Development Spotlight: Dubai`s „The Tower“ Project and Dubai Creek Harbour

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On Sunday, 10th. of April Dubai property developer emaar revealed its plan to construct yet another record breaking building unostentatiously named „The Tower“. The building has been announced to become the world`s highest structure by 2020 at the core of the gigantic urban development „Dubai Creek Harbour“. We take a closer look at the new project, its location and the consequences for the real-estate investor.

Record-Breaking Height,  Artistic Design

„The Tower“ is to surpass the presently tallest tower „Burj Khalifa“ in height, with no further details being released to the public as yet. Brainchild of star-architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, the iconic tower is to be truly groundbreaking in design,  consisting of a thin core structure complemented by outside tension cables guaranteeing inter alia spectacular lighting effects at night.

That said, „The Tower“ is predestined to become the prominent landmark of Dubai`s Creek Harbour, a mixed-use waterfront development adjacent to the Dubai Creek planned to be twice the size of Downtown Dubai upon its completion.

Dubai Creek Harbour: How it fits in

While the apparent megalomania inherent to Dubai`s construction ventures commonly provokes feelings between awe and doubt in onlookers from overseas, it is certain that Dubai has an overall good track record in conceiving, planning and realizing such projects. Moreover, other areas that were planned in a likewise manner and brought to life in a mere decade from construction start to finish have evolved into living, retail and tourism hotspots that are here to stay. And yet, Downtown Dubai for instance had to overcome enormous frictions caused by the events unfolding in the crisis of 2008.

At times it seems difficult to picture the immense growth rate that the emirate unfolds especially in terms of population gains. As a matter of fact however, at the end of 2014 Dubai counted a residency base of 2,3 mio with the „active daytime population“ clocking  3,4 mio and thus being almost 50% higher. The Dubai government is planning for urban development that can accomodate five million residents by 2030 (CAGR of ca. 5%). All else being equal, this would imply an approximate doubling of the city`s population and an active daytime population of more than 7,4 mio.

It is the reality of such growth rates one needs to grasp in order to comprehend the economic and urbanistic purpose behind gigantic projects such as Dubai Creek Harbour.

Conclusion from an Investment Perspective

With „The Tower“ as a new, soon to be world-renowned icon at its core there is no doubt that Dubai Creek Harbour will be one more bustling hotspot within Dubai less than ten years from now. Other than that it has its location (ten minutes to Dubai airport (DXB)) as well as its direct access to the extended Dubai creek going for it. The latter opens the possibility to access virtually all important business areas such as Bur Dubai, Deira, Culture Village, Business Bay and Jumeirah within minutes by water.

Planning „The Tower“ as a lighthouse project and highest building-to-be clearly indicates the importance of Dubai Creek Harbour as a major part within Dubai`s urban planning and worldwide tourism efforts. That said and considering the advent of the World Expo in 2020, there should be few risks with regards to the completion of this project as a whole or even with respect to the usually unavoidable construction delays. Add to this the fact that infrastructure, location and accessibility will be second to none, few doubts should remain that off-plan investments into well-selected projects (and developers) within Dubai Creek Harbour should deliver superior mid-term returns at very moderate risks.


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The author advises institutional investors about property transactions and handles property portfolios in Dubai since the year 2007. Should you have comments or inquiries, please contact the author on