Sand Castles – Dubai’s plan for a city in the desert

Sand Castles – Dubai’s plan for a city in the desert

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Lyons, France

A rather unusual new construction project was revealed this week. Dubai entrepreneur and developer, Buti Saeed Al Ghandi, who heads up the Emivest capital film, has just announced his intention to build a replica of a French city in the middle of the desert.

The city in question is Lyons and the plan was formally announced, strangely enough, in Lyons on Wednesday – the real one. Lyons’ mayor, Gerard Collomb said, “We are flattered that Lyon can inspire a city like Dubai.”

The project is estimated to be costing at around 500 million euros and will cover an area of between 3 and 400 hundred hectares (741- 988 acres.)

Apparently, Buti first conceived the idea after traveling to Lyons during the planning stages of a French language university in Dubai. He plans to expand this idea and re-create a huge town which is to be named Lyon-Dubai city. In an attempt to capture the feel of a genuine French town there are plans for the usual French arrangement of public squares, outdoor cafes and the like.

Lyons itself was originally a Roman colony founded in 43 BC, named Lugdunum, but we suppose Lyon-Dubai City has more of a ring to it. Hot on the heels of sister UAE state, Abu Dhabi’s decision to build a McLouvre, this seems to be a little bit of one-upmanship. The first phase of the project will include 3,000 homes, a football training center and, of course, replicas of all the major Lyonaise museums.

We are certainly looking forward to sampling some of the local cheeses and wines, once that particular facility can be replicated.


The proposed site