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Porto Dubai
Updated: 28th March, 2022

Porto Dubai

An abandoned luxury residential project adjacent to Umm Suqeim Fishing Harbour. Subsequently replaced by Jumeirah Beach MGM Resort.
Porto Dubai
Porto Dubai is an area located within Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah, Dubai.
Master developer
The master developer is Zabeel Investments.
The architect
The architectural consultant is DEC Dynamic and the architectural consultant is Dror.

Porto Dubai was to have been a luxury residential community on the Umm Suqeim coast adjacent to Umm Suqeim Fishing Harbour, a short distance form the Burj Al Arab Hotel.

The project was due to be completed in 2010 but owing to the developer's financial troubles, largely due to the 2008 global financial crisis, the project was put on hold in 2009 soon after construction started. It has now been abandoned in favour of a new project announced on 22 March 2017, namely Jumeirah Beach MGM Resort. Click on the link to discover more.

Porto Dubai Location

The map below shows the location of Porto Dubai and just below are summaries of the nearest attractions, parks, beaches, golf clubs and cinemas.

Wild Wadi, 1.5 km
Madinat Jumeirah, 2.2 km
Yalla Bowling Mall of the Emirates, 3.9 km
Parks & beaches
Umm Suqeim Park, 0.5 km
Sunset Beach, 0.5 km
Kite Beach, 1.9 km
Golf clubs
Dubai Hills Golf Club, 7.9 km
Emirates Golf Club, 8.0 km
Montgomerie Golf Course, 9.6 km
Cinema Akil, 3.4 km
Vox Cinemas at Mall of the Emirates, 3.7 km
Vox Cinemas at Nakheel Mall, 7.0 km

Local Schools

Porto Dubai has many schools nearby including Raffles World Academy at 1.3 km and Collegiate International School at 1.4 km.

In terms of performance there are four schools nearby that have achieved either of two highest government inspection rating of 'Very Good' or 'Outstanding' including Kings' School Dubai which has a rating of 'Outstanding' and GEMS Wellington International School, Dubai which also has a rating of 'Outstanding'.

Raffles World Academy
1.3 km, Umm Suqeim
AED 57,000  •  IB
Collegiate International School
1.4 km, Umm Suqeim 2
AED 63,500  •  American, IB
Raffles International School
1.7 km, Umm Suqeim
AED 55,500  •  British
Kings' School Dubai
1.9 km, Umm Suqeim
AED 55,000  •  British

Things to Do

We've partnered with LadiesNightDubai.com and BrunchCrunch.ae to give an overview of the current Ladies Nights and Brunch offers in the vicinity of Porto Dubai.

Bahri Bar, Mina A' Salam • Ladies Night • Bahri Bar (2.1 km)
Belgian Beer Cafe Jumeirah, Souk Madinat Jumeirah • Ladies Night • Belgian Beer Cafe Madinat Jumeirah (2.2 km)
Saturday Brunch, Jumeirah Beach Hotel • Beachcombers (1.2 km)
McGettigans Souk Madinat
Ladies Night •  6:00pm
McGettigan’s Souk Madinat Jumeirah (2.2 km)
Maria Bonita
Ladies Night •  8:00pm
Maria Bonita (2.2 km)
Ladies Night •  7:00pm
Folly (2.2 km)
Ladies Night •  7:00pm
Americano (2.2 km)
Tortuga Fiesta
Brunch • Mina A' Salam
Tortuga (2.1 km)
Sip. Share. Savour. Brunch
Brunch • Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Belgian Beer Cafe Madinat Jumeirah (2.2 km)
Saturday Social Brunch
Brunch • Souk Madinat Jumeirah
McGettigan’s Souk Madinat Jumeirah (2.2 km)
Cure Sundy Brunch
Brunch • Souk Madinat Jumeirah
McGettigan’s Souk Madinat Jumeirah (2.2 km)

Nearby neighbourhoods

Explore communities that are either adjacent or close to Porto Dubai.

