Dubai launches $545m canal project

Waterfront development will include 450 new restaurants along with marinas for yachts and four world-class hotels

(photo for illustrative purposes only)

(photo for illustrative purposes only)

Dubai plans to spend AED2bn ($545m) on building a canal through its downtown area, part of a series of construction projects being launched as the emirate recovers from its 2009-2010 debt crisis.

The three-kilometre (1.9-mile) canal is to extend from the Business Bay district to and will cross the Sheikh Zayed Road, between Safa and 1st Interchanges, and will pass across Safa Park and Al Wasl Road and terminate at the Arabian Gulf.

The project will span more than 80,000 square metres and will encompass new shopping and entertainment centres linked through a uniquely designed bridge to more than 450 new restaurants along with luxurious marinas for yachts, and four world-class hotels, the WAM news agency said.

The development, which is due to be completed in 2017, will allow for the construction of deluxe residences and private marinas for boats along with pedestrian pathways and cycling tracks and is expected to attract up to 22 million visitors per annum.

Dubai's Gulf coast, creating new waterfront land that can be used to build hotels, marinas and other tourist facilities, the government said in a statement.

Authorities did not say how the project will be financed. Billions of dollars of real estate projects have been unveiled by the government and state-linked firms over the past year, triggering a bull run in the stock market but causing concern at the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF warned in July that overspending could leave Dubai vulnerable to another debt crisis if global market conditions deteriorated. Dubai officials say they have brought the emirate's debt under control and are investing to take advantage of strong economic growth expected in the region over coming years.



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Posted by: Billy

I am struggling to find any positive in this new/old insane idea. I have lived here for more than 20 years and have always found Safa Park to be a sanctuary against the madness that we have all come to know as Dubai. There are so many unfinished and abandoned developments that still blight this marvelous city, surely it would be better to tidy these up or finish them first than to rip open one of the most beautiful, established parts of the city and create unimaginable chaos. I am absolutely dreading the mayhem that will be SZR around Safa Park and those of you that think it will be otherwise your naivety is laughable. Thursday evenings will be a total disaster zone for years and the worst of it all is at the end Dubai will have destroyed one of its jewels and replaced it with yet more so-so real estate that we actually do not need. Such a pity.

Posted by: AYH

Dear Sanjay,

Totally agree with your view. In fact you should go down to Hyde park in London and Central park in New York and campaign against such useless spaces in the heart of the city with no 'reveneue generation' potential and 'no real value.' If the whole world starts thinking like you, we would live in one big manufacturing and retail facility. Thank god for those poor souls who think otherwise.

A green park lover

Posted by: Maged Al Gharably

This project will have a tremendous financial return for Dubai, think of the new jobs, real estate, markets, extra tourist attraction area that will come out.
The article said this is a part of series of construction projects being launched. I cant seem to find the remaining, could the author clarify?

Posted by: Parklife

To those who said Safa Park adds no value.......

Take off your shoes and walk across the grass barefoot, listen to the birds, see all the wonderful flowers, plants and trees with the skyline of Dubai in the background or reflecting off the lakes.

A peaceful GREEN oasis in the Dubai that everybody can enjoy - just walking along the various paths exploring, snoozing on the grass, friends playing frisbee, football or basketball, families picnicing and enjoying bbq's, newly married couples taking pictures, friends meeting, children laughing running and playing etc etc

It is an iconic park and an attraction in it's own right

It would be a shame if Safa park was replaced with shops - a canal through park of the park would be nice but shops?

Posted by: Chris

How many times can the same thing be announced in Dubai. I remember this in 2009

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