Dubai To Build $8bn Stormwater Runoff System After Record Floods

Dubai launched a $8 billion stormwater runoff system on Monday, two months after an enormous deluge and severe flooding halted operations in the desert state.

The rainwater drainage network unveiled by Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on social networking site X is scheduled to be completed by 2033, with building beginning immediately.

“It will cover all areas of Dubai and absorb more than 20 million cubic metres of water per day,” Sheikh Mohammed said of the proposal for Dubai, the UAE’s futuristic business capital.

It “will increase the capacity of rainwater drainage in the emirate by 700 percent and enhance the emirate’s readiness to face future climate challenges,” he stated, referring to it as the region’s largest such network.

A taxi drives through a flooded street following heavy rains in Dubai early on April 17, 2024. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP)


On April 16, the UAE experienced record rainfall, flooding homes and turning streets into rivers. The rainfall, exacerbated by a lack of storm drains, slowed Dubai’s airport, the world’s busiest for international passengers.

The greatest rainstorm in the UAE since records began 75 years ago killed at least four people, including three Filipino laborers and one Emirati.

The UAE authorities have not provided an official toll.

Dubai’s fashionable hub was severely disrupted for several days, dealing a dent to its polished image. Without drainage for extra water, authorities relied on trucks to pump it up with massive pipes and drive it away.

The World Weather Attribution group stated that global warming induced by fossil fuel emissions “most likely” intensified the severe rains that also devastated the neighboring sultanate of Oman, killing 21 people.



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