Heart of Europe development at The World Islands off Dubai coast takes major step forward

Plans to develop a group of islands at The World islands off Dubai’s coastline have taken a major step forward after developer Kleindienst Group appointed main contractors to build its Heart of Europe project.

The firm said that a joint venture between Dubai-based JK Bauen and Chinese contracting companies Wuchang Ship Building Industry Group and Sino Great Wall International Engineering will be carrying out projects worth Dh4.8 billion to develop facilities on the six offshore islands that make up the Heart of Europe.

JK Bauen is a construction company owned by Mr Kleindienst with the specific purpose of developing the islands. It has been carrying out work at The Heart of Europe on its Sweden Island since recommencing work on the project two years ago.

Kleindienst said that the signing of a letter of agreement between the firms “will guarantee an immediate start” of the infrastructure work, resorts and hotels planned for the island, with a view to work completing before Dubai’s Expo 2020 gets underway in late 2020.

Work will start on the Main Europe island featuring resort hotels, villas on Germany island and resorts on St Petersburg Island.

Zhong Wei, the vice-director of Wuchang’s industry development business, said: “We are thrilled to work with Kleindienst, The Heart of Europe and JK Bauen to participate in this innovative development. We have worldwide building experience since 1934 and are very pleased to contribute jointly with JK Bauen and Sino Great Wall to the construction of such an iconic project. We look forward to its completion before Expo 2020.”

Josef Kleindienst, the chairman of Kleindienst, said: “The combination of JK Bauen’s vision and Wuchang’s experience will work hand-in-hand to bring the Heart of Europe to life.

“From the Floating Seahorses to the hotels on Main Europe Island, the building quality greatly exceeds construction regulations in the Middle East with durable materials and superior technique.”

The World is a group of 300 artificial islands created from reclaimed sand some 4km off Dubai’s coast. The islands were built and sold by master developer Nakheel and sold to investors before the global financial crisis, but only two have been built on, and one of these is a private island.

Many of those that bought islands had complained about the lack of access to them. A number of disputes arose between Nakheel and sub-developers were filed at the Dubai World Tribunal, but in May 2013 Nakheel and Kleindienst announced that they had settled their case, with Kleindienst agreeing to pay Dh622m it owed to Nakheel-owned company The World so it could move its project forwards.

mfahy@thenational.ae

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