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Sun 14 May 2017 04:56 PM

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Sheikh Mohammed launches Dubai's new $1.7bn mega-project

Marsa Al Arab will include three new hotels, marine park, new Wild Wadi, Middle East's first Cirque du Soleil theatre and a private resort, all to be built on two islands

Sheikh Mohammed launches Dubai's new $1.7bn mega-project
Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed has announced the launch of Marsa Al Arab, a comprehensive tourist destination in the emirate.

Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed has announced the launch of Marsa Al Arab, Dubai Holding's latest tourist destination development in the emirate.

The $1.7 billion (AED 6.3bn) mega-project, spread across 4 million sq. ft, will be developed on new two islands on both sides of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Marsa (Arabic for marina) Al Arab is expected to be completed by 2020.

One island will be dedicated to entertainment and family tourism, while the other comprises an exclusive luxury resort. The two islands will add 2.2 kilometres of beach frontage, as well as three new hotels and a number of new tourist attractions.

The family resort island will see Jumeirah Group introduce new leisure concepts and services as well as a new family-oriented hotel. To boost guest experience, Wild Wadi Waterpark will be moved from its current road-side location closer to the beach, and will be more than double its existing size when fully completed.

Dubai Holding will also develop ‘Marine Park’, a first-of-its-kind marine life edutainment centre in the Middle East, with a live theatre of a 1,000 seat capacity that will attract world-class shows to showcase various elements of marine life.

Marine Park’s live theatre venue

Marsa Al Arab will also include a private marina and a yacht club, as well as diverse food and beverage offerings, as well as a helipad.

Complementing Madinat Jumeirah, the development will include a mixed-use convention centre capable of hosting large international conferences and festivals. The convention centre will be supported by a new hotel, offering a selection of services for businessmen and corporates.

The project will also include a large retail space stretching across 20,000 sq. m, which will replace the current Wild Wadi Water Park area.

The luxury island development

The shopping centre will consist of international high-end brands, as well as a selection of restaurants and coffee shops to meet the needs of its luxurious shoppers. Marsa Al Arab will also offer 300 sea-front residential apartments in the heart of the development.

Together, the enhanced Wild Wadi and Marine Park will sprawl over an area of 2.5 million sq. ft.

Middle East's first Cirque du Soleil venue

The new family destination will house a dedicated theatre with a capacity of 1,700 seats, which will become home to the world-renowned show Cirque du Soleil for the first time in the Middle East.

Dubai Holding will develop 140 luxury villas on the ‘exclusive private island’, which will include a marina for its residents. Located on the left of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the luxury villas will be operated by Jumeirah Group. The island will also host a boutique hotel equipped with world-class facilities that reflect ‘Marsa Al Arab’s status as an attractive destination for elite travellers.

Commercial space that will replace Wild Wadi

Overall, Dubai Holding will add 2,400 hotel rooms to Jumeirah Group’s portfolio, bringing its total offering to 8,428 rooms. There will be 400 new F&B outlets throughout the destination.

The existing hotels in the vicinity will be transformed into a unified tourist destination.

The development will offer pedestrian pathways, a jogging track, large swimming pool and a cycling course, allowing its residents to practice a diverse selection of physical activities.

Location of the two islands - on the left is the luxury island, located behind Jumeirah Al Qasr and Madinat Jumeirah. On the right, the island located behind Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Jumeirah Beach.

Jumeirah Group will offer 10,000 additional parking spaces to accommodate the anticipated influx of visitors, as well as work closely with various government entities and other relevant companies to provide a rapid transport network to interconnect the resorts and entertainment destinations, facilitating fast and easy movement throughout Marsa Al Arab.

The project will break ground in June 2017 and will completed by late 2020.


In addition, Dubai Holding will launch the Dubai Pearl Museum to showcase a historical collection of rare and ancient pearls from the region and worldwide. The Dubai Pearl Museum aims to shed light on the lives of the divers as well as the tools they used to find the precious jewels, reflecting the UAE’s heritage, culture and national pride.

“The launch of this new and ambitious project is in line with the directives of the visionary leadership to provide the finest and rewarding tourist experiences for visitors to Dubai, as well as enhance Dubai’s position as a global tourist destination," said Abdulla Al Habbai, Chairman, Dubai Holding.

“We are proud of the vital role that Dubai Holding plays in this sector through supporting innovation and contributing to the economic diversification of Dubai.”

Dubai Pearl Museum

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Tasnim 3 years ago

Another enthusiastic vision of HH Dubai Ruler. He has enormous capacity to take risk and high confidence in his visions. His dedication to keep the economy rolling creates many a jobs in this region and attracts almost all out there in the world to invest or to live in this lovely country of hospitality, peace, tolerance and safety. Wish all the best and good luck for all the projects announced for the happiness of human beings.

Srivatsa 3 years ago

An amazing piece of art by itself. The wow factor of Dubai remains. It will certainly add value to Dubai Tourism.

Mounir 3 years ago

This is a wonderful project and looking forward to seeing it complete.

I am curious since I am in project management and have expertise in large-complex projects. Although, I do not have experience in this type of project, but a mega project is quite complex. My comment on this regard, is three years enough for such a project? Or in about 2 to 3 years we will hear about delays?

I am not doubting the possibility of completing such a major initiative in time, but in recent years and months, we keep hearing about mega projects being delayed.

The challenges are not limited to our region but recently we have heard about various projects being delayed by more than 1 or 2 years.

allon 3 years ago

Access and logistics will play a major part here, and you are correct to query it.

allon 3 years ago

Build it, and they will come.. Great vision by the Ruler once again, enough is never enough for this amazing city.

some bloke 3 years ago

That's the public sunset beach gone then. Shame.

Farage 3 years ago

Two catchphrases for Dubai come to mind:
Dubai...... where tomorrow is today
Dubai..... imagination without borders

The world has to officially designate Dubai as the place to experiment the future.

Emma 3 years ago

In Amish country a barn is put up in a day. In Dubai, with enough funding and people, this project will most likely succeed in the timeframe required (2-3 years) without delay.