Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the development of Dubai Harbour, a unique new waterfront destination that will feature the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s largest marina.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid made the announcement in the presence of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council; Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group; Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai International Marine Club; Khalifa Saeed Sulaiman, Director-General of Dubai Protocol Department, and Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas.
The project, located on King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, in the area between the Jumeirah Beach Residence and Palm Jumeirah - also known as Mina Al Seyahi - will be developed by Dubai’s leading holding company Meraas.
The iconic luxury waterfront destination, spread over 20 million sq. ft, will include a 1,400-berth marina, the biggest in the MENA region, as well as a cruise ship port and terminal, a shopping mall covering 3.5 million sq. ft - the largest one in the area - an events arena, luxurious residential buildings, hotels, offices, retail stores, public service facilities, restaurants, cafes and the Dubai Lighthouse.
The master plan of the new project also integrates Skydive Dubai, Dubai International Marine Club, DIMC, and the Logo Island into a single community.
To be developed in phases, the Dubai Harbour project will be completed in four years after the ground has been broken.
Commenting on the project, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed said, "We are happy that this new project, which represents a unique and innovative new addition to the region’s tourism landscape, opens up a range of new opportunities to investors. Dubai Harbour creates a venue for new investments that support our vision for this important sector and promise to further accelerate the expansion of the tourism industry in the UAE, which is already growing rapidly. I am confident that the project will have a highly positive impact on the entire region’s tourism sector. We are keen to encourage new projects and promote investments that will contribute to bringing to the region more tourists interested in experiencing this part of the world."
He also noted that this project is inspired by the Gulf’s long maritime tradition, which has been inextricably linked to the evolution of trade and commerce in the region.
"Our region has had a long and historic relationship with the sea, and today we are seeing another initiative inspired by this age-old tradition that opens up new horizons for development. We have great aspirations for the tourism sector, which is one of the main pillars of our economic development and an important source of national income," His Highness Sheikh Mohammed added.
The unique destination, which adds a new dimension to Dubai’s flourishing tourism industry, is set to further enhance Dubai’s position as a leading global hub for maritime tourism.
The project will create synergies with some of Dubai’s other iconic projects located in the area, including Palm Jumeirah and the upcoming Bluewaters Island project.
Dubai Harbour is also set to enhance the city’s profile as a magnet for wealth and investments.
The project promises to be an attractive destination for the GCC yacht owners, who own one-third of the world’s largest superyachts.
Dubai Harbour will be accessible by land, sea and air. Additionally, the project will be linked to Sheikh Zayed Road, Palm Jumeirah, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street and Bluewaters Island through state-of-the-art infrastructure.
"The Dubai Harbour project has been launched in response to the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to create a culture of innovation to support the country’s future and strengthen its international position. It also contributes to achieving ‘Dubai Tourism Vision 2020’ to promote tourism and strengthen Dubai’s position as a leading tourist destination," said Abdulla Al Habbai, Group Chairman of Meraas.
"Dubai has constantly amazed the world with its ability to create great projects. A futuristic project of the highest standards, Dubai Harbour confirms our commitment to innovation and creativity. The project demonstrates our approach of thinking differently to create new opportunities that stimulate economic activity in this area. This project will develop a waterfront destination that will stimulate fresh growth in the tourism sector," he said.
Dubai Harbour is expected to create new employment opportunities and attract substantial investments. The destination is also expected to have an incremental impact on the value of neighboring properties.
While developing the project, Meraas will work closely with various Dubai government entities, especially with the Road and Transport Authority, RTA, to deliver a futuristic infrastructure that will connect Dubai Harbour to surrounding areas and provide multi-mode transport systems across the development.
Visitors can access Dubai Harbour either from King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, a bridge that connects them directly from Sheikh Zayed Road or the monorail system that will link to the metro from Palm Jumeirah and Bluewaters Island.
A pedestrian bridge with a jogging and cycling track will also connect Dubai Harbour to Palm Jumeirah.
The project will also feature water stations in various locations and the key ones, to be built under the shopping mall and select hotels, will offer direct access to the buildings.
These water stations will play a major role in facilitating water transportation in the area. The project will also house three helipads.
Meraas will also work closely with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Skydive Dubai to conduct feasibility studies to assess the possibility of using the landing site at Skydive for accommodating private jets.
Additionally, Dubai Harbour will offer a high-quality, internal transportation network and a connected road grid and monorail system that can transport passengers to different areas such as the cruise terminal, hotels, the yacht club, the shopping mall, Skydive Dubai and the Dubai Lighthouse.
The project’s roads will be designed to enable the destination to host Formula races.
A pedestrian bridge will also be constructed, linking the yacht club area to the shopping mall and Skydive. Jogging and cycling tracks will be spread across the development.
The 1,400-berth marina, to be managed by one of the world’s best marina operators, will offer world-class services and maintenance facilities to boat owners and guests besides granting permits to sail in co-ordination with other marinas and international ports.
The destination will expand Dubai’s yachting capacity by 50 percent from the current 3,000 berths.
The new marina at Dubai Harbour will particularly appeal to owners of large yachts as yachts as long as 85m can dock here.
Dubai Harbour will also play a vital role in raising Dubai’s global profile as a cruise ship hub. It will have a fully equipped urban port to welcome global cruise liners and a fully serviced and state-of-the-art passenger terminal, offering duty-free shopping.
The terminal can accommodate 6,000 passengers at a time.
The destination’s various luxury facilities, and entertainment, leisure and retail offerings will provide cruise passengers with a unique entry experience.
The new passenger terminal, spanning an area of 150,000 sq. ft, will attract tourists because of its unique location between Palm Jumeirah and Ain Dubai, two of Dubai’s iconic landmarks.
Meraas has also started discussions with four of the leading global cruise liners, aiming to offer a strong value proposition for this sector. The company will also leverage the opportunities presented by the Emirates Airlines, which carried 52 million passengers in the fiscal year 2015-16.
The project will help Dubai tap into the vast growth opportunities in the maritime tourism industry.
Dubai is expected to receive 650,000 maritime travellers in 2017 while 25.3 million passengers are expected to sail around the world, according to a report recently published by the Cruise Line International Association, CLIA, the world’s largest cruise industry trade association.
The advance infrastructure and world-class services offered by Dubai Harbour is expected to stimulate a 100 percent rise in the number of maritime travellers to Dubai, following the completion of the project.
Dubai Harbour is an integrated destination that will offer its residents and visitors an affluent lifestyle experience.
The new development will offer unparalleled views of Dubai’s skyline, the clear waters of the Arabian Gulf and Ain Dubai, the world’s largest and tallest observation wheel.
The residential offerings of the project will include high-rise and low-rise buildings, waterfront villas and houses.
There will also be a wide selection of retail outlets, restaurants and cafes. The destination will also house several hotels, one of which will offer an internal water station built under it, providing direct access to its facility for guests opting for a sea route.
The destination will also be home to Dubai Lighthouse, a unique architectural icon.
Featuring a luxury hotel, the 135m tall lighthouse will have an observation deck that offers 360 degree views. Dubai Lighthouse will have a solid, smooth and unfettered facade that can be used as a gigantic screen for high-resolution projections and light shows.
Dubai Harbour will also offer a venue for events and exhibitions all the year round with a special focus on maritime events.
These will complement the existing calendar of events hosted by Dubai International Marine Club. Adventure seekers can enjoy a range of activities offered by Skydive Dubai.