Dubai Water Canal


Transforming the heart of Dubai

Dubai Water Canal


The Dubai Water Canal is one of the world’s biggest urban transformations and Dubai’s largest infrastructure project. The three kilometre canal has revolutionised travel and leisure throughout the city, connecting Dubai Creek in the city’s Old Quarter with the Arabian Gulf. Three iconic pedestrian bridges were constructed across the canal with works taking place both before and after it was flooded, requiring world-class expertise and engineering excellence.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority

$420 million


2014 - 2016

Parsons Overseas Limited
Halcrow International Partnership

Construct Only


Pedestrian bridges

6 km

Waterfront recreational area

3.2M m³

Of soil dredged to create the canal


Concrete blocks used to fortify the banks, each weighing 40 tonnes


Dubai’s largest urban transformation

Massive project, minimal interruption

An extension of Dubai Creek, the impressive Dubai Canal creates a fully navigable channel through the Business Bay development from Al Ras to Jumeirah. The canal bed was dredged down four to six metres which allowed for the construction of the remaining sections of the quay wall. Given the project interfaced with large residential areas and major transport arteries, meticulous methodology and techniques were used to reduce impact. Methods included non-destructive road crossings, directional drilling and micro-tunnelling, and pushing concrete GRP pipes over 100 metres. Such techniques are typically used for single road crossings but proved effective when applied on a much larger scale. 

Engineering excellence

Rising above the canal are three iconic pedestrian bridges showcasing intelligent design and providing an exquisite landmark for the city. These bridges connect residents and visitors with recreational precincts and major transport networks. Construction of the bridges benefited from the technical expertise of BESIX’s in-house engineering department to ensure all complex challenges were successfully overcome. This included innovative methodology to ensure works could continue over a marine environment once the canal was flooded. Meticulous and detailed planning ensured the project was delivered in time for the Sheikh’s inauguration and formal opening ceremony.


“By using innovative directional drilling techniques and diverting the canal route for excavation works, we were able to reduce the impact on day-to-day traffic and local residents to a minimum.”

Hussein Saad, Operations Manager, Six Construct

#Contact us

Find your nearest BESIX Watpac office

Contact Us