Recap Pre- 2013
In 2006, Sama Dubai, the real estate investment arm of Dubai Holding announced the launch of The Lagoons - a mega project located along Ras Al Khor Road covering some 70 million sq. ft. of land. The freehold project initially had a goal of developing 50% of the project by Sama Dubai itself, while the remaining 50% of sellable land (as per masterplan) would be sold to investors allowing them to launch projects within the community's bylaws (much like what we have witnessed in Dubai Marina and Business Bay). The project's land also includes the Ras Al Khor bird sanctuary which would remain a protected wildlife area. The overall masterplan called for a total of about 100 residential towers spread over 7 islands.
In May & June 2006: Sama Dubai began selling plots to developers in Phase 1 & 2 of the project.
In November 2006: Sama Dubai announced the launch of the Dubai towers (also known as the Dancing Towers) which were a group of four towers ranging between 54 and 97 floors. This project was set to be the stand-out development of The Lagoons but was put on-hold after the 2009 real estate crash. As we understand, this project is now cancelled and will be re-designed.
Between 2006 & 2008: The Lagoons basic infrastructure began to take shape but always lagged behind the timelines set by the master-developer. The project never gained enough traction, even though some developers began announcing projects within the community (which for the most part were sold out). In mid-2008, senior Sama Dubai executives were indicted on corruption charges.
After the real estate crash of late 2008, Sama Dubai announced large scale redundancies and pulled back the overall project. Many investors who had already purchased properties within the community (both through Sama projects and with private developers) were left in limbo. Starting in 2010, some investors were able to get back their money after a 30% deduction. Other investors were relocated to other continuing projects in Dubai by means of credit notes. In essence the overall project was cancelled.
In 2013 Dubai Holding & Emaar Properties announced their intention to revive the project. The master-plan of the community has since been redrawn. The project was renamed Dubai Creek Harbour (previously known as The Lagoons).
In October 2014: Emaar Properties announced the launch of the first project in the community - The Dubai Creek Residence, which is part of the island that will now be known as the Dubai Creek Harbour.
Since 2013, almost the entirety of projects are being launched on the Island District of Dubai Creek Harbour. Below is the time-line of the development launches till date:
Also in October 2014: Emaar Properties & Dubai Holdings announced a plan to launch the world's tallest twin towers within the Lagoons project. This was later scrapped, and in its place The Tower was launched (see below).
September 2015: Emaar Properties launches Creekside 18, a twin tower high-rise development consisting of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. Creekside 18 is located adjascent to the Dubai Creek Residence.
June 2016: Emaar unveils The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, which will be the center-piece of the community and taller than the Burj Khalifa. This iconic structure will be completed before the opening of Expo 2020.
Sep 2016: A fourth residential project called Creek Horizon was launched in the Island District.
Dec 2016: Launch of The Cove, low-rise residential.
Jan 2017: Launch of Harbour Gate
Mar 2017: Launch of Creek Heights
April 2017: Creek Heights launched.
A closer look at the master-plan
- Dubai Creek Harbour is no ordinary development; it is a metropolis within itself which will be developed over a period of at least 15 - 20 years. This is a project which has a larger land area than Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai or Business Bay.
- As of October 2016, the only developments are taking place on the Island District where Emaar have launched a series of residential towerrs.
- At the center of the 'Urban Core' (see below) is where Dubai's new tallest structure will rise (The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour)
- The Island District is currently connected to the mainland but will eventually become an Island connected to the 'mainland' by at least three bridges as per the master-plan.
- As for now, all developments being launched are solely by Emaar. It remains to be seen whether other private developers will be able to purchase land to launch projects in other parts of the overall community.
A closer look at the Island District
- Total of three bridges connect the Island District to the main-land
- A large community park in the center of the Island district
- As per this master-plan released early in January 2017: a total of 27 high-rise buildings and potentially up-to 20 low-rise buildings planned.