Dubai Marina Phase 1 consists of six towers--three named after precious stones, Al Mass (28 floors*), Fairooz (20) and Murjan (37)--and three named after Arabic scents--Mesk (37), Anbar (16) and Al Yass (24).
Perhaps it would have been more useful to assign numbers as oppossed to names to the six towers. Pointing out which is Anbar and which is Fairooz can become quite confusing. These six towers, along with 64 villas and a retail plaza, constitute the original residential and commercial development for the Dubai Marina project--often described as "a city-within-a-city." Phase 1 is in fact, the cornerstone for such a city, constructed between 7/2001 and 3/2004. Al Mass, Fairooz and Murjan were the first towers to be completed, in 9/2003. (Initial dredging work on the Marina canal began as early as 1998.)
From left to right, Al Mass, Fairooz, Murjan, Mesk, Anbar and Al Yass.
The towers consist of a total of 1100 residential 1, 2 and 3-bedroom units. As required in all Dubai Marina structures, parking on premises is provided. Whereas most towers achieve this by placing the main structure atop a large podium base, Phase 1's parking structure is cleverly concealed behind rows of villas and a discrete shopping mall,the Marina Walk.
Its facilities include that which is often associated with up-scale condominium living, i.e. fitness club, pools, community centers and 24-hour security. In addition it has features more commonly associated with high-class hotels, like sauna and spa, business center, 24-hour concierge and guest suites, and it attempts further billing as a family-oriented development by also having a day-care center, communal barbecue area and bicycle and walk paths. It is, in short, the model for what the Dubai Marina is intended to be on the whole.
(Purchase prices seem to run generally around Dhs 1 million for 1-bedroom units, 1.8-2 million for 2-bedroom units and 2.5+ million for 3-bedroom units.)--02 Jan. 2006With Reference to MAG 218:
Phase 1 occupies the lead position at the NE end of the Dubai Marina waterway. Encircling the entire waterway, promenade and perimeter structures is the Marina Ring Road. MAG 218 is across the Ring Road and within 5 minutes walk of the promenade and Marina Walk shopping center at the base of the Phase 1 complex. This makes the public facilities at Phase 1 (namely the shopping center and promenade) within convenient access.Floorplan: Anbar 3-bedroom unit.
It is hard to discuss Phase 1 without also talking about the Dubai Marina as a whole. Project consultant HOK Group discusses the vision and planning that went into creation of the Marina at their website:
The vision for Dubai Marina brings the waters of the Gulf into the site, creating a new waterfront community. It will be a dense, urban place with a residential focus capable of accommodating a large international population. ...the value of the marina is in the finished visual open space it provides in the center of the development. Like Central Park in New York, or the Grand Canal in Venice, the marina public space opens up the development to light and long views.
To some the Dubai Marina appears set to become a concrete jungle. From the SZR expressway which runs along the districts SE perimeter, this certainly seems to be the case. But the developers appear to have planned at the outset that dense urban concentration would be offset by clear open spaces. Dubai Marina also incorporates a high degree of master-planning and guidance at the initial stage of development followed by a less prescriptive formula once the initial concept has been established.
The HOK report continues,
One of the problems with large-scale master planning is the tendency to become too prescriptive in creating urban design guidelines that apply to the entire planning area. The result is a homogeneity that can be repetitive and tiresome. The neighbourhoods created in Dubai Marina are designed to allow for creation of a distinct identity and character responding to their own unique location within the overall community.
Phase 1 seems to have served the function of establishing a model upon which the rest of the Marina could develop. Such has been the success of this vision that it is easy to overlook Phase 1 today as a multitude of taller and more striking towers rise up around it. The complex seems to have lost some of its lustre. Once the Marina fills up with residents, however, the Phase 1 development, the orignal Dubai Marina tower project, will probably be one of the liveliest areas in this new urban community.--02 Jan. 2006
Al Mass & Fairooz
Murjan & Mesk
Anbar & Al Yaas