Smooth flows the Canal

The Gate Towers include a fivestar hotel, hotel apartments, and branded apartmentsImage Credit: Supplied

Waterfront communities in Dubai have always garnered strong investor interest. Adding to the city’s fame for unique waterside  attractions is the Dh2-billion Dubai Water Canal linking Business Bay to the Arabian Gulf.

Work on the project has now entered its final stage of completion. The project features a walkway, running track, patios featuring interactive screens, sitting areas overlooking the canal, smart lighting and abundant greenery. The Walk at Dubai Water Canal will join the current Jumeirah Corniche running track, making an extended 7km-long continuous track.

Three districts

Properties will be built bordering both banks of the canal, taking an area of 4.68 million sq m, including 605,000 sq m for commercial use. This will accommodate 5,345 residential units and 948 hotel rooms. The project has three districts: Gate Towers, Jumeirah and Peninsula (Beach).

The Gate Towers bridge at the entrance of the canal will include a 300,000 sq m shopping mall featuring 434 retail outlets, restaurants and a park on its roof. The Gate Towers also feature a fivestar hotel, hotel apartments, and branded apartments.

There will be four residential towers linked with Safa Park, about 500 retail outlets and restaurants, and 1,141 housing units. Around 200 outlets and restaurants and 211 residential units will be constructed on both sides of the canal.

The project will peak at the Delta, where a peninsula will be formed to add more than one kilometre to the new beach at Jumeirah Beach Park. This expansion will also create space for deluxe property development projects in an area featuring more than 60 marinas, 1,817 residential units, 957 fivestar hotel rooms, and 347 retail outlets and restaurants.

Waterfront living

“The canal is expected to be a highly desirable location to set up a home,” says John Stevens, Managing Director, Asteco. It will offer alternative waterfront living to Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and JBR and for family homes, an equivalent to the Springs or Arabian Ranches in the heart of the city, he adds. “Homes with boat berths can be expected, a wealth of retail and dining options and a vibrant tourism offering will ensure the area, once completed, will be highly sought after.”

Stevens points to Dubai Marina as an example, saying that waterfront living has become one of the most desirable lifestyles in the world. He highlights the area’s exclusivity, status and unobstructed views as major selling points Dubai Canal zone hopes to replicate.

“The popularity of waterfront living means owners of property in the area will be in a strong position to lease or after time, sell. If we look at Asteco’s most recent report, the three most transacted areas in terms of value were Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, and Downtown Dubai.”

Property developments

Prominent property developers already view this as a viable place to build their most ambitious and luxurious projects, as the zone will be to be the next big thing in the city. Al Habtoor City, the Aykon City by Damac Properties and Marasi Business Bay by Dubai Properties Group (DPG) are key projects planned for the area.

Al Habtoor City will have three fiev-star hotels (St. Regis, Westin, W hotel) and three high-rise, ultraluxurious residential towers — Noura, Amna and Meera. “The residential towers at Al Habtoor City feature highend finishing, private balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, framing panoramic views of the city and providing plenty of natural light,” says Sami Al Jundi, Senior Global Property Consultant, Gulf Sotheby’s International Realty. “Residents are provided with access to lifestyle amenities, such as a lap pool, gym, and spa, as well as direct access to the Dubai Water Canal. Al Habtoor City is nearing completion. Interested buyers can now view its show unit onsite.”

Aykon City is an all-inone project featuring residential, hotel apartments, commercial towers and retail areas. “It’s almost like a small independent city by itself, as it provides its residents with everything they might need for work, residence, entertainment, and leisure,” says Al Jundi. In addition to its location, the towers offer views of the Dubai skyline and some of the city’s landmarks, including the Dubai Water Canal, Shaikh Zayed Road and Safa Park. He adds that Aykon City offers an “unparalleled advantage” in value for the location.

Ziad El Chaar, Managing Director, Damac Properties, says Dubai Canal represents an attractive investment opportunity in the city. “Property within this area and the surroundings will witness an appreciation in value as the development comes to life, making it a lucrative market for developers. Owning a luxury freehold property in a central location such as Shaikh Zayed Road and Dubai Canal [that] features a wide range of infrastructure and facilities in and around it — including accessibility by car, metro and water taxi — is a wise investment.”

Marasi Business Bay by DPG is another masterplanned waterside development in the area offering waterfront homes, retail options and floating restaurants. “Marasi Business Bay will be developed in two phases,” says Masood Al Awar, Chief Officer—Commercial, Dubai Properties. “Phase 1 begins in the fourth quarter andwill be completed by 2019. Construction on the promenade has already started, in line with the RTA’s launch of the Dubai Canal project. The development is set for completion by 2023.

“Marasi Business Bay offers urban, waterside luxury living that can be directly reached by boat, and has access to the heart of Dubai’s
business district.”

“Marasi Business Bay will host five marinas with 1,250 berths, alongside onshore boutique shopping and a range of leisure and entertainment facilities. The development embraces one of the longest waterside promenades in Dubai, spanning almost 12km. It’s divided into three areas—The Yacht Club, The Park and The Pier—each uniquely themed and offering a range of luxury residential, dining, retail and entertainment facilities.”

New landscape

The canal is about to change landscape of Dubai. Al Jundi explains that the canal comprises The Water Network, The Green Network, and The Public Realm. The Water Network is made up of three bodies of water: The canal, which runs 2.9km connecting Business Bay to the Arabian Gulf; the Arabian Gulf coastline, which provides captivating beach frontage; and Crystal Lagoon in Safa Park, which brings the coastal experience inland with beach and water access.

The Green Network connects Safa Park to the new Jumeirah Beach Park, while The Public Realm is developable land located along the Dubai Water Canal. A network of food and beverage and retail outlets positioned along the 5km boardwalk will enhance the existing fabric of Jumeirah, one of Dubai’s most established and popular residential communities,” adds Al Jundi.

Source: Hina Navin, Special to PW


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