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Dubai, the city notorious for its massive skyscrapers, luxury shopping and flashy lifestyle, is once again building an over-the-top attraction. The flamboyant city is planning a $1.7 billion development project: two new artificial islands that will surround the city’s famed Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the massive sail-shaped hotel that has come to represent the luxury of Dubai.

The two islands, named Marsa Al Arab, will cover over four million square feet of reclaimed land. Each island will have a distinct focus. One will be a private island with 14 luxury villas, a boutique hotel and a marina for residents. The other is designed with tourists in mind featuring a family-friendly resort, a gigantic 2.5 million square-foot marine park and a 1,700 seat theatre which will house the Middle East’s first Cirque du Soleil show.

The project is projected to finish in 2020, the same year that the city will host the World Expo. While the islands are sure to be luxurious, Dubai has been known to take its time on projects before. The Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago, has been under construction since 2002, and The World, a small archipelago of islands resembling the literal globe, has been under construction for over a decade. Hopefully this project will be completed soon, as an extra 1.4 miles of sandy beach in one of the world’s most extravagant cities sounds pretty good to us.

H/T: CNN

Featured image of the Dubai Marina courtesy of Getty Images.

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