Vision and reality

Inauguration of Dubai Water Canal realises a scheme Sheikh Rashid proposed in the 1950s

A view of the Dubai Water Canal, which links the city's business hub to the Gulf AFP / Media office of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
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Many of the ambitious plans of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed, the late father of modern Dubai, have not just been ushered into reality by his son, Sheikh Mohammed, but achieved in a way that exceeded the original brief. The Dubai Water Canal, which involves a new 12km-long waterway from the head of Dubai Creek to the Arabian Gulf, was first proposed by Sheikh Rashid as part of this 1959 decision to dredge Dubai Creek, a visionary move that kickstarted the emirate’s ascent into the modern metropolis we know today.

The canal's inauguration adds another attraction for tourists, 30 million of whom are expected to visit it each year, offers the prospect of waterside living for thousands and will also improve the water quality in Dubai Creek. Those who once exercised in Safa Park, part of which was taken for the canal, can now run 24km along its banks without having to cross a road. This is one vision that has become a dream.