Dubai properties have brought the UAE’s first water homes—Marasi Floating Homes to the emirate and it feels like magic to see them in reality: frankly, they’re architectural wonders. Part of the AED1bn Marasi Business bay project, a Dubai Canal trademark which includes a 12km-long waterfront promenade and each home enjoys an exclusive boat access and unrivalled views within 550m of Downtown Dubai.
Available in two, three, and four bedroom units, the impeccable design based on clean architectural lines reminds one of Scandinavian living and style. These homes offer private swimming pools, wooden decks and large floor-toceiling glass frontages, and plenty of natural light and breeze. The uninterrupted views of Business Bay and a front-row seat to life on the Dubai Water Canal make the experience more enchanting. There are currently nine water homes resting on the Dubai Water Canal in Marasi Business Bay and one more home, floating yacht club, and floating restaurant are expected to arrive in Q1 2018.
The concept of water homes is appealing especially in the land of desert, but there’s a lot of hard work that went into bringing them to life. Sasan Niknam, design manager from U+A Architects for Marasi Water Homes shares his experience of working on this project, “It’s a more complex and broad project than it appears. It’s been a rough year; we took exactly 12 months from initial design to completion. We started in April 2016 with the concept of a two-bedroom villa and delivered that in August 2017. Dubai Properties teamed up with Admares, who are known in marine residential developments to manufacture and transport the homes over a distance of 6000km from Finland to Dubai. So, lots of teams were involved towards this project, hence there was a lot of coordination that was required. Seawater here is very harsh, that was another challenging aspect in terms of conceptualising and designing. Dubai Properties announced the completion of the project by September 2017. At the end, we have achieved a milestone and battled all the issues.” The concept of floating homes is popular in Europe, but for Dubai, it’s a new concept, which will give the city its newest attraction.
Niknam remarks, “I always find residential water front living or water homes very interesting. Dubai has so many opportunities, which we thought have not been thought of, so the idea was to bring residential living close to the water. We wanted to bring people onto the water without any fencing without any barriers and make them experience something fresh, new, and fantastic.”
The Nordic theme can be seen all across the area, from the waterfront living to the interiors of the floating homes. Niknam further elaborates, “When we started the two bedroom villa, we wanted to create an open floor plan concept that almost has an aloft atmosphere as one walks in, so openness, views of the water, making one space flow into another, no separations, no walls, and that relates to the Nordic themes. We wanted to make use of every possible space in the best possible manner. The design is very neat, clean and functional.” Each of the homeowners can enjoy complimentary boat berths next to the water home and can fit a yacht maximum 16.7m in length. The common areas exclusive to owners of the homes are the pontoon (dock), two main gateways, the reception area and the parking lot. For each home owner, two car parks per home will be provided as well as a concierge service and visitors will have complimentary valet service.
Technology is another major highlight of this project. The water homes are equipped with innovative and environmentally friendly real estate products, utilising groundbreaking, and multi-disciplinary off-site construction technology. The homes are anchored through the Seaflex anchoring system that expands and retracts with each tide and wave keeping the floating application stable and in position. “Technology products we have used in this project are from Europe. Because it’s off shore, on the water, it uses the best technology, which is used in the marine developments,” says Niknam.
Niknam believes that Dubai has gone through some unbelievable design changes over the last five decades and Marasi Water Homes will be big attraction. “The changes what Dubai has gone through in the past 50 years is incredible. Every year, the designs get more intense and this adds a component to all these exciting projects and developments Dubai has gone through. Everything was on shore and now we’re breaking that mould and going into the water in the heart of the city, with best facilities. It’s a big attraction and will definitely bring in people to stroll around the promenade, and look at these homes.” Niknam emphasis that every piece of design and structure serves some purpose and not just being used as a part of the decoration. “Everything has been thought about and then used cleverly and smartly to serve a purpose. Nothing is there just for decoration. From the exposed beams to floor slab, which are kept at a minimum to align with the structural beams, everything is designed with a vision and purpose in mind. Nothing is for decoration. Marasi Water Homes is just a beginning, once it creates the buzz in the city, this will allow for more such opportunities.”