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In fact, the Arabian Canal is a tremendously exciting development consisting of a 75 kilometre long, man-made canal which brings the waters of the Arabian Gulf well into the desert.
The canal will be up to 150 metres wide and 6 metres deep. It will accommodate yachts up to 40 metres long and serve up to 1 million people.
Alongside the inland section of the Arabian Canal, for 33 kilometres, there are proposals for various residential, commercial, retail and hospitality property schemes, on an area of 20,000 hectares.
This will be known as the "Waterfront Development" even though it is well into the desert.
Work on this will start towards the end of 2008 and continue in phases for about 15 years.
The projected cost of the Waterfront Development is a staggering $50 billion dollars.
So, by constructing this very long canal, the Dubai Government is bringing desirable water-side living to a huge, previously barren, desert area.
The concept is brilliant! It will transform the western part of Dubai city. The engineering works required are mind-boggling!
Plans for the Arabian Canal were announced in early October 2007. The canal system itself is due for completion in 2013. The cost of it alone is $11 billion US dollars, on top of the other $50 billion dollars.
The canal starts at the Dubai Waterfront in Jebel Ali in west Dubai, then snakes inland towards the huge new Al Maktoum International Airport at Jebel Ali, [also known as Dubai World International Airport].
The canal then passes east of the airport, before turning eastwards along the future Waterfront Development.
Then it veers back northwards towards the Arabian Gulf, linking up with Dubai Marina and the waters of the Gulf once again, forming an interesting navigable loop.
The Arabian Canal is the second phase of the Dubai Waterfront project. Initial excavation work was started at the Dubai Marina end. Excavations continue towards Al Maktoum International Airport.
The Arabian Canal offers a potential new transport network for both commercial and recreational boats, linking Dubai Marina with Dubai Waterfront and Port Jebel Ali, via a whole set of new commercial developments inland in the Waterfront Development where there will be residential communities, luxury marinas and business centres.
The Arabian Canal really is a massive, highly innovative undertaking, but Nakheel, the dynamic company behind the scheme, is well used to those!!