Arabian Canal

Location: 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Arabian Canal will be the largest infrastructure project in the world. Planned as a 75 kilometer waterway, the Canal will provide a special amenity for inland inhabitants.  Flanked on both sides by a broad corridor of mixed development, Arabian Canal brings water inland from the Arabian Gulf into the deserts of Dubai.  A hierarchy of places drapes the landscape, from high-density urban centers along the Grand Canal to smaller towns and villages in the areas beyond.  A system of secondary canals radiates away from the main waterway, yielding a more temperate microclimate to surrounding neighborhoods.  Large architectural canopies shade the streets from the hot desert sun, enhancing the plan’s pedestrian environment.  
The canal will function as a navigable sea level waterway, providing a new arena for tourism and recreational boating.  A tightly-woven network of roadways and transit will link a diverse range of communities and open spaces, with parks and public plazas, wetlands, wadi trails, and riparian corridors.  Energy, water and waste systems will be integrated and mutually beneficial, with typically wasted resources transformed into valuable inputs for re-use. Sustainability practices include solar photovoltaics, cogeneration, solar heating, and distributed wastewater treatment, with particular focus on water demand reduction.  

The Arabian Canal will be the largest infrastructure project in the world. Planned as a 75 kilometer (47 miles) waterway, the Canal will provide a special amenity for inland inhabitants.  Flanked on both sides by a broad corridor of mixed development, Arabian Canal brings water inland from the Arabian Gulf into the deserts of Dubai.  A hierarchy of places drapes the landscape, from high-density urban centers along the Grand Canal to smaller towns and villages in the areas beyond.  A system of secondary canals radiates away from the main waterway, yielding a more temperate microclimate to surrounding neighborhoods.  Large architectural canopies shade the streets from the hot desert sun, enhancing the plan’s pedestrian environment.  

The canal will function as a navigable sea level waterway, providing a new arena for tourism and recreational boating.  A tightly-woven network of roadways and transit will link a diverse range of communities and open spaces, with parks and public plazas, wetlands, 'wadi' trails, and riparian corridors.  Energy, water and waste systems will be integrated and mutually beneficial, with typically wasted resources transformed into valuable inputs for re-use. Sustainability practices include solar photovoltaics, cogeneration, solar heating, and distributed wastewater treatment, with particular focus on water demand reduction.  

Aerial rendering of the Arabian Canal master plan
The Canal will change in character and design as it moves through the site
The Canal would be lined by public spaces and activities
Shaded 'Canal Streets' would connect important pedestrian destinations
In Phase 1, a special 'retail bridge' will be a prominent landmark
Architecture and the design of public spaces will be true to the local context
Illustrative Plan

Project Summary

    

Client: 

Limitless LLC (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Type: 

Master Plan

Program: 

Master Plan for 13,000 ha (32,000 ac) site | 2.5m population | 1.5m jobs

Status: 

Design completed 2008 | Phase I construction begun 2009