In the urban environment, as in the nature, things are highly interdependent. One thing can change not only directly connected architectural features, but also economy, way of using public space, Talking about Dubai Water Canal is all about that. Just by explaining basic things about this new urban feature you come to almost endless listing of new facilities and possibilities. What is remarkable about this canal is that it is artificial and that it introduced so many new features into the landscape – sailing and walking to name just the basics.
The Canal is connecting Business Bay with Arabian Gulf through Safa Park and Jumeirah. It is from 80 to 120 meters wide, three kilometers long, six meters deep, covering total area of 80,000 square meters. It created variety of new public places like walkways, cycling and running paths, sitting areas and greenery, as well as private ones – private marinas, trade center at the entrance of the canal, shopping center, 4 hotels, 450 restaurants, housing.
The project was creative and visionary – it needed imagination and courage to be conceived and finished. It was ambitious and expensive, which is normal for projects that can not be done in only one generation time. Originally the project was conceived by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed; while his successor son the current Sheikh Mohammed made it finally possible.
Big projects like this permanently change city-scapes, like huge boulevards or squares were in the past. Just remember Paris’ Haussmann Boulevard. The Canal created water passage in a Venetian style, adding special atmosphere to the city. Special feature and touristic attraction of the canal is the Dubai Canal Waterfalls that start around 8 pm. and end around 10 pm.
The canal was inaugurated on 9 November 2016 with the Grand Opening Ceremony that included fireworks and various serial performances, as well as 3 km of laser lights connecting all the bridges and creating a second Canal of light. Canal is crossed by 5 new pedestrian bridges, and surrounded by 7km long promenade. Bridges were made to be 8.5 meters high above the water to allow marine transportation possible. There are four marina stations for public transportation along the canal, and solar powered streetlights and mobile phone charging stations. As it is expected to attract 30 million visitors per year, some of its features were made to be spectaculars, such as one of the bridges being inspired with Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. Other goals, such as enhancing marine transportation, environmental idea of improvement of quality of water by 33%, residential and commercial benefits have definitively been achieved.