British company Marconi has been appointed technology partner for Dubai's new satellite city in a 10-year deal worth $550 million, a newspaper reported Saturday. Marconi "will design, build and operate a new communications network for the project and also provide regular upgrades", the Gulf News said.
"Dubai Marina is the most exciting development project in the world: the opportunity to create the first truly intelligent city," the paper quoted Neil Sutcliffe, chief executive of Marconi's services division, as saying. "It will be a living demonstration of all that is best in every aspect of communications for business, government and the home," Sutcliffe said. "We have the unique opportunity to create a communications environment which is totally state-of-the-art and all-embracing."
The marina, built around a man-made canal that stretches for four-and-a-half kilometers (three miles), will consist of office and residential buildings, shopping and entertainment facilities. Emaar Properties is developing Westside Marina at a cost of $4.4 billion and expects 100,000 people to live in the city within the next 15 to 20 years. The first residents are due to arrive in 2003, and locals and expatriates alike will be able to buy property.
The marina is situated next to Dubai Internet City (DIC), billed as the world's first Internet free-trade zone, and another groundbreaking project that aims to place the tiny emirate at the top of the high-tech ladder. The first phase of DIC, which will offer 100-percent foreign ownership, 50-year renewable land leases and world-class logistics, inaugurated Saturday. — (AFP, Dubai)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)