Khazar Islands

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Khazar Islands
Khazar Islands.jpg
Rendering of the Khazar Islands
Geography
Location25 km (16 mi) south of Baku, Azerbaijan
Coordinates40°14′29″N 49°38′03″E / 40.24134°N 49.634242°E / 40.24134; 49.634242Coordinates: 40°14′29″N 49°38′03″E / 40.24134°N 49.634242°E / 40.24134; 49.634242
ArchipelagoBaku Archipelago
Total islands41
Area20 km2 (7.7 sq mi)
Administration
Capital cityBaku
Additional information
Official websitehttp://khazarislands.com/

The Khazar Islands (Azerbaijani: Xəzər adaları), also known as Caspian Islands,[1] is a stalled development of artificial islands 25 km (16 mi) south of Baku, Azerbaijan consisting of 41 islands extending 3,000 hectares (30 km2; 7,400 acres; 12 sq mi) and 19 districts in the Caspian Sea.[2][3][4][5]

The Plan[edit]

The stated plan was for a $100 billion, which $30 billion coming from foreign investors and another $30 billion from apartment sales, city aiming to house 1 million residents in a development with 150 schools, 50 hospitals and daycare centers, numerous parks, shopping malls, cultural centers and a university campus plus a Formula 1 quality racetrack around a centrepiece $2 billion Azerbaijan Tower (planned to have been the tallest in the world).[2][3][6] The city was expected to be equipped with 150 bridges and a large municipal airport to connect the islands to the mainland. It is expected that, in general, the city, when completed in 2022–2023, will host 1 mln residents. According to the project, the price of completely renovated apart- ments, will be around $4000–$5000 per square meter [2][3][7] [8][9]

All of these facilities were to be able to withstand up to magnitude 9.0 earthquakes.[6][10] The president of the controlling Avesta Group of Companies, Ibrahim Ibrahimov, reportedly had the original idea in a flash while flying between Baku and Dubai.[11][12][13] He told reporters that American, Turkish, Arab and Chinese investors had showed interest in the project which he described as being like a "new Venice".[1][4][14]

Construction and demise[edit]

Construction on Khazar Islands began in March 2011 and substantial building works were achieved during Azerbaijan's economic boom. In August 2014, the main beach area was opened with a fanfare with many sky-scraper buildings already part constructed.[15] However, the project's gigantic scale and overly ambitious design became more obvious in 2015 as the oil price crashed. Between May 12 and May 27, 2015 Ibrahimov was arrested due to his company's inability to start repayment of his/Avesta's debt to the International Bank of Azerbaijan, a debt then reckoned to be around US$57 million.[16] After Ibrahimov's release, company statements later insisted that the project was still scheduled to be completed between 2020 and 2025 with investors from China cited as keen to fill the funding gap.[16] In an April 2017 interview, Ibrahimov insisted that long-delayed works would finally restart later that year.[17] In October 2017 Ibrahimov was reported to have restarted his work with Avesta and declared that he would not leave Azerbaijan but raised doubts as to the continuation of the Khazar Islands project [18] and as of January 2018, there is little sign of any work resuming.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Evgrashina, Lada; Antidze, Margarita (April 11, 2012). "Azerbaijan aims to put up world's tallest building". Reuters.
  2. ^ a b c Iliaifar, Amir (February 10, 2012). "$2 billion Azerbaijan Tower to usurp Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Tower as world's tallest". Digital Trends.
  3. ^ a b c Medina, Samuel (February 9, 2012). "Azerbaijan To Build One Kilometer-Tall Skyscraper". Architizer.
  4. ^ a b Alexander, Anila (April 13, 2012). "Azerbaijan Plans World's Tallest Tower At 'New Venice' (PHOTOS)". International Business Times.
  5. ^ "Baku". Cities. 31: 625–640. 2013-04-01. doi:10.1016/j.cities.2012.11.004. ISSN 0264-2751.
  6. ^ a b Medina, Samuel (February 9, 2012). "Azerbaijan's Plans for a One Kilometer-Tall Skyscraper". The Altlantic Cities.
  7. ^ Cameron, Charley (February 10, 2012). "Azerbaijan's Avesta Group Unveils Plan to Build New World's Tallest Tower". Inhabitat.
  8. ^ "Baku". Cities. 31: 625–640. 2013-04-01. doi:10.1016/j.cities.2012.11.004. ISSN 0264-2751.
  9. ^ "Baku". Cities. 31: 625–640. 2013-04-01. doi:10.1016/j.cities.2012.11.004. ISSN 0264-2751.
  10. ^ "Azerbaijan to build world's tallest skyscraper". Azernews. January 30, 2012.
  11. ^ New York Times article on Ibrahimov's vision for the islands
  12. ^ ViaTechnik report on the islands
  13. ^ Haji Ibrahim Nehramli - Dream Big, Dream Tall.
  14. ^ Dewsbury, Rick (April 12, 2012). "Azerbaijan reveals plans for world's tallest building at 3,500ft high". Mail Online.
  15. ^ Azadliq video report of August 2014 celebration concert
  16. ^ a b Milli.az report on Avesta and the Khazar Islands
  17. ^ Reports of April 2017 interviw with Ibrahimov
  18. ^ Xural Report October 2017
  19. ^ Jan 2018 report

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]