The Lagoons area would have covered an area of 70 million square feet (6.5 million square meters). Seven artificial islands, which would each have been linked to each other, were to consist of residential apartments, shopping malls, office buildings, five-star hotels, resorts, a museum, marinas, and Dubai's first opera house.
The project's cost was estimated to be around AED 80 billion (US$ 25 billion). It was being developed by the real estate firm Sama Dubai, and managed by Sama ECH. Groundbreaking and soil-testing began in 2008, but the project, originally scheduled for completion in stages between 2011 and 2012, was subsequently suspended.
The seven districts
The business heartland of Dubai, Al Dana would have been defined by the presence of blue chip businesses and executive style living.
Al Sedaifa was to be a high fashion district home to numerous clothing boutiques, jewellery stores and interior design firms.
Al Jiwin was to be the social hub of the lagoon.
Al Hassabi would have included a mixture of residential complexes and parklands with many waterways and healthy living features such as walkways and cycling paths.
Al Naama was planned to be a 'Health and Mind' district with health clubs, gyms and spas as well as museums and art centers.
Al Lulu was to be an exclusive gated community with waterfront views of The Lagoon.
Dubai Towers Dubai
The Lagoons would have also showcased the Dubai Towers Dubai skyscraper complex. This development was to include four mixed-use, state of the art luxury towers. It is believed that the tallest tower would have reach a height of 400 metres while two of the others would have exceeded 300 metres. These towers were supposed to be the grand centre of the mega-project.
Dubai Opera House
The Dubai Opera House was to be a state-of-the-art cultural centre in The Lagoons, accommodating an opera house with a 2,500 seating capacity, an 800-seat playhouse, a 5,000-square-metre (54,000 sq ft) arts gallery, a performing arts school, and a '6-star' themed hotel.
After initially targeting completion of some parts of Sedaifa in December 2008, there have been extensive delays. There was a reported arrest of four key members of senior management, including the project's CEO, on allegations of bribery and mistrust. The showroom was later completed, but otherwise work was discontinued, and there was public discussion of restructuring the project together with Sama Dubai, Tatweer and Dubai Properties, all subsidiaries of Dubai Holdings, into Emaar Properties, a private company partially held by the government of Dubai. An update was expected early in 2010, and it was later announced that the project was split into two phases, with phase one underway at the end of 2010 with an announced expected completion date of June 2011. Dubai Holding announced in May 2013 to team up with another real estate developer to resume The Lagoons project.
- Dylan Bowman (21 August 2008). "Four Sama Dubai execs arrested - report".
- "Emaar merger 'technical talks' done in 1 mth". Yahoo! Finance. 21 November 2009.
- "Dubai Lagoon Phase One to be Completed by mid-2011". Construction Week Online. 17 October 2010.
- Revival Of The Stalled Dh64 Billion The Lagoons Project, Dubai Holding Confirms