The new Dubai Harbour project has been hailed by experts as a way for Dubai to make use of its existing strengths to create a new offering in the city without starting from scratch.
The 20 million square feet project which was unveiled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai on Monday, will help to create a mass of marina berths in an area adjoining Dubai Marina, as well as bringing cruise tourists into a part of the city that already gains some of the highest tourism footfall.
Dubai Harbour will be linked via a monorail to the new Bluewaters Island and to Palm Jumeirah. A footbridge will also link to the Palm’s west crescent.
Craig Plumb, the head of research for JLL Mena, said the project announcement was “typically Dubai” in terms of both its vision and scale.
“It’s very bold and ambitious, and it’s clearly ahead of its time in terms of the fact that the market doesn’t need more hotels or upmarket apartments right now, but at least they are positioning this for the future.”
In fact, given that the project is scheduled to take four years to complete and the clock only starts ticking once ground is broken (no indication has yet been given of when this will be), it is likely that Dubai Harbour will be delivered after Expo 2020 ends.
Mr Plumb says this is a good thing, as it allows development “over a sensible period of time”.
“This is life beyond Expo,” he said.
“Other developers have been doing the same thing. With Jumeirah Central, [Dubai Holding] is saying it’s a 20-year project – it’s not all going to be built in the next four years. It’s for the long-term tourism infrastructure of Dubai.”
Previously, there had been plans in the pipeline to build a cruise liner terminal at Dubai Maritime City close to the existing terminal at Sheikh Rashid port, but Mr Plumb said that the new location at Dubai Harbour made more sense in terms of its proximity [and physical links] to Jumeirah Beach Residences, Bluewaters Island and Palm Jumeirah. More info
By Michael Fahy thenational.ae