Sculpting success: Jenny Rossen’s magnificent sand sculptures celebrating Dubai and its beach life is the centre of attraction at the development Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/XPRESS

Dubai: Imagine sitting on the beach sipping your favourite beverage while you marvel at Leonardo DiCaprio’s brilliant turn in The Wolf of Wall Street.

Well you can now do that right here in Dubai at Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), where The Beach project promises to rev things up in the already bustling community.

The retail attractions and restaurants here have always been a big draw at JBR, but after the facelift, visitors and residents will soon be able to enjoy an open-air beach cinema, while the shopping complex with 70 retail outlets overlooking the beach, intricate sand-castle designs and expansive open spaces are already creating a buzz.

“There are scores of attractions in JBR and this is another feather in its cap. We are very excited with The Beach project, especially the open-air beach cinema – which is going to be a big attraction. With so many attractions in JBR itself, residents literally don’t have to get out of JBR at all,” said Mazen Habbouchi, a resident.

FOUR PLAZAS

The Beach consists of four distinct plazas of low-rise buildings – two of which are ready. The other two plazas will open before summer this year. Eleven out of 70 retail outlets have already opened at the shopping complex. But the biggest attraction must surely be the open-air cinema with one of the largest outdoor screens next to the beach. Besides this, there will also be an indoor cinema complex for those who like to watch their movies the conventional way. Reel Cinemas is coming here with 10 screens, with over 800 seats, and will feature platinum movie suites and a platinum lounge with a dedicated kitchen.

Australian Jenny Rossen has also added a touch of fun to the proceedings with some magnificent sand sculptures on the beach. “We have created four sand sculptures that celebrate Dubai and its beach life. Seven people including myself created these pieces in 16 days. Three of the sculptures weigh 35 tonnes and the biggest of all has been made from 80 tonnes of sand,” she said.

The sculptures will stay intact as long as they are cared for.

“For The Beach project, we have ensured that the sand is compressed really hard and should therefore last long. In other countries, sand sculptures remain for a year as they are usually fenced up so people don’t go near them and damage them,” she said.

Tackling traffic

Meanwhile, work is also progressing on a 240-room beachfront hotel and an amphitheatre at The Walk. There will be a 1,200-capacity car park alongside the complex with valet parking service.

All this of course will mean added traffic into an already congested JBR area. “It may be fun for some, but I am very sceptical about the traffic in the area,” said Carl Fonton, a JBR resident.

Maitha Bin Adai, CEO, Traffic and Roads Agency (TRA), told XPRESS that a study has already been conducted in JBR. “A traffic impact study has been conducted by the developer of The Beach project in line with RTA approved procedures. Mitigation measures required for the development have been studied and will be implemented as part of the project. Moreover, the upcoming Al Sufouh Tram project is also expected to improve the traffic situation in the area by providing additional public transport availability,” she said.