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The Creek extension

The Dubai Business Bay development will form a commercial hub at the end of Dubai’s 11km creek and also contain residential, entertainment and retail facilities.

Dubai’s rapid infrastructure expansion is expected to be accompanied by a population explosion from its present 1.4M to about 4M.

Fundamental to sustaining this anticipated influx is the Business Bay development, which will form a commercial hub at the end of Dubai’s 11km creek. The creek currently comes in from the sea then takes a sharp turn before widening out into a lagoon.

The plan is for Business Bay to be sited near the end of where the creek terminates and for the waterway to be extended a further 11km back towards the coast so it forms a Ushaped waterway. This should then allow tidal surges to purge the creek from both ends, encouraging circulation and preventing stagnation.

Business Bay is perhaps a misnomer because although it is intended as a commercial hub, it will also incorporate residential, retail, hotel and entertainment facilities.

Halcrow has been involved from near the beginning of this gigantic project and has developed a masterplan that includes infrastructure, detailed urban design and detailed engineering for the new river’s marine works.

The creek extension to form the new waterway is a big scheme. Excavators will remove 11.6M. m 3, with the spoil being relocated elsewhere over the site.

Site workers are building the quay wall using mass concrete blocks.

The wall generally consists of a cast in situ base with three blocks placed vertically above it.

The project will see Business Bay running along a 5km section of the 11km creek extension, straddling it on both sides. ‘Everyone wants a waterfront property, ’ says Halcrow communications manager Gary Whitaker. Halcrow geotechnical engineer Andrew Keron adds: ‘Individual plots will be sold off after the client Dubai Properties has put in the relevant infrastructure, such as roads.’ Business Bay forms part of a threeproject development in an area called La Ville Contemporaine (LVC). This also includes Dubai Health Care City-2 (DHCC-2) and The Lagoons, a mixed-use development of business, residential and leisure properties. Client for DHCC-2 and The Lagoon is Sama Dubai.


‘The general idea in Dubai is for new developments to be mixeduse, ’ says Whitaker. ‘Overall Dubai is aiming to build its business arm rather than just being a tourism destination.’ Assistant to the resident engineer Ahmad Raza says: ‘We hope to have the quay walls and the excavation completed by 2007 for the Business Bay part. But the Sheikh Zayed Road [section of the creek] is a huge project that will be started later on.’ Raza is referring to the last 2.5km that will extend the creek back to the sea. But at the point where it crosses this main 12-lane artery in Dubai’s already congested road network, careful planning and preparation will be needed.


‘The geotechnical parts of the scheme are reuse of ll material and the quay wall foundations and settlement, ’ says Keron. ‘The foundations for the mass concrete will go on medium-dense sand and with the foundation material being crushed granular l and the allowable settlement is 15mm. Mass concrete is used for durability because of an aggressive environment of heat and salt water.’ Geotextile placed at a sloping angle behind the wall will separate the rock ll from the natural ground behind it.


The main contractor for the wall is Dutco Balfour Beatty. The rm is also doing the excavation for the 5km Business Bay part of the creek extension, which varies in width from about 250m to about 500m.


Keron says: ‘There are about 10 road bridges across the Business Bay area of the creek so our geotechnical section has been looking at the capacities for the bored cast in situ concrete piles, which are pretty standard for all the projects in Dubai.’ Although the mass concrete units form the wall for most of its length, it switches to a revetment lined with crushed rock for the final 1.5km that takes it to the inland end that connects with the original creek. A mass concrete return wall links the transition between the two linings.


Apart from a few connecting sections, 8.5km of the total 11km extension are due to be completed next year. Then the tricky last 2.5km including the section across Sheikh Zayed Road can begin.


Dubai’s national minority Dubai’s 1.4M population largely consists of expatriates, mostly from South and South East Asia.


However, about 100,000 of these come from the UK and other west European countries. The remaining small minority comprises UAE nationals, known as Emiratis.

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