Dubai gets $8 Billion stormwater upgrade after massive flooding

With runways that looked like the Great Lakes in Canada and malls and parking lots flooded, Dubai understands that it’s time to upgrade and has announced an $8 billion plan to build an extensive stormwater runoff system, following unprecedented floods that paralyzed the city two months ago.

The post Dubai gets $8 Billion stormwater upgrade after massive flooding appeared first on Green Prophet.

Flooding in Dubai

Extreme flooding in Dubai two months ago shows unprepared the UAE is for extreme weather events. Artificial islands, massive buildings like the Burj and malls without connection to stormwater pipes or sewage systems shows the lack of planning for the city, once a fishing village, that was built up in a frenetic pace in the last 20 years.

With runways that looked like the Great Lakes in Canada and malls and parking lots flooded, Dubai understands that it’s time to upgrade and has announced an $8 billion plan to build an extensive stormwater runoff system, following unprecedented floods that paralyzed the city two months ago.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Dubai’s ruler, announced the ambitious project on social media, highlighting its significance in addressing future climate challenges. Foreign workers, of which Dubai is plentiful, will be charged with building the massive infrastructure project. We hope human rights conditions and decent salaries will be part of the deal.

Dubai and the Middle East in general, especially Qatar, is known for exploiting foreign and migrant workers.


Set to be completed by 2033, with construction starting immediately, Dubai’s rainwater drainage network will cover all areas of Dubai and is designed to absorb more than 20 million cubic meters of water daily, enhancing the UAE’s drainage capacity by 700 percent. This makes it the largest project of its kind in the region. Will the rainwater be put to use or will it just go down the drain? Rainwater is important for replenishing aquifers and staving off desertification. Perhaps it could be channeled to planting trees in the city to reduce the daily temperatures and which will also improve extreme flooding events in the case of high levels of precipitation.

The announcement comes in the wake of record-breaking rains that hit the UAE on April 16, leading to widespread flooding. The deluge, the heaviest in 75 years since records started resulted in the deaths of at least four people and caused significant disruptions, including at Dubai International Airport which was washed out.

Global warming, driven by fossil fuel emissions, is believed to have intensified these rains. The severe weather also affected neighboring Oman, where 21 people lost their lives.

In other weather-related events between the 14 and 19 June 2024, at least 1,301 people on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca died due to extreme heat, with temperatures exceeding 50 °C, making it one of the deadliest Hajj to date.

This new infrastructure plan in Dubai aims to prepare the city for future climate events, ensuring the city remains resilient in uncertain uncertain conditions.

Thinking about a trip to Dubai? Have a technology to offer them that could help with stormwater runoff? Start here.

The post Dubai gets $8 Billion stormwater upgrade after massive flooding appeared first on Green Prophet.

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