The 27-square-kilometre island will be developed in three phases leading to final completion in 2018. Split into six districts, the island will have 19 kilometres of beachfront, 29 hotels with 7,000 rooms, three marinas, 8,000 private villas and more than 38,000 apartments. The island will eventually be home to 150,000 residents.

The cultural district will have a city-facing quayside and will be visible from Abu Dhabi island. It will also be home to the Black Pearls, which will house a national museum, a concert hall and a maritime history centre. Al-Marina, with its three harbours and central park, will be the commercial centre of the island. Saadiyat Beach will have a golf course, sailing club and hotels, and the city-facing South Beach will have three- and four-star hotels and a boardwalk along the shoreline. Saadiyat park, designed around the island’s central lagoon, will be one of the island’s main residential hubs, and the Wetlands is home to exclusive villas and another golf course.

About AED 5,500 million ($1,500 million) of infrastructure development is planned by TDIC on the island, including two 10-lane bridges connecting to Abu Dhabi island to the west, and a third bridge linking up with Shahama in the east. Prequalification for the first bridge from the Mina area was launched in early 2006.

US-based Parsons International is the consultant. Gensler Associates, also US-based, prepared the masterplan (MEED 10:2:06).

www.meed.com/construction