The “Arabian Canal” is a Defunct Water Conduit in Dubai

Arabian Canal, Dubai, Richard Allenby-Pratt, photography, nature, travel, environmental art

In my last post I featured a photograph of an unused structure out in the desert near Dubai, a concrete amphitheatre. It turns out there was more to explore. 

Not far away is an area of desert that is difficult to access, being fenced off from most directions. I found a cross country way to visit the area as I was intrigued by a strange array of waterways and scars in the landscape.

I eventually found an old dusty sign that informed me the area was part of a defunct development once known as ‘The Arabian Canal’.

If you’ve never followed the google earth coordinates on my posts then this is the time to start ( 24°49’5.13″N  55° 7’50.13″E) This point will show you where the photograph was taken, but if you follow the desert north you will see a monumental earthwork that is being slowly swallowed by the desert.

The Arabian Canal was one of Dubai’s most environmentally shocking plans, an attempt to create tens of kilometres of valuable waterfront real estate in the middle of the virgin desert.

More on this subject soon!

Note from the editor: this photograph is part of a series called “Consumption” that seeks to document consumerism’s impact on the environment. From resource extraction and commodity production all the way down the supply chain to retail stores and waste processing facilities, Richard artfully examines what nature has come to mean in a world that depends on buying stuff.

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3 thoughts on “The “Arabian Canal” is a Defunct Water Conduit in Dubai”

  1. richard says:

    Interesting idea Michael! I have a post coming soon that touches upon that issue.

  2. Michael Lehner says:

    I think that idea has merit and should be explored. What if there was a huge dredging operation to create a canal from a body of salt water into a desert where the water could soak into the sand. I imagine that eventually, the water would naturally desalinate and enter some sort of an aquifer where it could be drawn upon to meet the needs of the people. I have wondered why with all that oil money someone over there that some inventive person doesn’t just pump water from the ocean out into the desert and “see what happens”. Not as spectacular as the Burj Dubai but what if it created a huge underground aquifer of pure water? Wouldn’t that be cool?

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