The Jerde Partnership delivers a new commercial and entertainment heart for Dubai Festival City
Designed by Jerde to continue the spirit of their overall Dubai Festival City Master Plan - one of the largest tourism and commercial projects in the Middle East - the Festival Waterfront Centre serves as the resort-style communal centre for the four-kilometre site along Dubai Creek.
Celebrating the site's convergence of desert and sea, the project uses the site's warm tones to blend into its context and natural forms to drive its spatial organisation. Inspired by the visible manifestation of energy on the water, Festival Waterfront Centre mimics water ripples to establish a new centre of energy.
Arranging key areas in multiple radiating rings, the centre offers luxury marina facilities, international retailers, restaurants and entertainment venues. Serving as the centre's heart, Festival Square presents a grand, glass-enclosed space for hosting world-class exhibitions, fashion shows and live performances. Though each ring is distinct in identity, the buildings' facades are unified by horizontal coloured bands that mark the passage of time, from the sun's warm morning glow, to midday's bright radiance, to the cooler tones of sunset.
As the architecture continues the natural metaphor for its desert site, the materials further evoke the twelve colours of the region's desert sands, offering visitors moments of both warmth and vibrancy. Informed by a strong sense of place, culture and tradition, the project explores a synthesis of old and new, instilling a progressive vision for Dubai's future alongside the organic aesthetics of its site.
As the first and only waterfront retail and entertainment centre in Dubai, Festival Waterfront Centre has created a successful model for open-air entertainment development in the region. Integrated with greater Dubai Festival City development, seamlessly connecting to big-box retail tenants, hotels and expansion plans, the centre serves as a vibrant communal destination that will further inform future development to connect to downtown Dubai.
The unique location and design of Festival Waterfront Centre has also helped attract an eclectic mix of international retailers, enhancing and reinforcing Dubai's position as a major commercial and tourist destination.