Dubai Water Canal at Darc Awards

Opened Nov. 9, 2016, the Dubai Water Canalis the new massive public work commissioned by the city government to turn the centre of Dubai into a circumnavigable island. The Italian company Neri SpA has been commissioned with the lighting of the promenades designed by CPLD, an Athenian lighting design firm.

The project has been nominated in the category "Best Landscape Lighting Scheme – High Budget" for the London Darc Awards. The canal, which costed 2.7 million AEDs, is3.2km long and 80-120m wide, and winds through Dubai's main arterial road, the Sheikh Zayed Road, Safa Park and the Jumeirah residential district, ending in the Persian Gulf. After several projects in the Middle East – from the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi to the new City Walk and Meeras shopping malls in Dubai, from Lusail in Qatar to The Waves in Muscat, Oman – Neri SpA has been selected to work together with the Greek lighting designer Christos Papachristos to one of the most iconic projects of the latest years. From the promenades to the squares, from the taxi stations to the bridges, the CPLD study dealt with the strategic lighting plan of the whole area, defining the night-time identity of the entire district.

In response to the customer's request for a series of attractive and dynamic spaces, the lighting designers conceived a functional and flexible lighting. The landscape lighting has been integrated to the functional one through the use of specially designed streetlights, made by Neri SpA and positioned along the pedestrian paths.

Power Line Communication is the system used for all functional lighting, providing real-time feedback and control for each lighting source. A sophisticated dialogue between light, space and time has been thus achieved, thanks to the dynamic lighting system that enhances the multi-sensory experience of the promenade, giving identity to the place. The reflection of light on the water flowing in the channel and its connection to the lunar cycle have been the main source of inspiration for the lighting system. The basic element of the light movement has been the main design tool, by modifying the light intensity and preprogramming the RGBW LED segments placed towards the canal within the vertical elements and above the lamp.

The extremely complex lampposts manufactured for the project incorporate smart controls to manage the different lighting points, as well as Wi-Fi, USB outlets and cameras. The pedestrian path is illuminated with white light, while24-channel RGBW lights are provided for colouring the water. 4-channel RGBW lights have been chosen for the terminal part of the streetlight and to illuminate the facades of the buildings behind. The panorama on both banks continuously changes thanks to the always different light reflection on the water run by tailored DMX controls. Seen from afar, the rhythmic pattern of light of the Neri lampposts on both sides creates a vertical projection of the channel, thus expanding its elegant serpentine course on the mainland.