Dubai developer Meraas opened its island destination Bluewaters, featuring the world’s largest observation wheel – Ain Dubai.
The Dhs8bn project, located across Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR), features residential, hospitality, leisure and entertainment spaces.
It is connected to the mainland via a network of roads, including a direct link to Sheikh Zayed Road, pedestrian access from The Beach opposite JBR and water transport by Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), a statement said.
Ain Dubai, at 250 metres, forms the centrepiece of Bluewaters and will carry up to 1,400 passengers at a time in its 48 double-glazed capsules, offering 360-degree views of Dubai.
Each leg of the observation wheel stands at a height of 126 metres and is long enough to fit 15 London buses.
Meanwhile Bluewaters’ lifestyle retail area, The Wharf, features 132 retail and dining outlets in low-rise structures. Food and beverage include licenced fine-dining concepts at the waterfront, eateries, cafés, restaurants and bistros. More concepts and stores will be opening gradually over the coming couple of months, Meraas said.
The Wharf is bordered by Central Avenue, North Walk and Wharf Avenue.
A 265-metre pedestrian bridge, The Wharf Link, connects this area to the beach on the coast of mainland Dubai. Bluewaters wharf station, with over 2,000 parking bays, will serve as a dock for water transport.
Residences on the island comprise 10 mid-rise towers featuring 698 apartments, four penthouses and 17 townhouses, set over a podium. Each penthouse offers five bedrooms, en-suite bathrooms and living areas with 360-degree views.
Amenities include gymnasiums, swimming pools, landscaped gardens, basketball courts and children’s play areas and a mosque.
The residential zone also features a central landscaped podium and basement-level parking bays. The buildings also have 32 retail outlets.
With the initial wave of handovers set for December 2018, the island expects its first residents by Q1 2019, the statement said.
In terms of hospitality, the island will have five-star venues Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai, The Residences at Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai and Caesars Resort Bluewaters Dubai. They will offer a combined 495 rooms and 80 serviced apartments, along with a a 500-seat theatre – The Rotunda and a conference centre – Caesars Forum.
The 194-key Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai – the world’s second Caesars Palace – will feature an outdoor swimming pool, the wellness concept Qua Spa, a fitness centre and six restaurants.
The second hotel, Caesars Resort Bluewaters Dubai, will comprise 301 rooms, two outdoor swimming pools, six restaurants, three meeting rooms, and a 750-square metre event hall.
In 2015, Jumeirah had announced plans to open its first Venu-branded hotel in Bluewaters, with close to 300 hotel rooms and 119 serviced apartments. However there appears to be no immediate plan for any more hotels on the island at present.
Bluewaters will also have private beach club Cove Beach Dubai.
The island also features several courtyards, pedestrian spaces and scenic walkways.
Abdulla Al Habbai, group chairman of Meraas, said: “We are set to achieve many engineering feats at Bluewaters and are delivering a destination which will establish a new benchmark for modern design.”