Dubai Harbor - The New Gateway to Dubai
The year 2017 began for Dubai with a bang: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid personally presented the plans for a gigantic new port to the world public. The head of state of Dubai wants to ensure that his country continues to be at the center of all tourist dreams. The new target group: passengers on luxury cruises and yacht owners.
More Than a Harbor
Dubai would not be Dubai if it "simply" built a port limited to the necessities. With the Dubai Harbor, a completely new area is currently being built in the Persian Gulf, which will extend over an area of a good two square kilometers. Dubai Harbor, like the neighboring island Palm Jumeirah and the island Bluewaters, will also be built on an artificial island. In addition to the terminal for cruises and the three marinas, commercial buildings, hotels, restaurants, and extensive shopping facilities will be built here.
The Construction of the Mega-Port Dubai Harbor
With the announcement of the project in 2017, the construction measures were also started at the same time. The construction of the marina and the Dubai Cruise Terminal should be completed by October 2020. However, the completion of the "Dubai Lighthouse" lighthouse will be delayed.
This is an extremely ambitious timetable for a project of this magnitude! Time is pressing, however. Dubai Harbor is a central component of the "Dubai Tourism Vision 2020". The declared aim is to make Dubai the undisputed tourist center of the Middle East. With 20 million visitors per year (15.8 million in 2017), the bar has been set quite high - this is also "typically Dubai"!
However, Meraas Holding as the executing project company has some experience with complex construction projects. For example, Meraas is responsible for the construction of the island "Bluewaters", on which the Ain Dubai is to turn in 2020.
At the heart of Dubai Harbor will be two passenger terminals, which will facilitate the arrival and departure of 1.2 million visitors per year. The approximately one-kilometer-long landing site along the two terminals is to be a secure port of call for up to three cruise ships at the same time. The cruise terminals offer an exclusive range of leisure activities, shopping opportunities, and gastronomy in maritime flair.
With the shipping company "Carnival Cooperation" a heavyweight partner has already been found. The shipping company operates some of the largest and most luxurious cruise ships in the world, including the famous Queen Mary 2, which will call at Dubai regularly as part of its Mediterranean cruises from the 2020/2021 season.
Dubai Harbor Will Be Divided into 3 Marinas
While passengers on the large cruise ships will reach Dubai Harbor via its passenger terminals, yacht owners and excursionists will moor in one of the three marinas. Dubai Harbor will be home to the marinas "Harbor Marina", "Bay Marina" and "Palm View Marina", which together will have 1100 berths and will be built in two phases. In phase 1, 780 berths are to be completed by September 2020. The individual marinas differ in terms of the number and size of berths and thus also in terms of the target group.
- This is where the Dubai Lighthouse will be
In the heart of the marina, the architectural masterpiece "Harbor Master Building" is being created. It will be surrounded by a spacious promenade with trendy restaurants, cafés, shopping facilities and an event area for special events. The Harbor Marina is also the area where the iconic lighthouse "Dubai Lighthouse" will be built. With 560 berths, for yachts up to 35 meters, this will be the largest marina. The 560 berths created in phase 1 will be extended by more than 300 berths for yachts up to 30 meters in length in phase two.
- Port facilities for mega and super yachts
If you own a mega- or superyacht, you should set a course for Bay Marina. The Bay Marina will offer space for up to 180 yachts. There are to be 45 berths for yachts up to 50 meters long and another eight berths for yachts with up to 100 meters total length. In addition, the private marina will have two helicopter landing pads. Crew members will also get their money's worth in the crew fitness center, the crew lounge and their own bar.
Palm View Marina
- Small marina with community area
The smallest area "Palm View Marina", with 37 berths for yachts, is to be the smallest area of the Dubai Harbor. It has been designed to meet the needs of the community and will be located near the northern Dubai Harbor beach. Thus it will offer a great view of the Palm Jumeirah and the northern promenade.
Dubai Harbor as a Destination and Starting Point for Visitors to Dubai
How to Get to Dubai Harbor
A good harbor should be easy to reach - and Dubai Harbor is to be no exception. The seaside and landside connections have been exemplarily solved.
In the future, a cruise ship will be the most convenient way for millions of guests to first reach the port and then Dubai as a whole.
Those who have already arrived in Dubai will still be able to reach the port by water. Regular water taxis connect the coastal sections of Dubai with one another.
On the land side, there are already one metro and several tram stations within walking distance. In addition, the existing Dubai monorail is to be extended to Dubai Harbor. Due to the central location of the harbor, the port benefits from a direct connection to King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street and will only be 30 minutes away from Dubai's airports- Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport.
Dubai Harbor as Starting Point for Explorers
Of course, the optimal transport connection will also work in the opposite direction: all sights of Dubai will be easily reachable from the harbor. Some of them are conveniently located in the immediate vicinity, such as the Palm Jumeirah holiday resort with its striking contours in the shape of an expansive palm tree, the 7-star luxury hotel Burj al Arab and the largest Ferris wheel in the world - the Ain Dubai - which is currently still under construction.
Dubai Harbor as a Sightseeing Attraction in Itself
As already indicated, Dubai Harbor will be much more than just a port – it is to be a whole port city in itself. Among other things, it will boast an 80,000 square meter shopping mall. In a country that organizes its own annual shopping festival, this shopping mall is likely to once again push the limits of what is conceivable in terms of shopping.
Dubai Harbor is to become one of the largest marinas in the Middle East, accommodating well over 1,100 boats and ships. Visitors will also be able to admire the royal families' over one hundred meter long mega yachts.
The undisputed crowning glory of the port, however, will undoubtedly be the Dubai Lighthouse – a 150-meter high lighthouse the world has never seen before!
