2017 UAE Real Estate Trends: What is Placemaking? Bluewaters as the latest example

This article was originally published in propertyfinder Trends Report 2017 – click here to read online (Adobe Flash required) or click here to download PDF instead. To request a printed Report, please email us on marketing@propertyfinder.ae




In an age defined by the millennials and the shared and digital economies, the idea of placemaking has become more important than the actual development, especially when it comes to urban planning and the creation of mixed-use developments.

In its simplest form, placemaking involves planning, designing, constructing, and managing public spaces in a way that promotes values ranging from health, happiness, and well-being to creativity, diversity, and participation. People want to live, work, learn, and visit unique places that enable them to create a sense of belonging, and it is this connection that generates social capital and a competitive advantage.

An essential step in the placemaking process is being able to identify what makes a place unique and can impact on perceptions towards quality of life, attractiveness to businesses, and economic development.

This is one of the reasons why destinations like City Walk, The Beach, Boxpark, The Outlet Village, Last Exit, and Kite Beach include a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces filled with walkways and activities that are designed to bring people together. It is also the case for Bluewaters, which will be home to Ain Dubai, the largest and tallest observation wheel in the world and a new landmark in Dubai.

At over 210m, Ain Dubai will tower high above the coastline overlooking Jumeirah Beach Residences, offering visitors unforgettable views of the Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, and Burj Khalifa, among other familiar sights. As the centrepiece of life at Bluewaters, Ain Dubai reflects the spirit of a city that continues to push engineering boundaries.

Once back on the ground, residents and visitors will be able to explore the exciting entertainment zone located at the base of Ain Dubai, as well as a shoppers’ paradise with over 200 retail and dining concepts that are designed to enhance Dubai’s reputation as a leading choice for business and leisure travellers.

Bluewaters will also be a modern family-oriented destination that embodies the richness of urban life in a city that is home to more than 200 nationalities. With an exclusive selection of premium apartments, penthouses and townhouses, residences offer those seeking a new life in the city a culture and an experience that extends beyond the home.

The island will be connected to the shore by a multi- mode transport system providing ease of access to and from the island. A purpose-built bridge connects directly with Sheikh Zayed Road, while a fleet of driverless vehicles will transport passengers from Dubai Metro’s Nakheel Harbour and Towers station – the same station that will ferry visitors to and from Expo2020 Dubai.

A leisurely walk across a 265-metre pedestrian bridge will lead to more experiences at The Beach and, with Bluewaters expected to attract millions of visitors each year, the social and economic impact of the placemaking that has gone into the island is set to extend beyond the island’s spectacular shoreline.


Michel M Nader

Marketing Manager & Media Planning, MEERAS