Marina is planned in Umm Al Quwain

Waterfront community is set to transform the emirate.

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By  Zoe Naylor Published  August 7, 2005

Emaar is set to develop a US $3.3 billion (AED12 billion) waterfront community at Umm Al Quwain. The project represents the developer’s first significant push into the emirate, with site works expected to begin within the next three months. The Umm Quwain Marina project will transform the small emirate by creating more than 9000 new homes on the shore of Khor al-Beidah, situated approximately 8 km inland from the Gulf. The joint venture agreement was signed by Sheikh Abdullah bin Rashid Al Mualla, deputy ruler of Umm Al Quwain and Emaar chairman Mohammed Ali Alabbar. The masterplan for the 1488-acre development is finalised and tendering, infrastructure engineering and project management are expected to begin shortly. Consultant on the project is HOK Toronto. “Our aim is to create a community of special neighbourhoods bordering an open stretch of water with views of the marina against a backdrop of the Arabian Gulf,” said Alabbar. “The shoreline has been shaped to maximise the opportunity for waterfront development and recreation.” The project’s blueprint includes 2600 residential villas and 6500 apartments, the majority of which will be waterfront or beachfront. There will also be 1200 hotel and resort rooms, a town centre with retail and entertainment facilities, and a marina with moorings for 1900 private boats and yachts. It is still not certain whether the apartments would be offered on a freehold basis. The project can expect a boost from the recently completed Emirates ringroad and an interchange that leads directly to Umm Al Quwain. Together, these will transform access to the marina development and reduce travelling time from Dubai to around 30 minutes. Khor al-Beidah is a vast wildlife area that is home to several unique species of birds and animals. The basin of the Khor also contains one of the most extensive tidal sand bank areas and mature mangrove forests in the Gulf region. However, this may all be about to change with the new marina project targeting an influx of new residents, as well as international tourists. Dismissing concerns over what impact the project might potentially have on the environment, Alabbar said: “The environment is a critical issue and will be the top priority for this development. “There is huge potential here in the UAE, much of which remains untapped,” added Alabbar. “Umm Al Quwain is an unspoiled haven of natural beauty, and offers immense possibilities.”

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