The RTA has announced that the Abu Dhabi-bound bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road will open this Friday, which is phenomenal considering construction on the eight-lane bridge only began earlier this year.

The bridge will take cars along an 800-metre stretch of Sheikh Zayed Road, elevating them by 8.5 metres to take them over the soon-to-be-a-waterway Dubai Canal.

Six lanes will open on Friday, while another two lanes will open in mid-July.

This project is all part of the wider Dubai Canal development. The Dubai Canal will run 3.2 km from Business Bay up to the Arabian Gulf, and will flow through Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road (hence all the bridges).

Here’s a video from the RTA that shows how finished the new bridge is:

The northbound bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road opened in January this year, and so once the southbound bridge is complete the first phase of the Dubai Water Canal project will be done and dusted.

The second phase of the project involves the opening of bridges on Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Beach Road (which may each soon be one way, remember).

The Al Wasl Road bridge opened earlier this month, and is made up of three lanes in the Sharjah-bound direction and two lanes in the Abu Dhabi-bound direction. There are also two lanes serving the traffic coming from Al Wasl Road heading to Al Athar Road (which leads to Jumeirah Beach Road).

Around 50,000 cars a day now use the new Al Wasl Road Bridge, and it has eased traffic in Jumeirah 1 and Jumeirah 2 particularly.

Here’s what the new Al Wasl bridge looks like…

The Jumeirah Beach Road bridge will open in July, which means by the end of next month we’ll all be driving around that area elevated, meaning the water can start to flow through the canal space (how exciting!).

Here’s what the Dubai Canal will add to the city…

Dubai Canal - how it will look
The pedestrian walkways 

Three pedestrian bridges will run along the 3km-long Dubai Water Canal. The designs feature running tracks, sitting areas looking over the water, smart lighting (that can be controlled by an app) and lots of greenery. ‘The Walk’ at Dubai Water Canal will connect with the current Jumeirah Beach running track, meaning a 7km-long continuous track for joggers.

The area will also be very safe, due to smart surveillance cameras focused on pedestrians with face-recognition technology.

So will we be able to live, stay and shop along the canal? Of course! Property developments will run along both banks of the canal – with 5,345 residential units planned, as well as 948 hotel rooms. The areas will be called Gate Towers, Jumeirah and Peninsula.

There will be four residential towers linked with Safa Park, as well as 211 residential units right on the water.

dubai canalThe Gate Towers mall is seen in the centre of this photo

In other good news, Jumeirah Beach Park will reopen, and the stretch of beach on the much-loved, currently-closed park will extend by 1km as it will run out over the Canal’s peninsula. The peninsula area will also feature 60 marinas, 1,817 residential units, 957 five star hotel rooms and 347 retails outlets and restaurants.

The Gate Towers bridge at the entrance of the canal to the Arabian Gulf will feature a three-level mall that will be built above the Canal and span 300,000 square metres. The mall will hold 434 retail outlets and restaurants.

The coolest bit? The roof of the mall will be a park – yes, as in greenery, and it will look out over Safa Park.

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