The demolition works on the “Dubai Pearl” group of skyscrapers began on January 23, 2023. As the demolition work began on Monday, taking down the skyscraper units one by one, there was a thick cloud of dust that surrounded the Media City area.
A few residents also claimed that they felt tremors surrounding the demolition area due to the activity. However, the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) denied any earthquakes happening in the area anywhere in the United Arab Emirates.
Residents In There Report Tremors
Several people also took to Twitter and other social media platforms to share their views of the demolition work happening. Some Twitter users also raised concerns about the tremors they felt due to the demolition.
The Dubai Pearl building, once set to be a symbol of opulence, luxury, and wealth, was built in the heart of Dubai city, overlooking Palm Jumeirah. The project, once completed, was expected to function like a “sustainable and completely integrated city”, and could ideally provide accommodation for around 9,000 residents and also feature several commercial spaces that could offer about 12,000 employment opportunities.
The Dubai Pearl project consisted of 73 storeys and stood 300 meters long. The project location was along the Al Sufouh Road in Dubai and the construction work began in 2009. The tower plan shows that the project would have had four towers capable of mixed utility, once completed. All four towers would be connected together by a common base and also by a sky-bridge on top, which could be used as a watch tower and also feature several restaurants and other amenities.
The structural designing tasks were carried out by “e-Construct”, a Dubai-based engineering firm. The estimated cost of project completion was set at $4 billion (approx. AED 14.6 billion).
Investment issues were something that plagued the project from the very beginning. The Omnix Group, which was the company that took responsibility for the initial building proposal back in 2002, faced several difficulties in reaching the objectives set. Later on, the ownership of the project was handed to the Al-Fahim group based in Abu Dhabi.
Even after the Al-Fahim group took over the project in 2007, there was no significant progress made. Later in 2014, there were reports that the “Chow Tai Fook Endowment Industry Investment Development” (CTFE), a Hong Kong-based establishment, had bought shares worth $1.9 billion of the project, which gave promises of kickstarting the project again, however, nothing really progressed.
The demolition plans were set in motion back in October 2022, with plans of redeveloping the project area for future use in consideration.
One of the ideas proposed for the redevelopment of the area includes building a Moon-shaped resort in place of the Dubai Pearl.
The proposal was put forward by a Canadian company that functions as an intellectual property licensor and as an architectural design firm. Michael Henderson, Co-Founder of Moon World Resorts, Inc. was one of the two entrepreneurs backing the project.
Henderson is a well-known Canadian entrepreneur famous for his ideas for bringing “the Moon to Earth for all to enjoy”, including his plans to establish affordable space tourism projects, which could help space tourism become accessible and affordable for the masses.
Henderson and his team set the construction budget for the Moon hotel at $5 billion. He had said about the project that, if approved and completed, it could welcome at least 10 million visitors on an annual basis.
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Even though the proposal of a Moon-shaped luxury hotel seems fit for the persona of Dubai, there is no confirmation on the project. In fact, there has been no official announcement on what will take over the land once occupied by the iconic Dubai Pearl.
The demolition plan of the Dubai Pearl was put forward by the Dubai Government, citing that the move could make it easier for establishing newer and modern construction development projects in the area, which better aligns with Dubai’s vision of the future.
The complete demolition process, estimated to cost several million by itself, will take several months to complete and will be carried out by a specially selected team of experts, who will also have the task to ensure that the surrounding areas are not affected by the activities related to the demolition. The team also has to ensure that the well-being of the workers in the demolition process is upheld and no harm is caused to them.
As the building was never really put to use and was basically a waste of valuable real estate land, the demolition project is welcomed by many. Dubai residents also have complete faith in the government of the city and believe that the authorities will make proper use of the land and build something that will be beneficial for the current residents of Dubai as well as future generations.