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This was followed by the screening of a movie titled ‘Dubai Water Canal, the New Face of Dubai’. The film spotlighted the Canal project, which is a culmination of the dream of the father of modern Dubai the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum to deepen the Dubai Creek in 1959 to ease marine navigation, besides constructing Al Maktoum and Al Garhoud Bridges, and Al Shindagha Tunnel. Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum took this initiative forward with projects that made Dubai a global economic hub. His Highness also launched the project to link the Dubai Creek with the Arabian Gulf through the Business Bay and Dubai Canals, which stretch a combined distance of 12 km.

The film showed various stages of project works, which include the construction of three motor bridges linking the two shores of the Canal crossing over Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Wasl Road and Jumeirah Road. Comprising eight lanes in each direction, the bridge on Sheikh Zayed Road was opened on 9 January 2016; Al Wasl Bridge, consisting of three lanes in each direction, was opened on 1 June 2016; and the Jumeirah Bridge, also featuring three lanes in each direction, was opened on 9 July this year.

The project also included the construction of five footbridges, three of which feature iconic designs. Construction works on the Canal project were completed on 27 October 2016, following which water flowed through the Canal, effectively linking the Business Bay with the Arabian Gulf.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum then placed his finger on an electronic panel signalling the opening of the Dubai Water Canal, and the launch of the maiden water trip. A massive model of Burj Khalifa burst into the scene and fabulous laser lights sent beams along the Dubai Canal from Sheikh Zayed Road to the Jumeirah Beach. His Highness and his entourage then boarded Dubai Water Canal Yacht 1 to cruise the Canal escorted by different modes of marine transport.

The Canal was transformed into an Outdoor Theatre with four giant screens installed on the side of the Canal. The first scene gave a glimpse of Dubai’s maritime heritage and diving trips showcasing Fath and Zabeel boats, which were used by the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum when visiting the Dubai Oil well and during diving trips. The second scene highlighted the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in completing the linking of the Dubai Creek with the Arabian Gulf through the Business Bay and Dubai Canals extending 12 km. The third scene reviewed the spectacular urban structures on both sides of the Dubai Water Canal. The fourth one was entitled: The Dubai Water Canal in Figures.

The tour passed underneath the Water Fountain on the Sheikh Zayed Road Bridge and headed back to Al Safa Park Marine Station. His Highness then alighted the boat and crossed the first footbridge where he met a group of children who thanked him for this huge achievement that had turned the area into a world-class showpiece.

His Highness then made an inspection tour of the Walk leading up to the launch site of the Canal Memorial where he received a pearl from Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA HE Mattar Al Tayer. When His Highness put the pearl on the launch pad, a massive cylindrical model appeared through which heavy water flew in a shape replicating the Dubai maritime environment. Fireworks then lit the sky over the Bridge crossing the Canal at the Sheikh Zayed Road and Safa Park. Burj Khalifa was bathed in lights that announced the opening of the Canal.

His Highness then posed for photos with teams from the RTA, Dubai Holding, Meydan and Meraas Holding, as well as contractors and consultants of companies that worked on the construction of the Canal.