Dubai’s City Development Destroys Environment

Growth has been so rapid and enormous that people forget about the effects it has on the environment. Initially it was more of a business-comes-first attitude but now that environmental issue has risen, design professionals has come to realise that they have to be more cautious with what is being designed or built. The sustainability of the new booming Dubai is a worry for environmentalists. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) was ranked first as the least environmentally friendly country where residents in Dubai uses twice the resources as oppose to the people in Britain, according to recent global analysis of ecological resource use. [1]



Transformed from a regional centre to a global centre, other countries in the gulf are looking into following the same direction as Dubai, especially as they prepare for a population boom. With Dubai’s city still growing in terms of infrastructure and architecture, a number of problems are still not resolved. Congestion and hazardous traffic, lack of public transports (almost car dependent), poor pedestrian facilities as well as major concerns relating to environmental issues and sustainability are still evident in Dubai today. [2]

And despite the attempt to tackle the water issue through large treatment facilities, groundwater monitoring systems and more, these solutions still face hurdles.

Dubai needs to take care of some of the intangible environmental and human issues. Hundreds of skyscrapers are built where environmental standards being rarely applied. [3] So what would happen to the future of Dubai? While global warming is still a serious threat to the people and to the environment, a lifestyle that is dependent on the consumption of fossil fuels may not be maintained. This would mean that Dubai’s coastal and low-lying land would be at a high risk from flooding due to the rise of sea levels.



[1] Impossible Places – A Sustainable Future for Dubai?, 2013, <>, viewed on 19 October 2013

[2] Dubai Faces Environmental Problems After Growth, written by Liz Alderman, 27 October 2010, The New York times; Business Day – Energy and Environment,, viewed on 19 October 2013

[3] Developing Dubai, – Resource for Urban Development International, published 1997-2013, <>, viewed on 19 October 2013



Garbage piled up on a sewage plant property in Dubai. Sewage treatment operations have struggled to keep up with coming development, Lee Hoagland for the International Hearald Tribune, October 2010,, viewed on 22 October 2013

Bumper to bumper traffic on Al Ittihad Road which is used mostly by motorists commuting between Dubai and Sharjah. The number of vehicles plying on to Dubai roads has increased to some 1.4 million. Oliver Clarke/Gulf News, September 2010, <>, viewed on 2013


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