Dubai Creek may be at the heart of Old Dubai, but right now it is the subject of some serious new thinking and investment. One of the highlights from Cityscape Global 2015, the annual property event that three weeks ago showcased some of the region’s most exciting upcoming projects, was Dubai-based holding company Meraas announcing that its new Marsa Al Seef development will be putting a bold new face on the traditional hub.
Marsa Al Seef is set to be a substantial tourist development, stretching 1.8km along the creek and the Al Fahidi Cultural Historical Neighbourhood. The developer’s designs will carefully keep heritage at its core and will show off Emirati culture, through an open-air museum and amphitheatre, traditional souks, floating markets, art galleries and boutiques selling original Emirati handicrafts.
Work on the cultural centre is due to complete in 2017, so residents of this densely populated corner of the city may have some additional construction to endure until then. But the developer is confident that the end result will be more than worth it, with this huge project benefiting both visitors and residents alike. “Marsa Al Seef is set to enrich Dubai’s vibrant tourism industry by complementing and rejuvenating the bustling trading locale along Dubai Creek,” says Abdul Wahab Al Halabi, CEO of Marsa Al Seef. “The development will raise awareness and teach visitors about the rich history of the UAE and its people. It will host abra stations, dhow and private yacht moorings. Additionally, visitors will get familiar with the traditions of pearl diving, fishing and boat building.” Long-time Dubai residents might be wincing in anticipation, but with culture at its heart, we’ve got a good feeling about this project.