Site visit: Dubai Culture Village

Three prominent developments within Dubai Properties’ Culture Village – Dubai Wharf, Manazel Al Khor, and Anantara Dubai Creek hotel – are on course to complete on time.

Site Visits, Business bay, Cultural Village, Deira, Dubai Creek, Dubai Properties Group, Dubai Wharf, Manazel al khor, Palazzo Versace Hotel, Roads and Transport Authority

The iconic Dubai Creek, flowing through Deira and Bur Dubai, is the historic centre of the city; the saltwater creek was a vital element in establishing Dubai as a commercial and trading hub. Located on the shoreline of the creek, Dubai Properties’ (DP) master development, Culture Village, features Middle Eastern architecture with a modern twist. This is the fourth addition to the developer’s portfolio of destinations, alongside Business Bay, Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR), and Dubailand.

Located 15 minutes from Dubai International Airport, between Business Bay Crossing and Al Garhoud Bridge, Culture Village offers a 6km waterfront promenade, retail and residential districts, open spaces, walkways, and pedestrian bridges. The centrally located marina has mooring and access points along the promenade, and is directly connected to Dubai Creek. Masood Al Awar, chief officer – commercial, Dubai Properties Development, says: “Culture Village will create a unique and vibrant destination for residents and visitors alike, with art and entertainment components.”

The entire master development will have three main access roads – Al Jaddaf metro station; Palazzo Versace hotel entrance; and a central access road. A new access from Sheikh Rashid Road to Culture Village has already been approved by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Al Awar says: “We have completed the entire infrastructure for the development. The landscaping contract was awarded to Al Bayader; mobilisation has already begun, with Phase 1 expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016.”

He explains that the development will be a destination for art, culture, and entertainment for the whole family, including a museum and library, in addition to an eclectic mix of retail and food and beverage (F&B) options.

Scheduled for development in three phases, Culture Village will be home to a number of exclusive developments, including the now fully operational Palazzo Versace hotel, and the residential D1 Tower, which was handed over in September 2015. Other prominent developments by DP within the master development include Dubai Wharf, Manazel Al Khor, and the Anantara Dubai Creek Hotel.

A multimillion-dollar mixed-use project, Dubai Wharf spans 22.2ha, complete with contemporary architecture and views overlooking the canal promenade. It offers a mix of residential, retail, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a canal promenade. The development comprises four towers, including a total of 582 residential units, composed of studios, and one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. The project also boasts 150 retail and dining units, as well as 2,080 car parking spaces at basement level. Pedestrian bridges will be constructed over the canal to offer full connectivity throughout all of the Culture Village developments, while three pedestrian accesses will provide entry points to Dubai Wharf, retail facilities, and the canal promenade.

Al Awar says: “Construction began in early 2015, and super-structure works have reached 100% completion. Currently, external façade and internal finishes are in progress. Over 3,000 construction workers are on site, working towards the timely delivery, with reportedly 67% of construction already finished.”

He says the delivery schedule for each of the four towers differs; three of the towers are set to be completed by the first quarter of 2017, and the fourth, along with the retail area, is set to be finished by the third quarter of 2017.

Engineering Contracting Company (ECC) is the main contractor for Dubai Wharf, while aluminium and glazing activities have been conducted by UAE-based Alico. Lacasa is the architect.

As the entire project is being built on water, Al Awar says they needed to take extra precautions for waterproofing. “Every project has its own construction challenges. Keeping in line, there was no more than the usual roadblocks that we faced for this one. We did take extra precautions for waterproofing in basements, since we are right on the water.

“We are building a residential complex that will give the residents all the entertainment facilities under one roof. It will be a gem within the centre of Culture Village, which is in turn the centre of Old Dubai.”

Moving on from Dubai Wharf, the centrally located Manazel Al Khor, designed for luxurious creekside living, is a low-rise, mixed-use residential development. Designed with contemporary architecture in mind, the project spans 5.1ha, encompassing 98 residential units, comprising one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments, and 21 retail spaces.

Al Awar says: “More than 1,000 workers are involved in the construction works for Manazel Al Khor, which is set for handover during the fourth quarter of 2016. Each one of our projects has a ground floor, so the restaurants will open directly on the promenade. Designed to accommodate both retail and restaurants, the project is located on a little peninsula that extends into the water, so there will be spectacular views from all ends.”

He adds that there will be pool deck at the lower end of the project, complete with green landscaping on the roof.

To blend in with the theme of Culture Village, Al Awar says that all raw materials used for the project are high-end, some imported and others sourced locally. Sun Engineering is the main contractor, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff is the consultant, and project management is being conducted in-house. Façades and glass works have been carried out by Ali Moosa and Sons.

Al Awar says: “We have mostly used stone, so there is hardly any use of aluminium cladding, unlike other Dubai developments. We have followed the rules and regulations for fire safety and protection, also keeping sustainability in mind.”

Construction was reportedly 76% complete when CW visited and, according to Al Awar, everyone is working hard to ensure timely delivery of the project. He concludes: “Due to its prime location in the heart of Culture Village, [its] traditional Arabic theme, and waterside living experience, we are confident Manazel Al Khor will prove to be an attractive investment for regional and international buyers.”

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