One of Dubai’s most ambitious plans celebrates its first anniversary.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE inaugurated Dubai Water Canal on 10th November 2016.
The AED 2.7 billion project was officially launched by Dubai’s Ruler pressing his palm to a giant ‘pearl’ to set up off a stunning celebration of dazzling lights and twirling acrobats.
Since then Business Bay, where the canal starts, has been named one of world’s coolest neighbourhoods by travel experts Lonely Planet. Ferries and water taxis managed by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) run from nine stations along the 3.2km waterway, which flows into the Persian Gulf through Safa Park and Jumeirah.
They’re almost the coolest way to get across the 80 metre-120 metre wide Canal, but Dr. Mariam Saleh Binladen did it best when she became the first ever swimmer to cross Dubai Creek and swim up the new canal, as part of a series of record-breaking swims worldwide.
While swimming in the canal is usually not allowed, fitness fanatics of all levels love walking, cycling and running along its paths. There are three bridges to up your step count, which are all pretty spectacular to look at. You can even connect to WiFi and charge your mobile from hi-tech street lamps.
Most snappable of all is the waterfall flowing from the Sheikh Zayed Road bridge. The watery wonder switches off when it detects a boat and is lit up in a pretty spectacular fashion. See it between 8pm-10pm every evening, when crowds line the waterside under the Sheikh Zayed Road northbound. There’s plenty of RTA parking here too.
For now outdoor exercise and selfies are about the main draws, but eventually there will be shops, restaurants and even floating homes on the canal. Once complete in 2020, The AED 1 billion Marasi Business Bay project will cover a 9km waterfront promenade, featuring five marinas, more than 1,250 berths for boats and yachts, shops, parks and entertainment areas.
For now, there you’ll find an outdoor yoga hub opposite U-bora Towers offering free classes until the end of the year.