Flooding Puts Spotlight on Dubai’s Population Growth

Flooding Puts Spotlight on Dubai’s Population Growth

Dubai residents receive help from volunteers as they evacuate their flooded homes

Recent flooding in Dubai has underscored the challenges the city faces as it plans to increase its population by 2.5 million by 2040. The historic April 16 storm caused significant disruption, highlighting the need for improved water management systems. Experts suggest that adopting sustainable urban drainage systems, similar to those used in Singapore, could help Dubai manage its rapid growth.

The Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan aims to double the land for parks and green spaces, establish urban farming areas, and dedicate 60% of the emirate to nature reserves.

Extensive flooding in Dubai

Steven Velegrinis, design director at Gensler, emphasized the need for strategic planning to align infrastructure development with population growth. He noted that the city’s rapid urbanization has stressed water management systems, and that careful, long-term planning is essential.

Erin Grover highlighted the importance of immediate action to protect against future floods, while Simona Azzali from the Canadian University of Dubai stressed that climate adaptation should be integrated into every urban project. Training for government employees on water management is also crucial, according to Hazem Gouda of the University of Wollongong in Dubai.

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