DUBAI // The landmark Dubai Marina Yacht Club will shut its doors to the public in the new year.
Developer Emaar Properties told The National the popular venue will be replaced by a new facility that will include a "world-class yacht club".
“Emaar is developing a new hospitality concept that will also feature a world-class yacht club in the current location of Dubai Marina Yacht Club in Dubai Marina,” it said in a statement.
Work on the new project will begin early next year but the club itself will continue to provide marina-related services from a different office.
“Work on the project is scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2017.
“As part of this exciting new development, Dubai Marina Yacht Club will only provide marina-related services to its berth holders but from a different office in The Address Dubai Marina hotel after January 2017.
“Visitors can also enjoy all charter services as normal with the bookings to be made from the new office.
“All club-related services and the operations of lifestyle, [food and beverage] and commercial amenities at the existing facility will be discontinued from January.”
Rohit Sharma, who has lived in Dubai Marina for seven years, said he knows the Yacht Club well and has seen it grow from a small venue to a bustling community. His child’s first birthday party was held at the waterfront venue two years ago.
“It’s just become one of those places that attracts the whole community. We often go during the day on the weekends with the family and even celebrated our daughter’s birthday there,” Mr Sharma said. “It has grown with the marina, really.”
He said he felt unsure about the news of redevelopment, saying the venue had “character” and has become its own community within the Marina.
Others looked forward to the club’s redevelopment. Hannah Gordon, also a Marina resident, has been going to the venue for about two years, when she moved to the area.
“Anything that helps the area grow and get better is good, really,” she said. “People always get attached to these kinds of places... whether it’s families or younger people just meeting friends.
“But it sounds like it could be a good thing for the Marina. I don’t have any plans to leave here, so it has to be a plus for us living here.”
Peter Green, another Dubai resident, said redevelopment is crucial in the city.
“There is always something new coming up so competition is tough here. Unless venues update and stay at the top of their game, there will just be new things coming up in their place.
“Even in the Marina, it’s easy to go to a different place every evening, and there are still more and more venues and hotels opening here.
“So I think the development is a good thing, and it sounds as if it will make more of a feature of the actual marina and the yacht club itself.”