Meraas to start $1.6bn Bluewaters islands in April
Project at Dubai's JBR will contain world's largest ferris wheel
The firm presented the project to Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum yesterday, who approved plans for its construction. The project includes a large leisure element, including the world's largest ferris wheel.
The wheel, known as Dubai Eye, will cost $272m (AED: 1bn) to build and will be a flocal point of the attraction. It will be 210m high and offer views along Dubai's coastline of the Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab and the Burj Khalifa. Starneth Engineering and Hyundai Contracting have already been appointed to design and build the wheel.
A piazza at the base of the Dubai Eye will serve as the project's entertainment zone and will be used for events and conferences. A large LED screen can also be used for broadcasts.
The firm has forecast that the project, which will have separate entertainment, retail, residential and hospitality zones, will attract more than three million visitors a year. It will be connected directly to the mainland from a roadway linking from Sheikh Zayed Road. The project will also have its own monorail system linking from the metro station, and a pedestrian bridge to Jumeirah Beach Residences' beachfront. A cable car will also bring people to the entertainment piazza.
Meraas Holding chairman Abdullah Al Habbai said: "We have a clear mission and vision to strengthen Dubai’s global position in the tourism sector. This project will continue to build on the emirate’s reputation as leaders in the global entertainment and retail landscape. Through Meraas’s continued investment into similar mixed used developments, we aim to draw sustained investment and tourism from around the world."
He added: "The 'Dubai Eye' will serve as yet another iconic structure and will distinctively dominate the Dubai skyline. We are confident ‘Bluewaters’ will develop into a key attraction for the UAE, further enhancing Dubai’s status as the preferred global entertainment and retail hub."