David Godchaux, the chief executive of the Core Savills UAE associate consultancy, said the opening of the Dubai Canal can make Dubai’s Jumeirah a new center of investors' attention, beginning with its new attraction, the City Walk. But this transformation will happen not only to Jumeirah, but to the entire center and the periphery of Dubai as a whole, making city areas more closely linked and easily accessed, both through the new system of water transport on the Canal.
Mr Godchaux said the creation of rather big freehold plots alongside the Canal banks "is, in my opinion, really going to establish Jumeirah as the prime district in the whole city".
Completion of the Dubai Canal is scheduled for the coming months, and its 3.2-kilometer extension from the area of Business Bay right up to the Arabian Gulf is now actively progressing southbound, with an elevated stretch over Sheikh Zayed Road set to be open these days, allowing for the removal of the old carriageway below.
But the main value Dubai Canal will have for the city is in its diversifying role. According to Godchaux, Dubai still doesn’t have an established prime central area of the city like, say, Manhattan Island in New York. But now Dubai Canal will create the similar island of Bur Dubai, Jumeirah, DIFC and Downtown Dubai areas.
Besides, the Canal itself will be fully-functional. Water transport will course along it, including water taxis, abras and tourist boats. But most importantly, the new waterway will enable all boat owners owning a variety of small boats, yachts, scooters and other small and medium sized water crafts use it all like casual above-ground vehicles to move along the Canal, park their boats anywhere, visit restaurants and shopping malls. To allow part of all this happen five berths for 120 yachts will be created in the new district of Marasi Business Bay.
Dubai Canal extension had also stimulated local developers to implement a number of new multi-million dollar residential, commercial and retail property projects along the Canal. It will breathe life into the previously almost deserted areas between the coasts of Deira and Bur Dubai. Marasi Business Bay project alone worth AED 1 million promises a new heavenly residential and entertainment location for Dubai residents and tourists on the banks of the Dubai Canal. 200 "water homes" on stilts will be built right in the water of the Canal, adding residential sector to berth marinas, 100 shops and restaurants and 12 km long promenade along the water, the longest in Dubai.
Mike Collings, the regional director of the project-management consultancy Turner & Townsend, said: "The whole of that canal area is going to be a massive development and there seems to still be a market interested in purchasing it. As long as that continues, it’s going to keep the sector busy," he said, adding that "it is going to expand the city and maybe diversify it, which might not be a bad thing."