Umm Suqeim
Umm Suqeim (1.1 km)
Expatriates and Emiratis live side-by-side in this older, more established area. It's even peaceful once you get off the beaten track.
Read more
Al Sufouh
Al Sufouh (4.0 km)
Read more
Sufouh Gardens
Sufouh Gardens (4.8 km)
Read more
Acacia Avenues
Acacia Avenues (4.9 km)
A small cluster of skyscrapers and residential towers surrounded by large white luxury villas in the heart of Al Sufouh.
Read more
Al Barsha
Al Barsha (5.8 km)
Read more
Barsha Heights
Barsha Heights (6.3 km)
A bustling residential and commercial district comprising apartment blocks, hotels and hotel apartments. Properties are leasehold only.
Read more
The Greens
The Greens (7.0 km)
An established development alongside The Emirates Golf Club. The residential accommodation is housed in ten mid-rise complexes.
Read more
Palm Jumeirah
Palm Jumeirah (7.2 km)
The biggest land reclamation project on earth. A man-made island in the shape of a palm tree fringed with beach-side villas.
Read more
Companies Associated with Porto Dubai
Master Developer: Zabeel Investments
Architectural Consultant: DEC Dynamic
Architectural Consultant: Dror


A look at the original masterplan published by the developer at the time of the launch of Porto Dubai.

The project's original design consisted of 44 high-end luxury villas, two restaurants, a spa and a health club. The villas were to be arranged on concentric circular steps, each ring of villas being four metres above the one in front so that that all residents would have panoramic sea views.

In 2009 Dutch architect Dror put forward alternative designs based on a clock face theme with straight lines of trees separating sleek modern-style villas. Whether or not that design was accepted we do not know, but rumour had it that the project was undergoing yet another redesign.

Porto Dubai History

The Porto Dubai development was launched in March 2007 by Dubai-based Zabeel Investments, the same company that delivered the Tiara Residences on the Palm Jumeirah.

The development was to have covered an area of 4.5 million square feet, the majority of which would have been built on a circular shaped peninsular created from land reclaimed from the sea. The land was to be terraced to create a circular pyramid shape of four platforms, each four metres higher than the other, ensuring that all villas had unobstructed sea views. Residents on the south side would be able to enjoy close-up views of Burj Al Arab which lies a short distance along the coast.

Beach Access Controversy

The project was not welcomed by people living in the area who feared that the free Umm Suqeim beach would be closed to the public. When construction of a 1km fence to close off the beach began, a group of local residents launched a 'Save Jumeirah Beach' campaign. Residents living opposite the site were particularly irate as there had been no notification of the project and many had their expensive sea views blocked.

The campaign proved effective and less than a fortnight later the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, stepped in and ordered the fence to be taken down and the beach re-opened.

Nonetheless, enabling work began at the end of 2007 with The Executive Chairman of Zabeel Investments, Mohammed Ali Al Hashimi, announcing that the construction work would have no impact on public beaches in the area.

Financial Troubles

However, construction work came to a halt in 2009 and the project was put on hold when the developer began to experience financial difficulties. Zabeel Investments was badly affected by the global financial crisis of 2008 and effectively defaulted on its bank debt. In 2011 the company began talks with its creditors, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Commercial Bank International, Emirates NBD, Union National Bank, Commercial Bank of Dubai and HSBC to discuss restructuring $1.63 billion worth of debt. These talks progressed slowly owing to Zabeel's lack of saleable assets, but by October 2012 the company managed to reach an agreement for a restructuring of $956 million worth of bank debt. The management of Zabeel Investments was taken over by state-owned Dubai Real Estate Corporation (DREC) but the project remained in limbo.

Construction Updates

Land Reclamation Work

The land reclamation work for Porto Dubai was undertaken by the Netherlands-based Royal Boskalis Westminster who began dredging around 3 million cubic metres of seabed. The work was carried out in November and December 2008 and successfully completed by the end of the year.

Main Construction Work

The main construction contract was awarded to Arabtec and basic infrastructure and basement excavations for villas began at the end of 2008. By mid 2009 however all construction work was put on hold, since when the project has not been touched.

See the development of Porto Dubai in photos:

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