London-style 'sky garden' bridge set to transform Dubai Creek

Range of new projects include bike-sharing schemes, promenades and beachfront areas

DUBAI, UAE. February 10, 2015 -  Abras cruise across Dubai Creek in Dubai, February 10, 2015. (Photos by: Sarah Dea/The National, Story by: Mitya Underwood, Focus)
 *** Local Caption ***  SDEA100215-abra15.JPG
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A “sky garden” bridge soaring across Dubai Creek is among a series of new projects set to transform the emirate.

The striking 380-metre long, 60m high footbridge will feature cycling and running lanes, shops and shaded areas when complete.

A construction date has not yet been announced but it is believed the bridge will connect the redeveloped Al Seef area in Bur Dubai across to the Deira side of the Creek.

Similar bridges have been pitched around the world, most famously in London, and it is hoped the project will boost tourism and build on attractions such as Dubai Frame and beachfront area, La Mer.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, approved the projects on Tuesday, which also include new bike-sharing schemes, beachfront areas and promenades.

The bike scheme will be developed by Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority and ride-hailing company Careem.

It aims to provide 3,500 bicycles at 350 stations in Dubai, with customers able to rent bikes with their credit cards, metro cards or smartphone apps.

The "skybridge" that will connect old and new Dubai. Courtesy Dubai Media Office

Three new promenades are also among the projects. Sheikh Zayed Road promenade - a 2.5km area between Dubai World Trade Centre and Financial Centre metro stations - will feature green spaces for walking and cycling.

A second, "sunset promenade", will be a new beachfront area at Jumeirah Beach Walk. According to the Dubai Media Office, it will include several floating islands and a total beach area of 107,000sq m.

The garden bridge proposal in London. Heatherwick

"Umm Suqeim promenade", meanwhile, between Mall of the Emirates and Madinat Jumeirah, will sport a 110-metre pedestrian bridge above Jumeirah Street, offering views of the Burj Al Arab hotel as well as more cycling and running lanes.

The "Deira plaza" project is another one of the new initiatives. The park will span 35,000sq m and includes areas for public events.

The projects include new beachfront areas and are set to transform the city. Courtesy Dubai Media Office

On Tuesday, Sheikh Mohammed was also briefed about the previously announced "sky pods" project – a cable car system linking Downtown Dubai with Business Bay.

The project has 21 stations and the capacity to carry 8,400 riders an hour, but it remains unclear when construction will start.

The Ruler of Dubai also reviewed progress on a number of road projects in Tripoli, Khawaneej, Mushrif Park and around International City and the Dubai to Al Ain road.

The Al Ain project involves building more lanes, new bridges and boosting the flow of traffic and is expected to be complete within a few years.

More details about the bridges, promenades and beachfront areas are set to be announced in the coming months.

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