To be known as the Dubai Water Canal Project, the development was signaled by the recent signing of an agreement on the RTA premises with two real estate developers, Meydan and Meraas, and is expected to attract 30 to 36 million visitors to Dubai yearly.
The agreement was signed by Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the RTA; Saeed bin Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Meydan Group; and Abdullah Ahmed Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas Holding.
The two companies will construct hotels, shopping mall as well as several retail and dining outlets, and residential units on the two banks of the Dubai Water Canal stretching from the Business Bay district and crossing the Shaikh Zayed Road up to Jumeirah Park with an extension to the existing park. The canal will pass across Al Safa Park, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 2 district, and Jumeirah Road before ending at the Arabian Gulf near Jumeirah Beach Park.
Al Tayer said the RTA will do the drilling works of the canal, as well as the construction of crossings, roads and pedestrian paths. “The project works have been divided into three contracts. The first and second contract relate to the construction of crossings over the canal linking with the key roads intersecting the canal course, which are the Shaikh Zayed Road comprising eight lanes in each direction, in addition to Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Road comprising three lanes in each directions apiece. Bridges rise 8.5 metres above the water level to allow free navigation 24/7.”
He said the third contract is for the drilling and landscaping works in addition to the construction of pedestrian crossings, and four marine transport stations to ease the movement of the public and promote the mass transport and tourist business. “More than six million passengers are expected to use the marine transit transport every year.”
Once completed, the Dubai Water Canal Project will add 6km to the Dubai waterfront, of which the Canal will have a depth of up to six meters on high tides. The entire length of the Business Bay Canal water will be automatically renewed without using water pumps. It will also renew the Dubai Creek water by 250 million cubic meters annually upon the linking of the Canal with the Business Bay District. The water movement during the tide process through the canal is also estimated to be 800 million cubic meters per annum. “The crossings rise more than eight meters to ensure the smooth and safe passage of large boats measuring 200 meters in length,” Al Tayer said.
Several improvements will be made on main roads intersecting the canal as well as works in the surrounding areas of Jumeirah and Al Safa. A free and safe movement will be provided for pedestrians by constructing four pedestrian crossings over the canal, one of which will have retail and dining outlets. Lanes will also be provided for joggers and cyclists along both sides of the Canal. Landscaping works will also be undertaken on both sides of the canal offering greens, sitting areas and various types of relaxation and tourist facilities.
Included in the development is the Canal Gate Tower at the intersection of Shaikh Zayed Road and the canal, connecting the canal and the shopping mall, comprising retail, F and B and entertainment venues. The Tower will have more than 3.5 million square feet of area that includes 468 apartments, 470 service apartments and 617 hotel rooms, as well as over 400,000 square feet of retail and 735,000 square feet of commercial office spaces.
Other aspects of the Dubai Water Canal Development Project are the 1.5km of urban public beach front and space for public leisure and sports activity at Safa Park, an exclusive enclave of 19 water villas and 44 townhouses above retail outlets at Jumeirah High Street area, and an extended public beach front at Jumeirah Beach Park.