Aside from the purely aesthetic impact, practitioners of feng shui believe the development could impact the flow of 'chi' in the city.
Posters give a glimpse of Dubai Canal’s flow
DUBAI // Billboard posters have appeared by the side of Sheikh Zayed Road, thrilling motorists with a glimpse of what the creek extension will look like when it crosses Dubai.
However, one group in particular that have given the plans a nod of approval are practitioners of the ancient science of feng shui.
The canal will cost Dh1.76 billion and will extend the creek across the city and connect it to the Arabian Gulf. It is expected to be ready in 2016, according to the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
Aside from the purely aesthetic impact, practitioners of feng shui believe the development could impact the flow of “chi” in the city.
Samita Khanna, a master consultant at Feng Shui Arabia, said water was considered auspicious in the ancient science of geomancy.
“Building a canal that links the sea to the creek and welcomes in the seawater into the city is equal to channelling good energy into Dubai,” said Ms Khanna.
“Water, being a vital life force for well-being and wealth, is always beneficial if treated with respect. Water is related to trade and the accumulation of wealth.
“Connecting the seawater through the Dubai Canal to Business Bay and letting it flow across the centre will not only create a beautiful chi flow, but also generate a thriving economy.”
An ancient Chinese practice, feng shui is over 3,500 years old, and was originally used to reorient buildings such as tombs or temples to ensure a harmonious relationship with nature.
It was suppressed in the 1950s during China’s cultural revolution, but it underwent a renaissance over the past 20 years, with businessmen such as Donald Trump utilising its principles in major property developments.
The US typhoon’s latest Dubai development, Trump Estates, will utilise a very similar, Indian form of geomancy, called vastu, in its design of villas.
Vastu shares many things in common with feng shui, the primary one being a recognition of the importance of water as a facilitator for economic growth, said Padmaja Yadav, a Dubai-based vastu consultant.
“The creek on the north-east of Dubai has always been the strength of the city, in terms of vastu,” she said.
“In terms of history, it’s around the creek that businesses have thrived, and the city has grown. It is the presence of the water element in the north-east of Dubai that gives it a positive thread.
“Ideally the water flow is always from west to east and from south to north. I’ve not seen the exact plans, but, from what I understand, it’s coming from the north-west to the south-east. So, since it travels from west to east, that is very good.”
She said the consequences of getting something like this wrong in terms of a city plan would involve “financial losses, a lack of stability or a bad reputation”.
The Dubai Canal was announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in October last year.
The first phase, which began this year, involves building a 16-lane flyover on Sheikh Zayed Road, under which the canal will flow. The second phase features six-lane bridges on Al Wasl and Jumeirah roads.
The third and final phase will involve the actual digging of the canal from the end of the creek, which will pass across Sheikh Zayed Road, through Safa Park, and will flow into the Arabian Gulf near Jumeirah Beach Park.
Ms Khanna said both the Arabian Gulf and the creek were “auspicious” bodies of water. “It is the sea and creek that have put Dubai on the world map, as the fastest growing metropolis on Earth,” she said.
“Therefore feng shui-wise, to create another extension of the creek is a stroke of farsighted genius.”