DUBAI has revealed plans to build a replica of the Taj Mahal that will be four times bigger than the original in Agra, which was dedicated by the Indian emperor Shah Jahan to his third wife Mumtaz.
It will contain a shopping centre, 300-room five-star hotel, apartments and bridal wear stores.
“Currently Dubai is not regarded as a wedding destination. People go to Bali and other exotic places to marry. Now they will come to Taj Arabia,” said developer Arun Mehra.
Developers aim to complete the project in two years. The actual Taj Mahal in India took 22 years to be constructed in the 17th century.
But the ‘Taj Arabia’ hasn’t gone down well with everyone. Conservationist architects especially in India have been disapproving of the plans, claiming that the plan was “crazy” and that the sanctity of the original was being compromised.
R.C Aggarwal formerly of the Archaeological Survey of India said: “You can’t make it the Taj of Mughal times; anybody doing such a thing is wasting money.”
The replica will cost £665million to build and is part of a wider project that includes building replicas of other iconic monuments from around the world, including the Pyramids, Eifel Tower and the Great Wall of China.