gondolas and pedestrian shopping.
• Dubai Hanging Gardens of Babylon brings to life a lost ancient wonder. This imaginatively designed complex will house eco-friendly luxury flats, with many open-air restaurants and coffee shops, with the garden overlooking the falcon commercial sector.
Of the wonders of the world that make up the project, the Grand Pyramid of Giza will contain residential flats, offices and retail outlets, while the Babylonian Gardens will house luxury apartments, restaurants and coffee shops. Retail outlets and luxury apartments will be the main features of the Eiffel Tower Residence whereas the Taj Mahal will accommodate hotels and restaurants and the Great Wall of China will encircle a theme park inspired by the ancient Pharaohs.
Targeted to cater to both residents and tourists, the project is being developed as an entertainment and leisure destination, featuring an amazing range of unique residential properties and luxury hotels along with a Fun City, which sets it apart from other such developments in the Arabian Gulf.
The Fun City will include the Pharaoh’s theme park while the rest of the complex will accommodate 1,400 villas and 54 six-storey buildings, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, health clubs, schools and parks, thus smartly combining various commercial, residential, educational and leisure amenities with entertainment facilities.
“Dubai’s tourism industry already brings in about Dh7 billion ($1.9 billion) a year in revenue and this figure is expected to rise in the coming years. Being the only project of its kind offering life-size replicas of the wonders of the world, Falconcity will definitely be at the forefront of growth in the city’s tourism sector. This makes the City a truly unique attraction where visitors can see all the architectural wonders in one place. This will transform the landscape of Dubai,” Al Moosa mentions.
The project’s uniqueness and grandeur have already slotted the Falconcity of Wonders in the lists of top projects in the region and it has received a lot of attention from investors at the mega trade fairs like the International Property Week 2006, the Worldwide Property Show 2006, the Home Owner Dubai 2006 and other property exhibitions in Dubai and abroad.
“The Falconcity is not only unique in terms of scale but it is sure to become the epitome of luxurious living in the Middle East, allowing residents an unmatched lifestyle through the comprehensive array of facilities,” he reiterates.
In order to make Falconcity properties more accessible to a wider range of people across the region, the developers have entered into a strategic partnership with the pioneering Shari’a compliant finance provider Amlak, to facilitate purchase and investment procedures. Recently, the company opened its new sales office at Umm Hurair Road in Bur Dubai, enhancing the visibility of the project and ensuring better access to prospective investors.