His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and the Ruler of Dubai has recently announced the development of Dubai Harbour, a new waterfront destination that will feature the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s largest marina.
The announcement was made in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Emirates Group; H.H. 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 waterfront destination spreads 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. Skydive Dubai, Dubai International Marine Club, DIMC and the Logo Island will also be integrated into a single community.
The project will be developed in phases, and 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 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 the 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 destination adds a new dimension to Dubai’s flourishing tourism industry, setting to enhance Dubai’s position as a leading global hub for maritime tourism further. 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, according to WAM.
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 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 in development, Meraas will be collaborating with various Dubai government entities, especially with the Road and Transport Authority, RTA, for connecting Dubai Harbour to surrounding areas and provide multi-mode transport systems across the development.
The project will also feature water stations 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.
Raising global profile
Dubai Harbour 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% rise in the number of maritime travellers to Dubai, following the completion of the project.
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