His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has announced the launch of ‘Marsa Al Arab’, a project of Dubai Holding. The comprehensive tourist destination aims to elevate the family tourism proposition in Dubai, provide supporting foundations to host Expo 2020 Dubai, as well as reinforce Jumeirah Group’s leading position locally and globally as one of the driving forces behind the growth and prosperity of the tourism sector.
The mega-project Marsa Al Arab is spread across 4 million sq. ft. and comprises two islands on both sides of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. It adds 2.2 kilometres of beach frontage and will be the newest addition to Dubai’s long-standing track record of world-class tourist facilities. One island will be dedicated to entertainment and family tourism, while the other comprises an exclusive luxury resort.
Commenting on the project, His Excellency Abdulla Al Habbai, Chairman, Dubai Holding said “The launch of this new and ambitious project is in line with the directives of the visionary leadership to provide the finest and rewarding tourist experiences for visitors to Dubai, as well as enhance Dubai’s position as a global tourist destination. We are proud of the vital role that Dubai Holding plays in this sector through supporting innovation and contributing to the economic diversification of Dubai.
He added: “Dubai has achieved a global reputation for unique offerings and unprecedented achievements. This was feasible through proper planning and accurate execution of such projects, complemented by in-depth knowledge of the local market’s needs and capabilities. As part of strengthening local capabilities, ‘Marsa Al Arab’ will support Emiratisation in the tourism sector by providing new job opportunities and encouraging UAE Nationals to commit their innovative and creative ideas to this vital sector.
Al Habbai concluded “We will continue to build on our past success with a focus on the future. Madinat Jumeirah’s visitor footfall and statistics demonstrate its tremendous success over the years, making it the pivot point of our latest development. We at Dubai Holding will continue to comply with the highest environmental standards and global sustainability measures throughout the facilities in our project.
Family Resort with World-Class Facilities
Through this resort, Jumeirah Group will introduce new leisure concepts and services to complement its existing family entertainment offer, which includes its portfolio of: Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Jumeirah Al Qasr and Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf.
This will be achieved through the construction of a new family-oriented hotel. To boost guest experience at this new resort, Wild Wadi Waterpark, which has seen great success as one of the most significant recreational destinations in the UAE since its opening, will be relocated closer to the beach. The new location will grow the Wild Wadi’s size by more than twice of its existing size. With new thrills, family rides and record breaking attractions Wild Wadi will boost its position as a popular water park globally.
Dubai Holding will also develop ‘Marine Park’, a first-of-its-kind marine life edutainment centre in the Middle East, providing a rich learning and entertainment experience for the entire family. With a live theatre of a 1,000 seat capacity, the park will attract world-class shows that showcase various elements of marine life allowing its visitors to interact with exotic aquatic animals and fish.
Together, the enhanced Wild Wadi and Marine Park will sprawl over an area of 2.5 million sq. ft. The new family destination will house a dedicated theatre with a capacity of 1,700 seats, which will become home to the world-renowned show Cirque du Soleil for the first time in the Middle East.
Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil, also commented: “Dubai’s unique geographical position between East and West, along with its regionally unparalleled infrastructure and sophisticated hospitality offering means that demand is strong for a beloved and enduring institution such as Cirque du Soleil, and we look forward to raising the curtain for new fans in this new facility with new shows designed specifically for Dubai. Cirque du Soleil already enjoys great patronage from residents and visitors alike and we are pleased to now have a permanent base in the new epicenter of global tourism.”
In addition, Dubai Holding will launch the Dubai Pearl Museum to showcase a historical collection of rare and ancient pearls from the region and worldwide. The Dubai Pearl Museum aims to shed light on the lives of the divers as well as the tools they used to find the precious jewels, reflecting the UAE’ heritage, culture and national pride. The museum will include a functional pearl farm in the adjoining sea, cultivating quality pearls. To complement this experience, Dubai Holding will create a pearl-inspired boutique hotel with unique facilities, services and specialist retail outlets that introduce its visitors to the rich past of the UAE and the Gulf region as a whole.
Marsa Al Arab will include a private yacht marina and a yacht club, in addition to recreational attractions, such as diverse food and beverage offerings, making it a globally attractive tourist destination. Amongst the features of this unique development is a helipad to accommodate the needs of the discerning guests.
A New Business Destination
To complement the success journey of Madinat Jumeirah, as not only a destination for luxury tourism but also for business and international conferences, Dubai Holding will offer a signature serviced commercial space at ‘Marsa Al Arab’ to attract international companies looking to set up base in this unique development.
Dubai Holding will establish a mixed-use convention centre fully equipped to host large international conferences and festivals. The convention centre will be supported by a new hotel, offering a selection of services for businessmen and corporates.
The project will also include a large retail space stretching across 20,000 sq. m, which will replace the current Wild Wadi Water Park area. The shopping centre will consist of international high-end brands, as well as a selection of restaurants and coffee shops to meet the needs of its luxurious shoppers. Marsa Al Arab will also offer 300 sea-front residential apartments in the heart of the development.
Exclusive Private Island
Dubai Holding continues to play a key role in shaping Dubai’s success story in the luxury and hospitality sector, which started with the opening of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the world’s most luxurious hotel. As part of ‘Marsa Al Arab’, Dubai Holding will develop luxury villas on a private island, which will offer its residents complete privacy in a sophisticated environment including a private marina for its residents. Located on the left of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, the luxury villas will be operated by Jumeirah Group. The island will also host a boutique hotel equipped with world-class facilities that reflect ‘Marsa Al Arab’s status as an attractive destination for elite travellers.
Marsa Al Arab will offer a total of 140 luxury villas, overlooking the pristine waters Arabian Gulf and characterised by the highest levels of privacy and luxury.
Overall, Dubai Holding will add 2,400 hotel rooms to Jumeirah Group’s portfolio, bringing its total offering to 8,428 rooms. There will be 400 new F&B outlets throughout the destination. The existing hotels in the vicinity will be transformed into a unified and vibrant tourist destination, anticipated to attract 20 million visitors. With over 20 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality sector, Jumeirah Group will manage the family oriented tourist destination, while expanding its portfolio of luxury hotels, resorts and residential complexes.
The development will offer pedestrian pathways, a jogging track, large swimming pool and a cycling course, allowing its residents to practice a diverse selection of physical activities. Jumeirah Group will offer 10,000 additional parking spaces to accommodate the anticipated influx of visitors, as well as work closely with various government entities and other relevant companies to provide a GRT network to interconnect the resorts and entertainment destinations, facilitating fast and easy movement throughout Marsa Al Arab.
The project will break ground in June 2017 and will completed by late 2020 at a total cost of AED 6.3 billion.
‘Marsa Al Arab’ is expected to further enhance the Emirate’s ongoing economic diversification efforts and support the achievement of Dubai’s Tourism Vision 2020. The project will position Dubai as a leading choice for business and leisure travellers alike, through the development of its tourism landmarks, business infrastructure and residential offering. In addition, ‘Marsa Al Arab’ will create new jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector and encourage UAE National to work in one of the sectors vital to the Emirate’s economic diversification and growth.
Jumeirah Group operates a number of the most successful tourist and hospitality projects in Dubai and across 9 international destinations, with an occupancy level of over 80% in all Jumeirah hotels and resorts in Dubai and has been the recipient of multiple local and international awards for tourism and hospitality.