Constructive chat puts pain of Dubai Marina noise into perspective

Frank Kane finds the Marina Gate development has turned the family-friendly, waterside area into a noisy, dusty nightmare.

Nighttimes are the worst, especially the early hours of the morning.

When you’ve been trying to sleep for a couple of hours, just falling off into exhausted slumber, and then the cacophony blasts out again as another piledriving machine moves into action … DER-BOOM, DER BOOM … or another lorry starts pouring concrete … GGRRRRrrr, GGRRRRrrr. That’s when it becomes unbearable.

And we – I, my wife and six-year-old daughter – are on the 44th floor. I dread to think of the torture the poor souls lower down the 53-storey edifice that is Marina Heights Tower must be suffering.

The reason for our hell is the nearby construction of Marina Gate, three luxury towers on the water’s edge at the northern entrance to Dubai Marina.

It’s been going on in earnest, around the clock, since the tram opened last month, when the developers were able to get all their equipment on site without interfering with tram work.

I wrote something about it a few weeks back, when it was just a mild daytime inconvenience. Now it is like a constant growling, gnawing headache.

After that piece appeared, I got a call from a PR firm that wanted me to meet the developer behind the project.

I don’t think they chose me because of my previous grumpy complaints about the development, and how it’s changed this nice, family-friendly, waterside area into a noisy, dusty nightmare.

In fact I know they didn’t, because when I met Mustafa Pooya, the chief commercial officer of Select Properties group, he hadn’t made the connection.

“We had somebody writing in The National about how he was going to lose all his views down the marina, and the noise and everything. That wasn’t you, was it?”

I told him indeed it was, and we had a smile about that. Sitting in the genteel surroundings of the DIFC, where Select had a sales stand, on a beautiful balmy evening I could temporarily forget the pain I’d endured the night before, and was to endure again at home in a few hours.

Mr Pooya, who I reckoned was a decent chap despite it all, talked me through the Marina Gate project.

It was the “best location in the Marina”, he said. When it is finished in 2019 (groan) it would provide 1,400 residential units between the three towers, with the obligatory swimming pools, gyms and tennis courts, as well as 140,000 square feet of retail space.

The design is rather appealing, if a little boxy. A mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments, as well as villas and penthouses. The prices range from Dh1.3 million for a one-bed to a top-floor penthouse at an eye-watering Dh30m. The more expensive ones have already been sold. Shame.

Select is a private company, of UK origins, that claims to be the No 1 private developer in the Dubai Marina, after the master developer Emaar.

It has focused on the area since 2005, and has completed a dozen high-rise projects there.

Marina Gate is the unfinished part of the Marina Walk jigsaw.

“We’ve taken on a project to complete the Marina.

“We deserve a pat on the back,” said Mr Pooya proudly.

He went on: “I’ll tell you what, because of the inconvenience, we’ll let you have a ...” I waited for the words … “free apartment.”

Instead I heard “ … look around the show flat, any time you like, you and your wife.”

I told him he should stay away from my wife until the project was finished, advice he wisely accepted.

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Published: December 9, 2014 04:00 AM


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