The Dubai Lighthouse - A Lighthouse of Superlatives
Delay in the completion of the lighthouse
Due to the scale of the mega project, the construction of the Dubai Lighthouse will be delayed. The current focus is on the completion of the marina and the Dubai Cruise Terminal for the year 2020.
The lighthouse is not expected to be completed by 2020. However, it is not yet possible to predict when the construction will be completed.
Lighthouses- Still Indispensable Today
One may not necessarily suspect it at first sight but the Dubai Lighthouse is indeed to be a real lighthouse. Its light will help ships to navigate safely into the harbour at night. This is still indispensable even in times of radar and satellite navigation. That's because if modern technology fails, a bridge crew will still be able to set a safe course towards the port - as was done thousands of years ago. The Dubai Lighthouse will thus fulfill an essential safety function for the cruise ships that are to dock and depart from the Dubai Cruise Terminal in the future.
Accordingly, the exposed position of the lighthouse is anything but a show. The Dubai Lighthouse is to be located at the tip of the new port, at the end of the long jetty for the cruise ships. It is to be located quite exactly at the level of the "outer ring" of the famous artificial archipelago "Palm Jumeirah". This will ensure that the lighthouse functions optimally. Because of the upstream position, its light will not be able to be blocked by other buildings too close to the harbor entrance. Safe navigation will thus be guaranteed at all times and from all directions.
With its height of 150 meters, the Dubai Lighthouse is to be one of the highest lighthouses in the world. It plays in a league with probably the most famous lighthouse in history - the Pharos of Alexandria, which is estimated to have been between 115 and 160 meters high. Compared to other skyscrapers in Dubai, 150 meters is of course not much, but the lighthouse will be able to shine in a different way - literally!
What Makes Dubai Lighthouse So Special?
The appearance of the Dubai Lighthouse will not be comparable with the lighthouses known from the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts. Actually, it will not be not comparable with any other lighthouse in the world because these are relatively normal towers with an all-round light on the top. Dubai Lighthouse will have that too, but its smooth surface will also be used as a gigantic screen. With the help of powerful projectors, spectacular and widely visible light shows will be projected onto the outer facade, so instead of just a light at the top, the whole tower will shine!
The shape of the lighthouse was also carefully chosen. The Dubai Lighthouse is to have the shape of a candle flame. It will thus become a symbol - a fire that lights up the night.
Inside: A Hotel in a Class of Its Own
The Dubai Lighthouse will house an exclusive hotel that will offer the highest standard typical of Dubai. Depending on the location of the rooms, guests will either look out onto the open sea, down on the hustle and bustle of the harbour with its huge cruise ships and imposing luxury yachts or across to the numerous other impressive buildings in the surrounding area. Hotel guests will be spoilt for choice - after all, they will have to decide on a single line of sight.
At the Top - The 360° Viewing Platform
Those who dare to go all the way to the top will not have this problem. The viewing platform at the top of the flame will allow for a 360-degree view in all directions. The exposed location of the Dubai Lighthouse will more than make up for its supposedly small size. All the sights of the metropolis will be accessible to visitors from above.
The Dubai Panorama from the Lighthouse Perspective
From a height of 150 meters you can let your gaze wander around - from one breathtaking attraction to the next: starting with a view to the north, the first imposing sight immediately catches your eye. "The Palm Jumeirah", the resort in the shape of a huge palm tree, is only a coconut throw away. Seen from above and at close range, the extraordinary design is impressively shown to its best advantage.
If you look a little further away, you can even see the whole world: The artificial archipelago "The World", which traces the outlines of the five continents, is located as the crow flies about 8 kilometers north - just behind the "big palm tree".
To the northeast, the Burj al Arab rises - unanimously the most luxurious and with 321 meters one of the highest hotel buildings in the world. Its sail-shaped silhouette is particularly impressive in the morning and evening hours when the rays of the low sun are reflected in the most dazzling colors.
Further clockwise, the fantastic skyline of Dubai stretches out - a total work of art of superlatives made of steel, concrete, and glass. Among them is the famous, 828-meter-high Burj Khalifa, currently the world's tallest building.
To the south, the Ain Dubai, the world's tallest Ferris wheel, will soon be completed. The attraction, only a few hundred meters away, is scheduled for completion at the beginning of 2020. It will already be in operation when the lighthouse opens its doors in 2020.
Dubai Lighthouse - Tickets for Visitors to the Viewing Platform
As soon as the Dubai Lighthouse starts operating, we will offer you tickets for the 360° panorama platform.
This will probably be available both individually and as combination tickets. In addition to visiting the 360° viewing platform, these tickets will also allow admission to other attractions - and all at a particularly favourable all-inclusive price. However, the exact conditions have not yet been determined; construction work is currently still in full swing.
Stay Updated via Newsletter and Facebook
Do you want to keep up to date with the Dubai Harbour mega-project - and perhaps even be among the first to see Dubai and the rest of the world from the top of the Dubai Lighthouse?
Then subscribe to our newsletter! You are guaranteed not to miss the launch of your Dubai Lighthouse tickets. Of course, we will also inform you about all other developments in the dynamic metropolis on the Persian Gulf, tickets for other new attractions such as the Ferris Wheel "Ain Dubai" and insider tips for the perfect trip to Dubai!
Of course, you will also find constantly updated information on our Facebook presence. So you won't miss any of the exciting developments with which Dubai surprises again and again.
We look forward to helping you make your Dubai trip an unforgettable experience. Do you have further questions about the Dubai Harbor, the Cruise Terminal or the Dubai Lighthouse? Then feel free to write to us. We will try to provide you with the desired answers as soon as possible.
Author: Oliver Moebel (German; article has been translated)