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2018 January February 2018

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MARINA PLANNING & DESIGN Left & below: palm trees provide natural shade and break the barren look of concrete pontoon surfaces. symmetrical marina, will be positioned on the other half of the Business Bay circle and feature approximately the same number of berths. The restaurants of Park 3 will be located at one edge of the traffic canal approximately 150m (492ft) off the sea wall and at the base of the crescent. Both will be accessible via a 9m (29ft) wide floating promenade and lined with two rows of 4m (13ft) high palm trees. These trees are one of the unusual innovative features of these marinas, creating a floating forest effect, providing natural shadow and breaking the barren look of concrete pontoon surfaces. The planters are fitted every 15m (49ft) throughout the marina, with the edge of the plant pots designed to be used as a seat. The second marina could be described as a floating amusement area. Four very large barges anchored 50 to 60m (164 to 197ft) offshore will house a bar with a swimming pool (beach club type), which will be surrounded by a visual barrier for full discretion, a shisha palace, a standard restaurant and a second restaurant consisting of electric-powered boats fitted with a pantry, table and lavatory facilities. While sailing through the canal, an onboard chef will cook and serve to hosts and guests, making it a genuine sail-and-dine experience. The third marina is being constructed in an inlet in a densely-inhabited area. It is intended for the use of residents who enjoy boating activities and who own yachts. The fourth marina will be the largest, with around 400 berths, located in a wide-open bay of the canal. It will feature a ramp across from the top to a circular restaurant built on the water. Challenges and opportunities Such an ambitious project – in such a short time scale – is not without its challenges. The process of building is far removed from the image of finished high rises, top accessory brands and glitzy shopping malls that Dubai evokes. Working with different cultures and with many different people is hugely exciting, but requires true understanding and patience. In this project the mid- and upperranks of companies and consultants involve people from the UAE, Egypt, Palestine, UK, USA, Lebanon, Argentina, Germany, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic and Australia. Blue-collar workers include those from India, Pakistan, the Philippines and Bangladesh. Major religions must be respected: Islam, Buddhism and Christianity. In any project, delays are inevitable. In this case, shortly after construction permits were granted in April 2017, the holy month of Ramadan began and the working schedule changed. During this time, work begins at 5.00am and stops at 12 noon. While contracts had been agreed with suppliers ahead of time to maintain speed of production, suppliers had suppliers themselves who adhered to the slower pace of all the Muslim population and the whole chain was disrupted. Septech, the appointed builders, mixed engineering and management with magic and kept up an unusually fast pace given the situation. The marina had to be floating and assembled by September. Pontoon modules needed to be transported from a factory over 150km (93mi) away in Abu Dhabi to the construction site, but heavy trucks were only allowed to use the roads from midnight to 5.00am, giving a short half-hour’s leeway to - January/February 2018 27

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