|Project Size||18.8 mil sqft | 1.75 mil sqm|
|Services||Architecture, design research & innovation, landscape architecture, master planning, pre-development studies, sustainable design|
At first glance, the site for this new residential development in an up-and-coming area in South Dubai appears to be landlocked. A kilometer inland from the Arabian Gulf, an existing golf resort and royal palace lay between the development and the sea.
Understanding the value and excitement that a waterfront development creates, we created a plan to transform the relatively narrow one-kilometer long corridor between the golf resort and the palace. The newly dug canal would create a kind of grand boulevard, channeling the sea and allowing boats from the Gulf to stream inland. This project ushers in a new type of residential community in Dubai: a district built among networks of saltwater canals. Every residence in Marsa Meydan has character and access to their own piece of the Gulf.
The 360° Marsa Marina
After traversing the boardwalk-lined channel from the Gulf into Marsa Meydan, sea vessels will be welcomed by a spectacular architectural and engineering feat—a perfectly circular marina underneath a white, disc-like roof that extends past the water to shade a perimeter promenade filled with boutique shops and charming restaurants and cafes. The roof is a revolutionary canopy shading system designed to cover the marina in the hot summer months, providing shade and equipped to air condition the entire Marina. In the more temperate seasons, when people want to enjoy the indoor-outdoor ambiance, the roof retracts to the perimeter like a giant accordion blind, creating the effect of a massive halo suspended over the marina.
The year-round destination marina will be surrounded by two rows of apartments, which in turn are encircled by another canal route to provide more waterfront access for residents and allow those traveling by ship an option to circumvent the marina.
The marina provides a common hub and a centralized amenity, with a clear identity. As the development’s focal point, the marina area is designed to have the highest population density in taller residences, with density gradually decreasing as one moves away from this entranceway. Anyone traveling by water will approach the marina, allowing even those living further away to experience the centerpiece of their new community.
A New Community
Designing a neighborhood from scratch allows us to plan a community that is both cohesive and varied. For Marsa Meydan, we divided the development into a number of urban “character zones” delineated by common attributes like location, type of residence, and design qualities. Each character zone facilitates a shared sense of place that contributes to each neighborhood’s distinct atmosphere and identity.
Among these zones we have low-rise apartments on beachy shores, inland apartments centered around lively boulevards and green public spaces, more exclusive peninsula villas with private docks, townhouses with shared docks, and mid-rise apartment buildings with active boardwalks. Through these distinct spaces, the development provides an array of living options that fits a variety of price points and lifestyles—encouraging an economically diverse population to come together as a healthy, unified community.
Mara Meydan is also designed to be exceptionally livable, with every modern amenity and necessity accounted for—schools, shops, places of worship, acres of lush greenery. Beyond the beaches and boating, recreation includes a world-class cycling route along with numerous shaded jogging paths.
AE7 has extensive experience building ambitious communities hinged on new canals and waterways. As with all of our large-scale plans, our master plan presents the image of a finished development as well as a detailed road map for how to achieve this vision in feasible, actionable steps.
Phase One of Marsa Meydan begins inland with a predominantly low density community comprised of villas and townhouses. This includes the peninsula villas in the south end of the development—seven-hundred villas and town-houses along with community amenities and primary infrastructure. The first phase evolved during the planning process as the scope responded to careful studies of the site and strategic directions provided by our client.