New spectacular shopping and leisure activities connected by a unique shopping bridge line the canal and showcase a variety of restaurants and cafes. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Work on the Dubai Creek extension project is set to begin later this month after His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched its construction on Wednesday at Safa Park.

The three-kilometre long project, which has been named Dubai Canal, will further stretch the already extended creek from Business Bay area all the way to Jumeirah beach.

It includes shopping malls, four hotels and 450 restaurants and is expected to attract 20 million visitors annually.

The Dh2 billion project will see the canal cutting through Shaikh Zayed Road, Safa Park, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road. The project will be ready in three years.

“Served by pedestrian bridges, including a shopping bridge as well as four marine stations, the canal will see easy movement of people across both the sides,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), which is undertaking the project.

Work on the canal is being undertaken through three tenders, the first of which is to build a 16-lane bridge on Shaikh Zayed Road.

Another tender will be issued for the two bridges on Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road, while the third tender will be to develop the canal.

According to a senior RTA official, work on the project will begin as early as the end of this month.

“We are making an elaborate traffic diversion plan to ensure there is no disruption to the traffic flow. Details of the plan will be announced soon. Work on the project will begin this month with the construction of alternative routes,” said the official, who didn’t wish to be named.

Apart from the three motor bridges, five pedestrian bridges are planned across the canal, one of which will double as a shopping destination, offering merchandise on the go.