An image of what the Dubai Creek will look like when the Dubai Canal project is completed

Dubai: Work on the Dh2 billion Dubai Canal project has gathered pace with several internal roads in Al Safa area closed and traffic diverted.

Ground mapping and geo-scanning work on the prestigious project began last month, with technicians searching for underground cables and pipelines.

The 3-km-long Dubai Canal project was announced in October last year by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The canal will connect the already extended Creek from Business Bay area to Jumeirah beach, cutting through Shaikh Zayed Road near the second interchange and stretching along Safa Park, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road.

Mapa and Gunal Constructions, the Turkish construction magnets, are carrying out the development work while Halcrow and Parsons have been appointed consultants by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Eastern gate closed

The eastern gate of Safa Park has been closed and the parking area adjacent to the gate has been cordoned off. “Last month work began on the service road next to Shaikh Zayed Road. Now we are moving further west and more streets in the Al Safa area will be closed over the next few days,” said a senior official.

He said the work will gather pace and excavation will begin once all the cables and pipelines are relocated.

“We will have to move all the underground cables and pipelines and relocate them before we start the excavation. We will soon be completing the task of relocation,” added the official.

Work on the canal is being undertaken through three separate tenders, one of which is for a 16-lane bridge on Shaikh Zayed Road. Another tender will be issued for the two six-lane bridges over Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road, and the third tender will be to develop the canal.

The official said the traffic diversion plan will be published once preliminary work on the canal is over.

“We will make sure the traffic on Shaikh Zayed Road and all the parallel roads are not affected. Proper alternative arrangements will be made before we begin digging,” he said.

Ranging from 80 metres to 120 metres, the canal will house various shopping, leisure, residential and commercial centres on both sides.

Projected to be one of the landmark leisure destinations, the development will house four world-class hotels, including a crescent shaped building and as many as 450 restaurants.

A major chunk of Safa Park will be taken up by various elements of project, including a 50,000 square metre shopping mall, six kilometres of beaches and a sprawling 80,000 square metre waterfront walkway and leisure area.

Set to be ready in three years, the development is expected to further boost tourism in Dubai with an estimated footfall of 22 million visitors.