High concept architecture is Dubai’s calling card, but Korea’s going for the gold with the new 8City project. Ambitious, extravagant, and enormous in scope, the plan calls for the creation of a new city on the Yongyu-Muui islands, located in the port of Incheon.
If the designers manage to see their $264 billion project through, this new city would span an impressive 80 square kilometres and become the largest tourism plan in the world.
To put this into perspective, the city would be three times larger than the size of Macau with a price tag larger than the GDP of Singapore.
There are numerous features designed to awe visitors.
One of the highlights is the “Megastrip.” This would become the world’s largest single architectural unit, covering a massive area at 200 metres in height, 880 metres in width, and 3.3 kilometres in length.
Another structure would be called the “inner circle,” which would be tubular in shape and cover 14 kilometres.
There would be a variety of uses to this proposed mega-city, including casinos, theme parks, and luxury hotels to rival anything found in Las Vegas.
Condominiums and shopping centres would add to the overall liveability of the city, while a Formula One racing track and a grand-scale 50,000-seat concert hall would provide entertainment for residents and tourists alike.
A “hallyu” town would be available solely for entertainment purposes, celebrating the recent increase in global visibility for Korean pop stars and entertainers.
One of the most unique features would be a “healing town” dedicated to medical tourism.
With many international visitors travelling to Korea to benefit from the high standards of medical care and lower prices than what they would receive at home, this could be one of the most successful aspects of this new project, unprecedented elsewhere.
Due to the fact that 5.7 million passengers pass through Incheon International Airport every year, the airport’s proximity to the new mega-city will theoretically bring in millions of potential visitors.
Chinese tourists will also be targeted by the lure of the 8City project. This is apparent in the use of the number “8” in both the project’s name and physical design, as the number is a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture.
This new tourism venture is designed to mimic some of the world’s most successful cities. Designers liken it to Dubai, Las Vegas, Macau, and Hong Kong, all wrapped up into one massive package.
One of the first hurdles for the 8City project to overcome is finding funding.
Efforts are well underway, with the developer already managing to secure $2.8 billion from investors located in South Korea, and an additional $1 billion from Sanbar Development Corporation, located in the United Kingdom.
Funding will be provided by private investors as well as the city, with the project slated to be completed in 2030. If all goes to plan, Incheon City estimates that the new tourism complex could create 930,000 new jobs.