Marlon Brando may have first made ‘On the Waterfront’ famous, but the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have taken the waterfront to a new level.
The UAE offers some of finest waterfront developments in the world, providing residents with an urban lifestyle and the conveniences of retail shops, dining outlets, yacht clubs, sporting facilities and several other recreational and cultural activities.
It is becoming a global hub for an ever-growing portfolio of exclusive projects set amongst artificially created canals, lakes, and marinas, as well as many of its original natural beaches.
The best-known destination in the UAE has developed hugely over the last two decades.
Twenty years ago, Dubai’s coastline was just 70km long. However, the development of Palm Jumeirah and other waterfront developments have added more than 300km to that coastline, paving the way for the development of seafront homes, resorts and leisure attractions.
The established waterfront developments such as Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residences and Jumeirah Lakes Towers are among the most desirable destinations for visitors and residents.
These areas offer some of the most ultra-luxurious penthouses and lavish apartments. Dubai Marina also offers the prestigious leisure strip, The Walk, housing leading retail, hospitality and entertainment options.
The Dubai Water Canal has also now started adding to waterfront living in Dubai.
The 3.2km-long waterway starts from Business Bay, through Safa Park and Jumeirah district into the Arabian Gulf. It will have luxury housing, hotels, hundreds of restaurants, a shopping centre, walkways, cycle paths and private marinas.
Other waterfront developments due to become popular with overseas property investors include Al Seef, which recently opened in Bur Dubai, Jewel of the Creek, Marsa Al Arab, Bluewaters Island and Bvlgari Resort.
The capital of the UAE is surrounding by water, but until recently had relatively few genuine waterfront properties.
However, it is now looking to get its share of attractive waterfront developments, with many currently under construction.
The Reem Island development is located just 5 minutes from the city centre on Al Maryah Island. Set around the 2.4 km Reem Island canal, it brings waterside views, promenades, seating and areas for exercise and socialising to the island’s steadily growing population.
Al Raha Beach is on 5.2 million square metres of natural beachfront, situated next to the main highway linking Abu Dhabi and Dubai. It offers a mix of premium residential, commercial, cultural, entertainment and public amenities.
Yas Island is due to become a premium destination. Set across the water from the capital’s central business district, it will be a sanctuary for peaceful life away from the city centre.
With manicured beaches, the Yas Marina, and world-class Yas Links golf course, Yas Island is due to become one of the most sought-after districts in the UAE when the first residential development of Ansam is delivered on the island this year.
A district already enjoying that accolade is Saadiyat Island.
With high-end villas, a range of luxury hotels, beach club, golf club and the forthcoming Cultural District housing the Louvre, Guggenheim and other museums, Saadiyat Island already has an exclusive reputation with villas costing between Dh15 million and Dh 50 million for the largest specialist villas.
Other Emirate Options
Although Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the most popular emirates for waterfront developments, they are not the only options.
Ras Al Khaimah’s waterfront concepts include Al Hamra Village, Mina Al Arab and Al Marjan Island.
Sharjah’s manmade Al Majaz Island and Al Majaz Waterfront on the Khalid Lagoon serve as tourist and leisure hubs that play host to major events.
Coming soon is the Al Zorah development in Ajman. Covering over 5.4 million square metres with 12 km of seafront, the development will have hotels, resorts, serviced apartments, residences and commercial spaces.
Wherever you choose in the United Arab Emirates, it seems that there are many options for overseas property investors to get a taste of waterfront living.