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22 June 2024

Construction starts on Dubai Canal in Safa Park area?

By Bindu Suresh Rai and Majorie van Leijen

Dubai is gearing up for one of its most prestigious and ground-breaking projects: Dubai Canal.

The three-kilometre long extension from the Creek at Business Bay will cross Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Safa Park, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road to finally be reunited with its original source - the sea.

Ground-breaking the project will most certainly be, as some of the emirate’s most consumed roads will – either temporarily or for good - have to make place for the canal. And as it seems, the first digging has started in the area near Safa Park.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced that its first tender would concern the construction of a bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road. It seems work has commenced on the road diversions needed to facilitate an undertaking of such scope.

Curious about the new roadblock next to Safa Park, Emirates 24|7 strolled down to the site of what will be ‘ground canal’, and did a little field research.

In short, the project area stretches from Business Bay Metro station to Safa Park. At several locations alongside Sheikh Zayed Road, holes have been dug. Further, some activity could be seen in the sandy area bordering the service road. The service road has been partially closed for traffic.

“The canal will be dug here,” we are told by the men at work while standing next to Safa Park.

More surprising is the next discovery. According to one of the men at the site, the area is where “Sheikh Zayed Road will be relocated”. While the bridge is constructed on Sheikh Zayed Road, traffic will be diverted land inwards, he claimed.

Emirates 24|7 is awaiting RTA clarification regarding the traffic diversion plan. The RTA earlier said that it would soon reveal its plans.

The picture is starting to become clearer. A green patch of land and a two-lane service road form the direct border to the six-lane highway, enough space for some temporary alternative lanes to the ones that will have to be shut down when the construction of a bridge commences.

One of the most prominent buildings located on the service road is the Atrium, property of Emarat, which houses its own office next door on the same road.

“I do not think it [new road works] will affect us,” said a spokesperson of the company.

A similar response came from neighbouring companies on the stretch of land. “There will be no relocation,” said the management team at Holiday Inn firmly, while Clair Hattle, Director at the International House said: “I have not heard of any relocation plans.”

 “I do not believe we will be affected by the construction, at least not now. We did not receive any information about relocating,” explained Sameh Mohamed Hegazi at Shadow Real Estate Establishment.

“I believe the traffic diversion will take place on the service road, and not any further. We might be affected in terms of traffic, and the accessibility to our office. But this is at a far later stage,” he added.

The project is expected to be completed over a three-year period, including the construction of two more bridges elevating Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road, and five pedestrian bridges, one of which will function as a shopping destination on the go.