Jewel of the Creek Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

The construction sector stands front and centre in Dubai’s long-term growth plan. With significant investments already announced, the emirate remains committed to large-scale infrastructure development, which is eyed as an economic growth driver in the next few years, according to a Cavendish Maxwell report. The new budget approved in December shows a 27 per cent increase in infrastructure spending compared with last year. This paves the way for various large-scale construction projects in the lead-up to the World Expo 2020.

Some 61,000 residential units are scheduled for completion this year, according to Cavendish, although delays may affect actual delivery. Nearly 13,000 units scheduled for completion last year were already pushed to this year. The majority of residential units set to be delivered this year are located in Dubailand, followed by Business Bay and Dubai Sports City. Apartments comprise approximately 76 per cent of the residential supply to be delivered this year.

Among the many developments scheduled for delivery this year are a number of landmark projects. Many of these iconic developments are in line with the government’s strategy of attracting more tourists to the emirate. Here are a few of the landmark projects that will be completed, in full or partly, this year.

Bluewaters Island

A project by Meraas Holding, Bluewaters Island is a man-made island off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Residence. The project will feature the world’s tallest Ferris wheel (210m), Ain Dubai, with a capacity of 1,400 people. The project will also feature retail, residential, hospitality and entertainment zones — as well as a boutique five-star hotel. It will be connected to the mainland by bridges for cars and pedestrians and a monorail.

Location Jumeirah Beach Residence
Type Mixed use
Project cost Dh6 billion
Developer Meraas Holding
Completion status

Access bridges: Q1 2017

Ain Dubai: Q1 2018

Scale/size N.A.


Jewel of the Creek

Located between Creek Golf Club and Al Maktoum Bridge, Jewel of the Creek is a waterfront development spread over an area of 123,995 sq m. The project includes four- and five-star hotels, a convention centre, office buildings and furnished serviced apartments. The property also features the largest swimming pool in the Middle East, with a width of 400m and depth of 4m.

The project is being developed in phases. Phase one includes the five-star, 460-key Roda Hotel and four serviced apartment towers. Phase two will include a 389-room, non-alcoholic hotel, a 445-room four-star fashion hotel, a 405-room three-star plug-and-play hotel, and the Dubai Dome, a multi-purpose hall with a capacity of 3,000 people.

Location Port Saeed, Deira
Type Hospitality
Project cost Dh4 billion
Developer Dubai International Real Estate
Completion status

Phase 1: 2017

Phase 2: 2019

Scale/size 123,955 sq m


Dubai Frame

Comprising two vertical pillars linked by a 93m glass bridge, the 150m Dubai Frame is under construction in Zabeel Park. The project will serve as an observatory providing views of New and Old Dubai. Dubai Frame will also include a museum on the ground floor, showcasing the emirate’s rapid transformation from a fishing village to a metropolitan city.

Location Zabeel Park
Type Leisure
Project cost Dh160 million
Developer Dubai Municipality
Completion status 85% complete as of November 2016
Scale/size 24,220 sq m


MBR City — District One

District One is the first mixed-use development in Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (MBR) City. Spread over 440 hectares with more than 60 per cent of the total area being allocated to green space, the mixed-use project is being developed in four phases and will include 1,600 luxury villas and the 7km Crystal Lagoons, the world’s largest artificial beach walk stretching 14km. The development will also feature a number of retail zones and leisure and sports facilities. An 8.8km cycling and jogging track was opened to public in December.

Location Al Khail Road
Type Mixed use
Project cost $10 billion

Meydan Sobha

Completion status

Phase 1: Q1 2017

Phase 2: May 2018

Phase 3 and 4: February 2020

Scale/size 1,100 acres


Al Habtoor City

Situated on Shaikh Zayed Road, Al Habtoor City is multi-use development along the bank of the Dubai Water Canal. It already has three operational hotels — the first St Regis hotel in Dubai, the UAE’s first W Hotel and the Middle East’s largest Westin Hotel. A tennis academy opened last month.

The development will also feature two 74-storey and a 52-storey residential tower with deluxe apartments, lofts and penthouses. These residential towers are expected to be handed over in the fourth quarter. The project will also have a dedicated theatre for a Franco Dragone Entertainment Group water-themed theatrical show, La Perle, which is expected to open in the second quarter. The development will also house dining venues, a French-inspired garden and the world’s first Bentley café.

Location Shaikh Zayed Road
Type Mixed use
Project cost $3 billion

Al Habtoor Group

Completion status

Hotel Collection: Completed

Residence and Leisure Collection: Q2-Q3 2017

Scale/size 929,030 sq m


Bvlgari Resort Hotel and Marina Village

Designed by Italian architectural company Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners in the shape of a titanic seahorse, Bvlgari Hotels and Marina Village is being developed off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Road. It will be connected to the mainland by a single carriageway bridge. The property will feature a Bvlgari-branded five-star hotel and 20 villas to be operated by Marriott’s Ritz-Carlton, 165 apartments, eight penthouses and 15 mansions. The project will also accommodate a 50-berth marina and a Bvlgari yacht club. The project will be the sixth Bvlgari Hotels and Resorts property in the world, following Milan, Bali, London and Shanghai.

Location Jumeirah Beach Resort
Type Hospitality
Project cost $380 million
Developer Meraas Holding
Completion status Q1 2017
Scale/size 1.7 million sq ft


Jafza Convention Centre Complex

Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) is developing a convention centre complex targeting both businesses and tourists from around the world. Developed in phases, the project involves the construction of a commercial complex of inter-connected, 34-storey twin commercial towers.

On completition, the Jafza Convention Centre Complex will offer 1,274 office units, an exhibition centre, a convention centre, a 600-seat auditorium and a 322-room four-star hotel.

It will also feature a dedicated podium car parking that can accommodate 4,000 cars. The convention centre will also house 22 meeting and conference rooms, a food court with 22 outlets, two terrace restaurants, a fitness centre and a recreational area.

Location Jebel Ali Free Zone
Type Commercial
Project cost $330 million
Developer Habtoor Leighton Group
Completion status

Phase 1 and Phase 2: Complete

Phase 3: Q1-Q2 2017

Scale/size 72,700 sq m


Marsa Al Seef

A 1.8km stretch of mixed-use development along the Dubai Creek in Bur Dubai, Marsa Al Seef will showcase Emirati heritage and culture through a mix of shops, market stalls, hotels and promenades. The project comprises three hotels with a combined 550 rooms (a 200-key heritage hotel, a 150-key upscale hotel and a 200-key luxury hotel), a floating market, restaurants, art galleries and shops for local handicrafts.

The project will host abra stations, dhow and private yacht moorings and 700,000 sq ft of leasable area.

Location Bur Dubai
Type Leisure/mixed use
Project cost $408 million
Developer Meraas Holding
Completion status March 2018
Scale/size 1.8km