By Sarah Townsend
Marasi Business Bay development will also comprise shops, restaurants, park and a marina
A $270 million (AED1 billion) marina development featuring the UAE’s first ‘water homes’ is to be built in Dubai’s Business Bay, it was revealed on Tuesday.
Dubai Holding, through its real estate subsidiary Dubai Properties, unveiled plans for Marasi Business Bay, a 12km waterfront scheme comprising shops, restaurants, a 1,250-berth marina and a park.
The plan also includes up to 200 two and three-bedroom water homes constructed on the marina. Not the same as ‘floating’ homes or villas – a concept that is already being trialled on Dubai’s The World Islands – these will be are built on water with boat access, the developer said.
Dubai Holding chairman Mohammad Abdulla Al Gergawi declined to reveal how much the water homes would cost. He said only they would priced ‘in line with high-end residential units elsewhere in Dubai’. The water homes are in the detailed design phase, he said, and the architects are Dubai and Toronto-based U+A Architects.
The landscaping work will be carried out by Cracknell and Homeport will undertake the design for the marina.
The project occupies a total of 250,000 sq m of land at the start of Dubai Water Canal behind Business Bay. It is to contain 100 shops and floating restaurants spanning 16,000 sq m. The park area occupies 60,000 sq m.
At an event to mark the launch of Marasi Business Bay, Al Gergawi said the project would be built over five to seven years and be financed by corporate reserves ‘in partnership with local financial institutions’.
Work on the first phase, the 12km marina walk that is to be one of the longest waterside promenades in Dubai, according to its developer, has commenced and is scheduled to finish in September in line with the opening of the Dubai Water Canal.
Later phases will see the development of the park and yacht club, with a substantial part of the scheme scheduled for completion by 2020, and overall works concluded by 2023.
Al Gergawi said: “Located along the Dubai Water Canal, this waterfront destination embraces the longest water-side promenades, comprising a space rich with green spaces.
“Our approach to the real estate landscape has gone far beyond the construction of towers and buildings, to encompass innovation and creativity…and contributing to the happiness of the people as envisioned by [Ruler of Dubai and Vice-President of the UAE] Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”
Dubai Properties has AED5 billion ($1.36 billion) of projects under construction and has budgeted for an extra AED10 billion ($2.71 billion) over the next seven years.
The publicly listed company has no plans for any bank borrowing or refinancing schemes at present, Al Gergawi said, other than to repay the last part of an outstanding £500 million ($729 million) bond later this year.For all the latest real estate news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
A grand idea, but I feel pretty sure that these properties, assuming they are built within the timescales described, will be bought by high net worth Emiratis not foreigners.
Obviously, foreign investment in properties like these would be better bringing money into Dubai, rather than circulating the same funds round the system.
Although overall really not sure how much room there is left in the market for yet more uber-luxury property, there is always a chance that overbuilding may dilute the market as it has done in the hotel sector and likely to do in the retail sector.