As a beachfront development where new Dubai meets the old, La Mer in Jumeirah 1 has little in comparison with other destinations in the UAE.
The Meraas development was open for public use for the first time on Sunday, with 1.24 million square metres of existing and reclaimed land taken over by sprawling timber walkways and beachside promenades packed with restaurants, bars and ice cream parlours.
Like any other Meraas destination, with La Mer the seventh now open in Dubai, the attention to detail is impressive.
Water features inspired by breaking waves sit alongside walkways bedecked by towering palm trees and marram grass verges.
Down by the beach, families can enjoy the safety of shallow waters, or take it easy in water hammocks and shower after a dip in the sea with fresh water buckets.
Driftwood has been used to build up some of the waterfront features, with half buried surfboards and paddleboards for hire offering a nod to what lies ahead when phase two of the development is completed next year.
A waterpark is under construction on a central headland area called The Wharf, promising the usual thrills and spills along with an artificial wave for surfers.
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“The destination reaffirms our commitment to contribute to Dubai Tourism Vision 2020 by diversifying what Dubai has to offer,” said Abdulla Al Habbai, group chairman at Meraas.
“With a host of new and novel experiences, residents and visitors will also find an alluring proposition to explore and enjoy.”
La Mer is the seventh destination delivered by Meraas in the past three years, following City Walk, The Beach, Boxpark, Last Exit, The Outlet Village and Al Seef at Dubai Creek.
The first phase comprises La Mer North and La Mer South, with more than 130 shops, cafés, licensed restaurants and beach activities.
The Wharf will be the second phase of La Mer and is scheduled to open early next year. It will have a recreated rusty steelworks and industrial aesthetics alongside the surf park, with a cinema, additional shops, cafés and restaurants.
Day rooms and cabanas will allow residents and visitors to enjoy a care-free day by the sea from dawn until dusk, without straying too far from the convenience of the city.