In depth: Work starts on major developments for Expo 2020

Dubai developers have commenced on some major projects for Dubai Expo 2020 with the aim to complete their developments prior to the starting date.

In April, the Dubai government stated that the Expo 2020 materplan is on track with target dates set for all major construction activities which should be completed by 2019, a year before the event to allow a full year of testing across networks, systems and technologies.

The event will run from October 20, 2020 until April 10, 2021, expecting to draw over 25 million visitors to the country.

Some of these major projects are now underway:

Dubai Water Canal

Work has fully commenced on the Dh7.34bn Dubai Water Canal project that is set to connect Business Bay with the Arabian Gulf.

Phase II will consist of construction of bridges across the canal on Al Wasl and Jumeirah Roads.

Work is planned for completion in the last quarter of 2016 to coincide with the completion of Phase I of covering the construction of the bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road that passes over the course of the canal, allowing for navigation around the clock.

The project will include  a new shopping centre, four hotels, 450 restaurants, luxury housing and cycling paths. It is planned to provide new areas up to 80,000m2 for public spaces and facilities, as well as private marinas for boats and a new trade centre at the entrance of the canal.

The canal itself is six metres deep, while the bridges will be built eight metres high to allow the passing of yachts and marine craft.

Works is set to start in June with a completion date planned for the end of September, 2016.

Jewel of the Creek 

Habtoor Leighton Group has been working on this project since 2012. The latest scope of works for this project includes the construction and completion of  five hospitality buildings, ranging between 15 to 19 storeys, that feature both hotels and hotel apartments, a ballroom with an attached cafe, a marina including four foot bridges and a vernacular bridge.

Construction for this is set to begin in Q3 of 2014 and to be completed by Q3 of 2017.

Al Habtoor City

Work is quickly progressing on the Dh11bn Al Habtoor City which is set to become a residential and hospitality development in Dubai.

According to Al Haboor Group, it will incorporate over 3,000 hotels and residential units on one plot, three branded hotels and a permanent Franco Dragone Entertainment Group water-themed production.

The three residential blocks will feature 1,460 luxury apartments, 11 penthouses, a tennis academy and club house with eight tennis courts including one covered air-conditioned court as well as classical French-style landscape garden.

The residential blocks will be the works of British architects WS Atkins, while British architects John R & Partners and Middle Eastern architecture firm Khatib & Alami will be working on the hotel complex.

The three hotels within the City will include St. Regis, W Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road and Westin Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road.

In an early statement, the developer said that both the City and Dubai Canal will be completed at the same time.

Deira Islands 

Construction is almost set to start on the Deira Islands project by Nakheel, who is now seeking companies to design the first stage of the project, including nine beaches.

The first stage includes the placing and profiling of up to nine beaches and construction of new coastal structures for two shore islands.

AE7 has already been appointed to design and supervise the project including the masterplanning, parcelisation and infrastructure design, worth Dh28mn.

Deira Islands will feature a shopping mall, a 30,000 seat amphitheatre as well as a marina that can accomodate large yachts. The development will be accessible from the mainland via road bridges and abras.

The other two key projects announced recently for Dubai including Arabian fairy-tale inspired Aladdin City, although no details have been announced for its date of commencement nor completion, and Al Mamzar beach project by Emaar Properties and Dubai Municipality.


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