Water Canal, Dubai

The opening of the Dubai Water Canal marks one of the city’s most magnificent urban transformations. The canal is 3.2 km long, starts from the old city of Dubai and winds its way through the Business Bay before ending its course in the Persian Gulf. The project is truly impressive, having required the transformation of infrastructures in one of the busiest areas of Dubai. Yet, the job was completed in just three years. The canal itself is a spectacle not to be missed. The project has created an area of 80,000 square metres to be dedicated to public spaces and facilities of various types, including hotels, restaurants and shops, to be built over the next few years on both banks of the canal.

A strategic part of the project is the lighting, which has been entrusted to Neri. Neri worked side by side with Greek lighting design firm CPLD to make sure the result was exactly what designers and clients were after. A hi-tech lighting lamp post was thus designed and made in a very short time; the LED light source not only lights up the pedestrian pathway but also reflects on the water giving the canal a one-of-a-kind spectacular appearance. Not just one colour but red, green, yellow, blue, white, violet and light blue, all with continuous movement option. At night, the spectacle is impressive and represents Dubai’s biggest attraction. The landscape on both banks is constantly changing thanks to the reflection of the light on the water and to the switch-on times of the various modules. The lights come on and go off one after the other both vertically and horizontally. The project comprises a number of pedestrian bridges which allow crossing the canal at key points, enjoying the breathtaking views and watching the boats sail by. The most spectacular bridge is the arch-shaped one, visible from every part of the canal. The second pedestrian bridge has a very dynamic Y-shaped structure. Finally, the third bridge features a helical-shaped steel structure which gives it a fascinating rotating movement. At the point of intersection between the canal and the Sheikh Zayed Road bridge, an artificial waterfall has been installed. This prodigious mechanical device, operated by sensors, pumps a constant flow of water through the bridge. The waterfall, visible from the pedestrian pathway, shuts off when a sensor detects any passing boats. On either side of the Water Canal is a long pedestrian pathway for joggers and families who can easily pass over from one side of the canal to another thanks to the pedestrian bridges.

The light designed by Neri lights it up in a very efficient and uniform way. The lighting lamp posts feature cameras positioned at the side of the light body, mobile phone top up and Wi-Fi coverage. The view of the canal towards the Dubai skyscrapers is the most spectacular of all and the lamp posts with their changing colours make it one-of-a-kind.