Dubai Water Canal: All that you need to know

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The Dh2.7-billion project is a joint venture of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Meydan and Meraas.

By Team KT

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Published: Wed 9 Nov 2016, 10:15 PM

Last updated: Fri 18 Aug 2023, 11:07 AM

A little over three years after it was first announced, one of Dubai's grandest projects - the Dubai Water Canal - will be inaugurated today. His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will inaugurate the canal in the evening.

The 3.2km canal with a 6.4km-long waterfront has cut through the emirate, starting from the Business Bay and stretching to Safa Park, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 2 and Jumeirah Road to end in the Arabian Gulf at the Jumeirah Beach Park.

The Dh2.7-billion project is a joint venture of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Meydan and Meraas.

Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, said: "The Dubai Water Canal is one of the smart ideas of Shaikh Mohammed to add a unique tourist and commercial showpiece offering a new style of living in Dubai city. Shaikh Mohammed is always keen to roll out creative and cracking visionary ideas that define new concepts for people's happiness and welfare."

The project was announced on October 2, 2013, and aimed at connecting Business Bay district with the Arabian Gulf.

Pedestrian bridges like no other

The full length of the canal has five pedestrian bridges, three of which connect either side of the canal with unique aesthetic specifications. The three bridges rise 8.5 metres above the water. The first and second bridges are located between Shaikh Zayed Road and Al Wasl Roads, and the third bridge is located in the area between Al Wasl and Jumeirah Roads.

The first pedestrian bridge extends 120 metres in length and six metres in width, and is a metal bridge suspended by metal cables lifting the bridge floor.

The second bridge measures 205x6.5 metres and the floor of the bridge is constructed in an S-Curve shape. The pedestrian bridge is suspended by an oval arch rising 50 metres and is supported by concrete pillars on both sides of the canal with hanging steel cables to lift the bridge floor.

The third bridge measures 140x3.5 metres in the form of a twisted steel bracket built on steel columns on both sides of the canal.

All bridges are fitted with electric elevators and escalators on both sides. However, the second bridge has a concrete slope to serve cyclists.

The design and construction of the bridges boast of iconic engineering design. For example, the canal bridge on the Shaikh Zayed Road is fitted with waterfall and creative lighting.

One project, five dimensions

Over 4,600 workers were employed to build the canal under the supervision of four main contractors and 60 subcontractors. Due to the massive scope of the Dubai project, it was split into five contracts

The first comprised construction of a bridge of eight lanes in each direction on the Shaikh Zayed Road above the course of the canal at a cost of Dh580 million.

The second covered the construction of bridges and intersections at Al Wasl and Jumeirah Roads. The Jumeirah Bridge comprises three lanes in each direction while the bridge on Al Wasl Road comprises three lanes in each direction. A bridge leading to the proposed peninsula to the south of Jumeirah Park is to be constructed.

The third contract covered drilling works of the canal linking the Business Bay Canal with the Arabian Gulf. It included the construction of three pedestrian bridges with unique designs rising 8.5 metres above the water level linking the two banks of the canal at locations carefully selected to ease the mobility of residents in order to encourage the use of public transport means. It also covers the construction of five marine stations, and landfilling works of an artificial peninsula along the stretch of Jumeirah Park; which doubles the park beach and areas, and offers the potentials of adding additional recreational facilities.

The fourth covered construction works of the main Walk and the infrastructure of the canal area

The fifth contract covered completion of the remaining sectors of the Dubai Water Canal, treatment of stagnant water, removal of salt deposited in the bed of the Business Bay Canal, removal of sand barriers on the route of the canal, pumping of water, and constructing four marine transit stations.

The new Shaikh Zayed Road across the canal with eight lanes in each direction and built at a cost of Dh580 million

Eco-friendly, tourism haven, business hub

From an environmental perspective, the canal will improve the quality of water of the entire waterway (Creek, Business Bay and the Water Canal) by 33 per cent, and improving the turnover of water in the entire system to four times a year. The water turnover in the Dubai Water Canal (from Shaikh Zayed Road to the Business Bay) will be three days only. The canal will moderate the temperature like the artificial water canal in Korea.

  • From a tourist perspective, the canal with its engineering and architectural features will act as a tourist hub that will raise the profile of Dubai as a go-to tourist destination. The new area is expected to attract more than 30 million visitors per annum. The marine transit services of the RTA will also attract tourists
  • From an economic viewpoint, the canal will increase the competitiveness of Dubai in attracting events and conventions, thanks to an excellent infrastructure. It will also enhance the tourist and commercial activities on both banks of the canal as well as surrounding areas. It will appreciate the value of land in the proximity of the canal and the value of properties in the area are likely to double.
  • The canal will also enhance the role of marine transport in support of tourist, commercial and residential activities within the project area. It will link the area with other marine communities and projects in Dubai. The ridership of marine transit modes in the canal is expected to exceed one million riders per annum up to 2020, and the number is expected to jump to four million riders by 2030. This is equivalent to about 2.9 million journeys by vehicles on roads.

Aesthetic, creative

  • Three bridges have been constructed to link both sides of the canal with unique aesthetic specifications resembling the history, present and future of Dubai
  • Dedicated footpaths, running tracks, and plazas have been provided and fitted with interactive screens, and sitting areas overlooking the canal
  • In order to fulfil the requirements of the smart city needs, smart electric poles controllable with a smart app have been used.

New marine stations

  • Number of marine stations: 9
  • A new ferry line added and an existing route modified
  • Two additional ferries will be used in Phase I.
  • Three daily ferry trips will be operated at 10am, 12am, and 5.40pm from Jaddaf Marine Station calling at five stations towards the canal and vice versa.
  • The current ferry routes between Ghubaiba Station and Marina Mall Station will be modified to stop at Dubai Water Canal Station
  • The water taxi service will be offered on demand from 10am to 10pm at all new stations

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