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Thu 3 Oct 2013 09:46 AM

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Dubai launches $545m canal project

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

Dubai launches $545m canal project
(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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RAS 6 years ago

Four problems.

One - this is the same project that was launched in April 2007

Two - the cost has increased from AED1.5 bn (December 2012) to AED2.0 billion (Sept 2013). Don't journalists ask questions anymore?

Three - the concept of a hanging canal - taking the canal over SZ road has been removed - and we are back to building a bridge to carry SZ road over the canal. Has anyone thought about the traffic chaos that construction will cause?

Four - a two year construction period (Dec 2012) has been extended until 2017.

I have visions of traffic chaos on SZ and Al Wasl roads and of lovely, quiet Safa Park being substantially turned into a building site.

Sanjay 6 years ago

Traffic: People will simply use Al Khail Road and Mohammad Bin Zayed Road so no traffic chaos will take place.

Safa Park is a lot of area for a park in prime area which does not add any value, having shops and residences there will mean being able to use the area for productive purposes rather than a park, which honestly does not bring any real revenue.

We are all excited about Expo 2020 and such projects even if they cause some short term inconvenience should be welcomed by all Dubai residents as it will enable us to host Expo 2020 in the best way possible

Rob 6 years ago

Great initiative but comes at a great cost in destroying a third of Safa Park - one of Dubai's greatest assets. What's worse is the plan for another shopping centre on the opposite bank. Of course Safa Park doesn't generate revenue so why would it be of any value in Dubai. And please what's with this need to recreate the architecture of other places in this case Italy. Grow up Dubai and be original and stop feeling so inadequate that you have to copy other peoples history. Great cities set trends they don't copy them.

Jeff Bustlethwaite 6 years ago

So sad to see a settled and pleasant part of Dubai ruined for years to come.

I can't help but wonder at the logic of destroying such a nice part of Dubai.

Matt 6 years ago

1 - is that a problem?
2 - is that your tax money?
3 - if construction works was an issue for you you shouldn't have moved to Dubai
4 - is that a problem?

Peter Hudson 6 years ago

Tssk...Tsssk...such doubt!!!

details are for engineers.....leaders (only) have 'vision'....

'Build...and they will come" Yalla!!

taxremittance 6 years ago

This is where ARD500 HEALTH CARD and REMITTANCE tax will go. There will be more projects, all from expats' pockets.

stephen 6 years ago

I wonder what's worse, the cynical negativity of some commentators or the blind optimism and pet-like devotion of those who think that whatever occurs in this city is the result of astounding vision and wisdom.

What sort of idiot believes traffic wishes to, or is even able to move easily from Dubai's busiest thoroughfare to other routes? As for Matt's comments- they beggar belief.

Any rational being can't fail to be appalled by this development. Dubai is by no means out of the woods yet & despite claims to the contrary, remains inexorably linked with the fortunes of the rest of the globe. Consolidation does not seem to translate well but they would do well to consider it. This is a trophy development that will cause utter chaos to every artery leading to the canal intersections. It will blight the last remaining residential sections of the city that don't resemble Lego land and it is impossible to forecast 22m visitors a year. Abandon hope all ye who enter.The madness is back!

roadworrier 6 years ago

Parks are parks for a reason - they are meant to be preserved forever regardless of what construction or development ever occurs. Given that much of the beach located in a certain crowded development with "Beach" in the name has literally been destroyed for a revenue-generating shopping mall (called "the Beach"), I suppose the idea of eliminating 1/3 of a massive and beautiful park for a real estate / commercial development should be no surprise. Dubai and Abu Dhabi seem to be alone amongst civilized major cities in the world who believe parks / natural resources are there to be squandered. The Corniche in Abu Dhabi is also a wonderful asset but some part of it is always being ripped up. And the central area beaches around the Tourist Club have been thoroughly defaced by development. Do you imagine New York digging up 1/3 of Central Park for a 100 story skyscraper/shopping mall? Or Hyde Park hosting a football stadium? Or Rio erecting a Walmart on the Copacabana Beach?

Chris 6 years ago

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