The Blue Community intends to create awareness for the need to develop the coastal waterfront involving in the process along with Nakheel's own experience and expertise, NGOs, think tanks and stakeholders encouraging them to be active instruments of their Blue Community initiatives.
The question may arise as to why Nakheel is aiming to promote the Blue Community. According to Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman of the company, "Almost two thirds of the world's population lives in coastal communities and a large amount of development is taking place in these locations" (UAE Press Release, January 20, 2008). The company intends to invest significantly to bring about changes in these environments through research and development with the vision of becoming leaders in sustainable development of coastal communities through its Blue Community initiatives.
Formed in 2001, Nakheel can be considered pioneer and frontrunner in the domain of construction of innovative and iconic buildings and landmarks. As regards waterfront development, with the launch of the Blue Community, they have become setters of standards and rules in this field for the others to emulate. The Blue Community launch event held on a dome specially constructed for the purpose on the beachfront by the Palm Jumeirah was attended by prominent figures from government, industry and media. It went with the first ever Tourism Development Project & Investment Market (TDIM) event of Dubai held between January 20-22, 2008. The stand that Nakheel put up for the event, the largest in the company's history, featured two massive domes for displaying all the waterfront development projects undertaken by the company. This included a model of Dubai Promenade allowing the visitors a look at this waterfront community. Dubai Promenade created "a virtual peninsula along the emirate's shoreline, anchored by a spectacular wheel-shaped five-star hotel" (www.nakheel.com). At the TDIM exhibition, a 13-meter long scale model was unveiled by Nakheel demonstrating the company's vision of Dubai's growth through development of waterfront with projects under Blue Community.
Before we venture further into the "Blue Project", let us look at the characteristics of the construction industry in the UAE. With the transformation from a buyers' market to a sellers' market, over the last decade there has been a boom in the UAE construction industry. This construction boom is most visible at Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Going by per capita expenditure on construction, UAE is the world leader with presence of close to 6000 construction companies. The total value of the UAE construction industry for 2008 has been assessed at USD15.26 bi as per a Business Monitor International Report which is projected to go up to USD22.44bi by 2012.
There are various reasons behind this tremendous growth. Not much entry barrier is there to hinder the UAE construction industry. Rather there exist major driving forces in Dubai like a stable political climate, tax-free status and on the whole a liberal business environment to facilitate expansion of the industry. Further impetus to construction indu