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Water homes will soon drop anchor in Dubai

Posted by Irish Manluctao on June 18, 2016
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The Dubai Water Canal adjoining Business Bay will host the new ‘water homes’ / Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai is to get its first “water homes” — more than 150 of them — as part of a residential and retail cluster along a 12-kilometre stretch of the Dubai Water Canal adjoining Business Bay. The “Marasi Business Bay” will cost Dh1 billion plus to build and will be fully funded through internal resources, according to Dubai Properties, the developer.

Prices of the water homes — so called because they are fully anchored in water and not to be confused with the “floating” residences — were not revealed. But given that their numbers are limited and the quite upscale trappings they will be set in, their values could push past the Dh3,000 a square foot level, market sources say.

The homes will be 1,500 square feet and more in size. There will not be any other residential offerings at Marasi.

The development will be completed over a five- to seven-year period, and taking into consideration how the wider realty market behaves. “The water homes respond to a market requirement from investors who want to see Business Bay develop as a living destination,” said Fadel Al Ali, CEO, Dubai Holding, of which Dubai Properties is one arm. The Group also has Tecom Holdings and Jumeirah Group under it. (Dubai Holding is due to make a £500 million payment on its bond by February next.) “All projects that we undertake are with a longer span — we are not speculators and we do not build with a quick in and out mentality.”

In this one stroke, the profile of Business Bay itself will be in for a major transformation, and will not be “about tall buildings alone”. The developer is also clear about integrating Business Bay’s existing and future hospitality elements with Marasi.

This will take the form of a marina with 1,000 plus berths, floating restaurants and retail areas. There will be 100 outlets, the majority for F&B options, at the cluster. There is also provision for a “pier”.

Parks and open spaces will cover 250,000 square metres, while the retail portion alone is 200,000 square feet.

With the latest launch, Dubai is creating a set of adjoining super-premium mixed-use developments. The Downtown is already well into its mature built phase, then comes the Marasi and the super-premium towers (mostly mixed-use) and then moving into MBR (Mohammad Bin Rashid) City and Meydan One. According to market analysts, this has all the makings of another super-premium development corridor, much along the likes of what Dubai Marina and the Palm achieved in the first years of the freehold era.

A common denominator in the new corridor will be the presence of the Canal and what it could do to build up a new investor base seeking luxury assets in the city.

Dubai Properties to date has delivered 35,000 homes, of which 15,000 have been sold, another 15,000 are part of its leased portfolio and 5,000 units serve as staff quarters, etc. It currently has Dh10 billion worth of projects to be delivered over a seven-year period, and which would add to the Dh5 billion worth of contracts already built.

Other high-profile developments, either launched or being designed, include the 1/JBR Tower and Mall of the World. The latter, conceived as the largest mall ever, is now in the “detailed design phase and with a focus on Phase 1,” according to a top official. The overall project will take 15 years.




A project anchored in water

There is more to future attractions at the Marasi Business Bay than its water homes and floating restaurants. It is divided into three themed areas — The Yacht Club, The Park and The Pier.

The 12-kilometre long waterfront will host five palm tree-lined marinas with 1,250 berths, alongside boutique shopping and leisure facilities.

The Marasi will have the longest promenade in the Dubai, spanning 12 kilometres.


Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, GN