Land reclamation to begin on The Universe

The first phase of the development, a collection of artificial islands to be built between The Palms Jumeirah and Deira, is expected to begin by the end of the year.

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Land reclamation work on the first phase of Nakheel's The Universe development is expected to begin by the end of the year, Chris O'Donnell, the chief executive, said. The Universe will be made up of a collection of reclaimed islands built between The Palms Jumeirah and Deira, and in front of The World, which are all being developed by Nakheel for an undisclosed amount. The project will take between 15 and 20 years to complete and will cover 2,500 hectares.

"The first proportion of the The Universe has been designed up to the point where we should be able to commence reclamation work within the next two to three months," Mr O'Donnell said. He declined to name the potential contractors, but said: "There are only two or three in Dubai and they all work for us." The Universe is expected to include a number of mixed-use projects incorporating commercial, residential and tourism elements.

Earlier this week the company revealed plans to build a one-kilometre high tower as part of its Nakheel Harbour & Tower project.