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Dubai announces $8 billion plan for rainwater drainage system

1 min

Dubai, one of the most iconic cities in the United Arab Emirates, announced an ambitious $8 billion project on Monday to establish a rainwater drainage system. 

The United Arab Emirates was hit on April 16, 2024, by the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in the country since measurements began in 1949 © Mena Today 

Dubai, one of the most iconic cities in the United Arab Emirates, announced an ambitious $8 billion project on Monday to establish a rainwater drainage system. 

This decision comes two months after unprecedented torrential rains and widespread flooding paralyzed the city, highlighting the vulnerability of its infrastructure to climatic extremes.

The project was unveiled on X by Dubai's ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He specified that construction of the network would begin immediately and is expected to be completed by 2033. "It will cover all areas of Dubai and absorb more than 20 million cubic meters of water per day, 

increasing the rainwater drainage capacity in the emirate by 700%," he stated. This network aims to bolster Dubai’s preparedness against future climatic challenges and protect its infrastructure and residents.

The United Arab Emirates was hit on April 16, 2024, by the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in the country since measurements began in 1949. In just one day, nearly two years' worth of rain fell, causing devastating floods that resulted in at least four deaths.

In Dubai, residential neighborhoods, shopping malls, and major roads were submerged. Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest in the world, had to cancel more than 2,000 flights, leading to major disruptions for travelers and airlines.

The emirate, which has built its wealth and reputation on massive investments in luxury tourism and infrastructure, experienced significant disruptions for several days. This event dealt a blow to its image of efficiency and modernity.

In the absence of a system to drain excess water, authorities had to rely on trucks to pump water using giant hoses and manually evacuate it. 

This rainwater drainage project is therefore crucial to prevent a recurrence of such incidents and to ensure the city’s resilience in the face of extreme weather events.

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