Dubai: With the opening of the Dubai Water Canal on Wednesday night, Dubai has opened up new vistas for leisure and recreation for residents and tourists.
Thursday evening saw people flocking to the canal to explore the many options for leisure and, of course, to hop on to the Dubai Ferry for a ride along the canal.
Udit Sindhwani, Rachy Promboon and Eslam Ashraf who work with JW Marriott Marquis, a prominent landmark along the canal bank on Shaikh Zayed Road, who have watched the canal project evolve over the months, couldn’t wait to check it out.
“We have seen it being built right in front of us. We were so excited about the opening and we came to collect information about the ride. We want to take the ferry tomorrow as it is the weekend,” said Sindhwani.
Promboon said the grand opening ceremony was an unforgettable experience. “We watched the fireworks and the waterfall on Shaikh Zayed Road. It was really exciting. But the most exciting part is that we can take boat rides to Dubai Marina and Gold Souq for a full round trip around Dubai,” she said.
John Chalkley and wife Naoko, who live in Safa, were at the Shaikh Zayed Marine Station to explore the walkways and running track along the canal.
“It’s a nice place to run and move around away from the traffic. We are checking out if we can walk all the way to Dubai Mall,” said Chalkley, a doctor by profession.
Hugo Martin and wife Isabel Nunez, who live in DIFC, said they had been waiting for the canal to open. After parking their car on Al Wasl Road, the couple took a stroll along the banks of the canal. “We took the bridge to cross the canal from the Safa Station and came this side. It’s amazing to see the changes here. We have pictures from three years ago and now Safa is a completely different place,” said Martin.
Nunez found the running track great. “In some parts, you can go biking. The lighting along the canal also looks beautiful.”
Padmanaban Annamalai and colleagues from Mediclinic, who chose the new canal for their weekend outing, said it would help if the authorities publicised the timing of the ferry rides.
“We didn’t know the timing of the ferry from different stations,” he said. He also hoped that basic amenities like wash rooms and eateries will come up soon.
Parents with their kids, some in prams, were seen taking a stroll along the walkway. A couple of private yachts were also seen sailing on the new waterway. Some people came to the Shaikh Zayed Station specifically to watch the colourful curtain of a waterfall from the busy highway above the canal.