His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated on Wednesday the Dubai Water Canal which will connect the Business Bay with the Arabian Gulf passing through the heart of Dubai at a total cost of about $2 billion (Dh7.34 billion).
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Federal National Council (FNC) Speaker Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, Chairman of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Director of Dubai Department of Information.
The ceremony was also attended by Cabinet Affairs Minister Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, State Minister Reem Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Dubai’s Police Chief Lt General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Director General of the Dubai Ruler’s Office Musabbah Rashid Al Fattan, sheikhs, dignitaries, media persons and heads of local government departments.
On arrival at the ceremony site, Sheikh Mohammed was received by Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of Meydan Board Saeed Humaid Al Tayer and Chairman of the Meraas Holding Group Abdulla Ahmed Mohammed Al Habbai.
Sheikh Mohammed was detailed about the state-of-the-art tourist and commercial project which offers a new style of life in the heart of Dubai and on both banks of the canal. He also reviewed the constituents of the project which stretches from the Business Bay up to the Arabian Gulf in a waterway stretching 3 km in length and width ranging from 80 to 120 meters.
The Canal crosses Sheikh Zayed Road (between Al Safa Interchange and the first interchange) and passes across the Safa Park, Al Wasl Road, and Jumeirah 2 to terminate at the Arabian Gulf. All construction works of the project’s infrastructure including drilling and building bridges is set for completion in 2017.
The canal will add six kilometers to Dubai’s waterfront, while the project will provide an area of over 80 thousand square meters dedicated to public places and vital facilities equipped with many outstanding facilities that meet the expectations and requirements of visitors of all segments of society.
The Project encompasses new shopping and entertainment centres linked through a uniquely designed bridge, more than 450 new restaurants along with a wide array of luxurious marinas for yachts, and 4 world-class hotels. At the entrance of the Project from Sheikh Zayed Road, an iconic Trade Centre will be constructed comprising 4 levels, including one underground level and three elevated levels linking the Business Bay with the project zone in a total area of more than 50 thousand square metres.
The development of the waterfront will allow for the construction of deluxe residences and private marinas for boats along with pedestrian pathways, cycling tracks, together with fine business outlets, hotels and deluxe restaurants. The project will boost the position of the Jumeirah area as a premier and distinctive tourist destination in Dubai. The project is expected to attract 20 to 22 million visitors per annum.
The ‘Dubai Water Canal’ will have a depth of six meters and bridges above it will rise more than eight meters, offering free navigation for deluxe yachts extending up to 200 feet. The canal will ensure the replenishment of water supplies in the entire Business Bay Canal automatically without any need for pumps. An extra flushing capacity will be added to the Dubai Creek when the Canal is connected to Business Bay, by approximately 250 million cubic metres per year.
The total tidal water exchange through the Canal is estimated to be around 800 million Cubic metre per year, and the Canal is anticipated to have a cooling effect, benchmarking to a similar Project “Cheong Gye Cheon” man-made canal in Seoul, where the recorded thermal reduction reached -3.6 C.
Explaining about the project, Mattar Al Tayer said that due to the enormity of the project scale, the project has been divided into three contracts. The first and the second cover building bridges over the Canal linking with the key roads intercepting the Canal course; which are Sheikh Zayed Road spanning eight lanes in each direction, and three lanes on each side of Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Road. These crossings are constructed 8.5 meters above the water level, thus allowing for a round the clock free navigation in the canal.
Al Tayer added that the third contract encompasses the drilling and landscaping works as well as the construction of four pedestrian crossings. Four marine stations will be constructed to ease the mobility of the public and promote the public and tourist transport. The marine transit modes are expected to ferry more than six million passengers per annum, according to the marine transport plan in Dubai.
Al Tayer added that the RTA will carry out several improvements on the key roads intersecting the Canal as well as the surrounding areas such as Jumeirah and Al Safa neighbourhood including the construction of roads alongside the Canal to assist the mobility between those districts. As for pedestrians, a free and safe movement will be provided through constructing 3 pedestrian bridges across the Canal in addition to footpaths on all the new main bridges passing over the Canal.
Moreover, tracks dedicated to practicing light sports, such as jogging & cycling, will be constructed along both sides of the Canal. Landscaping works will also be made in both sides of the Canal including greens, benches, public relaxation areas, and various other facilities and tourist-oriented projects.