Dubai begins largest canal project post-Suez


Government-owned real estate developer Limitless this week started excavation work on the 11 billion dollar canal, 75-kilometre (47-mile)-long canal, WAM said.

The "Arabian Canal" will be the biggest project undertaken in the region since work started on the 163-kilometre (101-mile) Suez Canal in 1859.

The canal will be "the largest, most complex civil engineering project ever undertaken in the Middle East," the developers said on their website, adding that construction of the 150-metre (495-feet)-wide canal will take three years.

At six metres (20 feet) deep, it will be able to accommodate vessels up to 40 metres (132 feet) long.

The canal will link two huge artificial palm-shaped islands, currently under construction. The waterway will also pass by the new Al-Maktoum International Airport, which aims to become the world’s largest upon completion.

Dubai, one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, is the financial and leisure hub of the oil-rich Gulf and is undertaking several other mega-projects designed to more than double the number of tourists annually to 15 million by 2015.

"Dubailand" — a cluster of billion-dollar schemes billed as the "world’s most ambitious tourism, leisure and entertainment project" — is well under way and scheduled for completion around 2025.

The 64-billion dollar project will house the world’s largest transparent snow dome and a Universal Studios theme park.

Equally ambitious is Burj Dubai, a one-billion-dollar tower touted to become the world’s tallest skyscraper. It is being built by South Korea’s Samsung and is due to be completed at the end of 2008.

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