Shanghai to be 'copied' on Dubai's World island

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 October, 2007, 12:00am

One of the 300 artificial islands in Dubai's The World property project will be named Shanghai after a Shanghai-based construction and investment company paid US$28 million for the 322,000 square foot site.

Zhongzhou Group, set up in 1998, and Nakheel Properties, a United Arab Emirates real estate company and developer of The World, signed the deal last Tuesday in Dubai, Asia Business TV said yesterday.

The Dubai-based television network has been appointed spokesman of Zhongzhou.

The World is a man-made archipelago of 300 islands in the shape of a world map off the coast of Dubai. The islands range in size from 250,000 to 900,000 sq ft, with 50 to 100 metres of water between each island. The development will cover an area of nine kilometres by six kilometres surrounded by a breakwater.

Asia Business TV said Zhongzhou Group, led by chief executive Hu Bin, planned to build western-style villas on the artificial island similar to those common in Shanghai's luxury property projects.

The villas will be built alongside a river the company will create mimicking Shanghai's Huangpu River, complete with three overpasses that imitate the city's important bridges - Nanpu, Yangpo and Xupu.

Construction would begin early next year and would take two years, an Asia Business TV spokesman said in Guangzhou.

'It is a clever deal,' said Remy Chan Lap-man, Jones Lang LaSalle's regional director in Shanghai. 'The island is inexpensive but buying one will generate heavy publicity for the company. Also business culture in the mainland prefers mega, grand and extravagant developments.'

The purchase price is about US$87 per square foot.