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Dubai RTA inks water canal project deal
The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has signed a deal with leading real estate groups Meydan Group and Meraas Holding to develop real estate projects around Dubai Water Canal offering 14 million sq ft of exemplary retail, dining, hospitality and residential lifestyle.

As per the deal, the two companies will undertake the construction of the real estate developments around the two banks of the Dubai Water Canal stretching from the Business Bay district and crossing the Sheikh Zayed Road up to Jumeirah Park with an extension to the existing park.

The canal passes across Al Safa Park, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 2 district, and Jumeirah Road before terminating at the Arabian Gulf near Jumeirah Beach Park.

The real estate developments to come up on a 14 million sq ft of land include hotels, shopping mall as well as several retail and dining outlets, and residential units, revealed RTA chairman and executive director Mattar Al Tayer after signing the agreement with Meydan Group chairman and CEO Saeed bin Humaid Al Tayer and Meraas Holding Group chairman Abdullah Ahmed Al Habbai.

"The RTA will cater to the drilling works of the canal, as well as the construction of crossings, roads and pedestrian paths," stated Al Tayer.

According to him, the project works have been divided into three contracts. The first and second contract relate to the construction of crossings over the Canal linking with the key roads intersecting the canal course which are the Sheikh Zayed Road comprising eight lanes in each direction, in addition to Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Road comprising three lanes in each directions apiece.

Bridges rise 8.5 meters above the water level to allow free navigation 24/7.

"The third contract relates to drilling and landscaping works in addition to the construction of pedestrian crossings, and 4 marine transport stations to ease the movement of the public and promote the mass transport and tourist business. The marine transit modes are expected to ferry more than six million passengers per annum according to the plan mapped out in Dubai," he added.

Al Tayer staressed that the RTA will carry out several improvements in main roads intersecting the canal in addition to some works in the surrounding areas such as Jumeirah and Al Safa.

This includes the construction of roads along the banks of the canal to ease the mobility in those areas. As for pedestrians, a free and safe traffic movement will be provided through the construction of four pedestrian crossings over the canal; one of them contains retail and dining outlets.

"Dedicated lanes will be provided for practicing light sports such as jogging and cycling along both sides of the Canal. Landscaping works will also be undertaken on both sides of the Canal offering greens, sitting areas and various types of relaxation and tourist facilities," added Al Tayer.

Meydan Group chief said that in equal partnership with Meraas it will be the prime developers to create a distinctive destination development that embraces the unique canal and waterfront lifestyle.

"Our development will generate over 80 per cent of waterfront property, which is planned in a sensitive manner to preserve the beauty and public community amenity of Safa Park," remarked Humaid Al Tayer.

The Jumeirah Beach Park will increase by 25 per cent with additional length of public beach.

According to Humaid Al Tayer, this development will nurture an integrated community services that will cater to all residents and tourists in Dubai.

"Our vision is to encourage healthy lifestyle through thoughtful and intelligent design that would cater to comfortable pedestrian use of this development during winter and summer months. This is achieved with operable retail arcades that extend throughout the length of the canal walk, which will create continuous pedestrian connectivity from the Gulf to Business Bay."

Al Habbai said the canal project was yet another example of Dubai leadership's vision and zeal to use infrastructure as a catalyst for development and growth of the economy.

"This project will help further increase investor interest in Dubai’s real estate market, as well as provide growth in job opportunities," stated the UAE developer.

"Meraas is privileged to be a part of a project that is set to reconfigure the topography of the emirate. I am confident that our three-way partnership model with Meydan and RTA will deliver on Dubai’s ambitious tourism and economic objectives," he added.

The Dubai Water Canal project, which is expected to attract 30 to 36 million visitors per annum, comprises of recreational and sport facilities capable of constituting an important addition to the Dubai tourist map, creating an attraction for entire community spanning citizens, residents and tourists.

The Canal Gate Tower defines the threshold experience at the intersection of Sheikh Zayad Road and the canal, unifying both sides of the canal and the shopping mall, with an enclosed multi-level retail bridge that contains retail, F&B and entertainment venues.

The Tower is a mixed use development that comprises of over 3.5 million square feet of area that includes 468 apartments, 470 service apartments and 617 hotel rooms, as well as over 400,000 sq ft of retail and 735,000 sq ft of commercial office spaces.
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