Dubai: The planned extension of Dubai Creek will create a complete inland waterway from Deira to Jumeirah, turning Bur Dubai into an island.
Dubai Creek, which starts from the Arabian Gulf near Al Shindagha in Bur Dubai, is currently 14km long and ends at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.
It will be extended by another 12.2km from Ras Al Khor, back to the Arabian Gulf, passing through Business Bay, Shaikh Zayed Road, Safa Park, Al Wasl, Jumeirah 2 and the Jumeirah Beach Park.
First phase of extension
The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has awarded a Dh758 million contract for the first phase of extension of Dubai Creek.
The project involves extension of Dubai Creek by 2.2km, from the Business Bay to the Arabian Gulf. The project will be carried out in three phases and will be compete by the end of 2010.
The Creek will extend from Shaikh Zayed Road, near the Emirates building, and pass through Safa Park, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 2 before terminating at the Arabian Gulf near the southern part of Jumeirah Beach Park.
Bridges will be built on Shaikh Zayed Road, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Road to ensure smooth flow of both marine as well as road traffic.
The project has been approved by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
"Considering the immense nature of the project and in order to step up completion rate, works have been split into three contracts to ensure its completion on schedule," said Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA.
He said the planned extension of Dubai Creek would create a complete inland waterway from Deira to Jumeirah, turning Bur Dubai into an island.
The contract for the project has been awarded to Sungwon Corporation, a Korean company. Dubai Creek, which starts from the Arabian Gulf near Al Shindagha in Bur Dubai, is currently 14km long and naturally ends at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.
Some 10km of the extension of the Creek has already been completed in the Business Bay.
"The most critical part of the extension work is the next 2.2km stretch, which will take the Creek from Shaikh Zayed Road back to the sea," Al Tayer added.
Work on the first phase of extension will start at the end of this year, while the whole project will be complete by the end of 2010.
The final length of the Creek will be around 26.2km, with Bur Dubai becoming an island within the Dubai Creek ring.
Dubai Creek has served as the lifeline of the city as Dubai was initially built along the Creek.
The extension of the Creek will also be linked to canals, which will be part of the Jumeirah Garden City, that will come up in the Satwa-Al Wasl areas.
Water transport boost
The canal for the extension of Dubai Creek will be part of Dubai's ambitious plan for water transport, as it will be used by private boats as well as ferries for public transport.
"Passengers will be able to take water transport from the Dubai Creek to reach Business Bay, Jumeirah, Al Wasl or Shaikh Zayed Road," said Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Al Tayer said there would be bridges over the new water channel with a minimum height of 8.5 metres to provide enough space for boats to pass beneath.
"Stations for passengers using water transport and private boats will be built on both sides of the water channel," he said. "It will be one of Dubai's major attractions both for tourists and residents."
He said the roads in Jumeirah, Al Wasl and around Safa Park would also be improved to ensure the free flow of traffic and pedestrians.
"There will be walkways and water sports facilities along the canal, while pedestrian crossings will also be built at different locations, including Safa Park," Al Tayer added.
Both sides of the canal will have green areas to make it a popular place to visit.