2019 Volume 7 Issue 3 Pages 33-44
Dubai’s 2020 Expo is expected to authenticate Dubai’s status as an emerging Arab city that displays modernity through iconic projects, sequences of fragmented urban enclaves, and engineered landscapes. The new Dubai Canal creates a navigational route that interlaces the historic centre with newly emerging artificial islands. The new Canal accentuates Dubai’s city image as an urban space found on technologically advanced infrastructural systems, and offers new panoramas of the city, enhancing its walkability, and creating public spaces along its banks. This current paper studies the urban changes and the city’s shift of focus manifest with these new waterfront developments. The attempt to unify the functions of the urban space, to live, work, move, and recreate in the same space is analysed as a departure from the fragmented practices existing until now. The recreation of historical forms and functions in a modern setup, and the attempt of Dubai to present itself as a global city through the use of architectural elements belonging to various cultures in order to appeal to different ethnicities are also discussed. Finally, in order to assess whether stagnation points would develop in the Canal which could jeopardize its function and appeal, a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model was utilized to predict the velocity and the circulation flow pattern in the canal, bends and lagoons.