Phase 1 is scheduled for completion by 2008, and comprises the entire city’s infrastructure, a downtown area with one of the federation’s largest shopping malls, 20 residential and commercial towers each of about 20 storeys, a residential district with 1,000 villas and 200 buildings ranging from five-10 storeys. It will also include a 50-storey luxury hotel.

The new city will create housing for 500,000 people and require $8,300 million of investment. Foreign nationals will be able to buy property in the project on a 99-year leasehold basis.

Dubai-based Artech Projects Consultants & Management is the concept designer. The client is Sharjah-based Tameer, which is 50 per cent owned by Saudi Arabia’s Al-Rajhi Group.