Al Raha Beach Development- The Gateway to Abu Dhabi

May 10, 2018 in Infrastructure

Al Raha Beach is an 11km-long waterfront development in the foreground of Abu Dhabi. The fresh mix of residential properties, retail outlets and dining facilities offers something for everyone.

Al Raha Beach is a stunning new development that provides premium residential, commercial, cultural and public amenities in Dubai’s capital city. It also features hospitality, leisure and entertainment complexes- easy to access thanks to the main highway between Abu Dhabi to Dubai. The development is situated on 5.2 million square metres of natural beachfront.

The diverse precinct has residential and mixed-use developments with an array of facilities. This includes the likes of: an exclusive clubhouse, retail outlets and swimming pools. In addition to these resources, Al Raha Beach Development (ARBD) has an abundance of dining choices, landscaped lawns and peaceful water fountains, that have been designed to relax and appease the residents. The environment suits all manner of people- modern families, first-time buyers, retired workers and expatriates; a community for all. It is currently home to 120,000 people.

The waterfront project has come a long way since its inception in 2005. Al Raha Beach had a capital cost of USD 14.7 billion, which in turn created one of the most ambitious and prestigious build projects in Abu Dhabi. Known as “The Ultimate Waterfront City”, Al Raha is one of the most integrated developments of its kind in the world. The entire complex blends beautifully into the surrounding environment with beautiful marinas and canals inspired by Abu Dhabi’s seafaring culture.

Such an impressive build required top quality development throughout. Aldar, a local real estate company, worked on the build. The complete site now contains more than 3,000 residential properties, under four flagship landmarks: Al Bandar, Al Hadeel, Al Muneera and Al Zeina. The company worked with AECOM, who were responsible for the design and site supervision of all civil infrastructures. AECOM managed the following aspects of construction:

  • Dredging and Land Reclamation
  • Bridges
  • Roads
  • Utilities
  • Power
  • Water/wastewater
  • Marine structures.
  • Land use development
  • Transport planning
  • Public transportation
  • Light Rail, Water Transport and Bus Network

AECOM provided fully integrated infrastructure services for the ARBD project across a broad range of markets including: transportation, energy, water, and landscape design, marine and environmental services. This particular company had a 10-year involvement on the project, with many members from the global team utilised to meet the building needs.

There are different sections within the ARBD build, since the properties are segmented within it. Here are a few parts of the overall development- namely, Al Muneera and Al Raha.

Al Muneera

Al Muneera is a part of Khor Al Raha in the ARBD. Specialist architects and contractors were called upon to create this community zone of safety and high living standards. The contractors created a gated community of apartments, townhouses and villas in an exclusive residential closed society on the beach waterfront.

Al Muneera is a particularly memorable section of the overall development. It includes 2 exclusive properties: these are called Al Muneera and Al Khubeira. Here, there is a variety of mid-rise 16-storey apartment blocks, surrounded by landscaped terrace gardens. There is also a mixture of 3, 4, and 5 bedroom townhouses and villa units, which face the canal and waterfront. Not all of the blocks are residential, however. There is also a modern 14-storey office tower, which the mainland site to the island site with a pedestrian retail bridge. The bridge arrives at the Al Raha Beach front, and is lined with cafes, restaurants and retail outlets.

The residents of Al Muneera will enjoy the premium facilities as private beach, Clubhouse, Swimming pools, Gymnasiums, Sauna, Steam rooms, Communal gardens, Children’s play area, Canal promenade, Waterfront promenade, and the ‘Seashell’ water feature.

Al Raha

The Al Raha section of the beach is a free-hold that has been developed by Al Dar Properties. It is located twenty minutes away from Abu Dhabi: close enough to commute but far from the hustle and bustle.

Traffic and pedestrians flow freely throughout the city. A central tree-lined boulevard crosses islands edged with waterfront promenades. Short distances are a pleasure to walk, and all strolls in the district can be rewarded by a cold drink at the waterside cafe.

All Al Raha infrastructure is easily accessible by car, by foot or public transport. Light rail provides a speedy public transit system, with tracks that run along the length of the development. Other time-effective transportation options are also available; for instance, there is the ‘jet cat’ catamaran and an array of different ferries that can zip between the quaysides. Passengers will be able to take the local ferries to the office, or, they could use them to island-hop and visit friends in precincts along the shore. Water taxis are also popular modes of transport. The water taxis are flexible enough to serve all parts of Abu Dhabi Island and transport hubs, which makes connections to the international airport easy. These can easily be used for business or leisure.

Across the water from Al Raha is Yas Island, which has been described as “Abu Dhabi’s new playground”. On Yas Island, there is already an F1TM race track, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and golf courses, with more developments to come. Yas Island can be accessed by ferry or by taxi.

Now that Al Muneera and Al Raha are complete, the entire complex has piqued a great deal of interest and has gained some considerable recognition. In 2015, the project won the MEED National Transport Project of the Year for all its work on integrated travel. The award was picked up by AECOM, who were pleased to attend one of the highest profile awards events in the Middle East. Riad Nashif, AECOM executive vice president, Middle East, and managing director, UAE & Oman said:

“We are delighted that the Al Raha Beach Development has been recognized by the MEED judges. Our team created a great place to live, a real testament to AECOM’s reputation as a community builder in the region.”

Mr Nashif’s words echo with the residents who have had their homes built by this company. Now that 2018 is in full swing, the waterfront community is sure to grow and flourish.