Project Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Bluewaters Bridge

A creative solution preserving the view of the coastline

A 350 m long footbridge was completed in October 2017, linking Bluewaters Island to the Dubai coast. BESIX was responsible for the design and construction of this structure, which preserved the view of the coastline.

A future tourist highlight

Bluewaters Island is an artificial island located off the coast of Dubai, a few hundred meters from the famous Jumeirah beach. It is a tourist highlight of the region, thanks mainly to its star attraction, Ain Dubai, the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. Ain Dubai, once opened, will be able to carry 1,400 people to a height of 210 m, offering a breathtaking view of the island, the coastline and the Gulf.

Linking Bluewaters with Jumeirah Beach

The holding company Meraas, who is behind the construction of the island and its infrastructure, planned to construct a pedestrian footbridge of 350 m long and 5.50 to 9 m wide: Bluewaters Bridge. Open to pedestrians and golf buggies, the new bridge forms an elegant curve above the water, and links Bluewaters with Jumeirah Beach. BESIX was in charge of the design and construction.

Originally, the client envisaged a cable-stayed footbridge with a span of 100 m, suspended by cables from a pylon 100 m high. Budget constraints meant that this design could not be built with the necessary materials for this type of bridge. 

Budget respected, view preserved

To stay within the original budget whilst respecting the geometry of the deck planned by the architect, BESIX proposed a lightweight design which is less imposing and preserves the view of the Ain Dubai, the Gulf and the coastline. In the new configuration proposed by BESIX, the deck rests on slender pillars emerging from the water. A gap of 77 m between the pillars ensures that boats can enter the marina.

Only BESIX could have managed to preserve the geometry of the bridge as imagined by the client, within the required budget, whilst preserving the quality of the structure and adding something to the landscape.

Creative solutions

Attracted by the simplicity and aesthetics of the solution, Meraas asked BESIX to add terraces to the bridge so that the surrounding scenery could be admired at leisure. BESIX designed glass-bottomed platforms, which blend in nicely with the rest of the structure. The result: a footbridge and an extra tourist attraction.

Tight schedule 

BESIX was responsible for its design and construction, which is why it was able to accomplish the challenge of building the bridge in 12 months, incorporating the requirements for its construction from the design phase. Close collaboration with consultant Grid was also a key factor in the success of the project.

Project details

Project name

Bluewaters Bridge

Area(s) of expertise


Contract type

Design & Build


Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Six Construct

External partner(s)

Parsons Overseas Ltd., Halcrow International Partnership


Meraas Development

Building Period

2016 - 2017

Total value

€ 15 million

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