Dubai's ruler approves canal extension

DUBAI, Oct 6 (Reuters) - The ruler of Dubai has given approval for the expansion of the emirate's Business Bay Canal project at a cost of 1.5 billion dirhams ($411 million) over two years, the Roads and Transport Authority said on Saturday.

After three bleak years when the government and state-linked property developers put projects on hold in the wake of Dubai's property market crash, a string of development plans is now moving ahead.

"Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum...has endorsed the extension of the Business Bay Canal Project, including modifications of roads and bridges required for extending the water canal from Sheikh Zayed Road up to the Arabian Gulf," the authority said.

Mattar Al Tayer, executive director of the authority, said in the statement that the 2.8 kilometre (1.8 mile) expansion would generate business opportunities including the possibility of using it to build floating hotels.

Earlier this year Dubai revived plans to build an opera house and this week, builder Link Global announced it would proceed with the Taj Arabia complex, a $1 billion replica of India's Taj Mahal that would include a 300-room hotel.

(Reporting by Amena Bakr; Editing by Andrew Torchia)