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Dubai to Build the Middle East's First Rainforest

One of the reasons I love the Middle East region is for the ambitious and innovative projects that developers continually seem to churn out. It seems that cities like Dubai rarely build anything that cannot be described as spectacular.

I'm sure this is a common driver to expatriate staff flocking to live and work in the region also. There are few; if any other locations in the world where you will find such volume of interesting and large scale construction projects at the moment.

One of the most interesting projects I've read about lately is Damac's plans to build the Middle East's first rainforest in Dubai.

Yes, you heard me right, a rainforest in the middle of a desert climate. Ambitious and intriguing to say the least.

The full story to this project is that the rainforest is planned to be a key feature to a new 55 million sq ft luxury residential development in Dubai. The larger development will be named Akoya Oxygen and will be Dubai's attempt at bring the suburbs to a concrete jungle.

The Akoya Oxygen master development is being sold using the tag line 'Escape the City' and will be rich in parkland and general green spaces. There will be a 4,000 trees planted in the development as well as a championship golf course and a strong presence of water features throughout the site.

The plan is for the dome covered rainforest to major a major focal point of this development and yet another unique attraction to Dubai as a city. Situated opposite the Trump World Golf Clubhouse, the rainforest is described as a cultural / educational attraction. Visitors will be able to take a casual walk around this unusual setting both at ground level and at a higher level closer to the canopy. For the more active visitors, there will be a zip wire so that thrill seekers can get a unique view of the habitat whilst on the move. Finally there are plans for a day spa offering treatments to visitors.

The plan is for the development to be completed by 2018 and well before the 2020 Expos in Dubai.

However the scheme has come under fire from sceptics who question the feasibility and sustainability of a project of this nature in the desert. Trees and shrubs in the rainforest require constant moisture and the water footprint for such a project is highly controversial, especially with a key part of the Dubai Expo bid centring around 'Sustainability'.

However, as we know Dubai is now famous for making the unfeasible feasible and it seems where there is a unique and spectacular idea, they find a way to make it happen.

With the vast majority of Expo 2020 related work either in design or tender stage at present, Dubai looks set the experience the busiest construction period since 2008 over the next 3 - 4 years.

If you are a construction professional who wants to work in Dubai, and want and have the skills and ambition to work on some of the most exciting and innovative projects in the world whilst experiencing tax free earnings then please make sure you submit your CV on the Maxim Recruitment website.

Stuart Hackett
Maxim Recruitment
Dubai and Middle East Region

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