Dubai Doesn’t Have a Sewer System- Previously Truth! Now Resolved!

Dubai Doesn’t Have a Sewer System- Previously Truth! Now Resolved! 

Summary of the eRumor:
The United Arab Emirates city of Dubai was developed without a sewer system so trucks are brought in carry away human waste.
The Truth:
Reports that Dubai doesn’t have a sewer system and that raw sewage has to be tucked to treatment plants were once true, but the issue was resolved by 2013
Dubai’s sewage controversy started in 2009. A YouTube video showing a long line of tankers transporting human waste out of Dubai for treatment at a plant went viral early that year.
Then, ABC News reported that despite being “filthy rich,” Dubai suffered from E. coli outbreaks because much of the city wasn’t connected to a sewer system. Raw sewage was being dumped into storm drains instead of being trucked to treatment plants:

Along with being gross and a health hazard, the sewage problem advertises a city that has grown faster than its infrastructure. As Dubai’s population has boomed and its skyline expanded on a tremendous scale at great speed, some basic city needs suffer apparent neglect.

Dr. Mohammad Raouf, an environmental economist based in Dubai, confirmed the Times Online report. He says the sewage dumping does happen and that it is a problem of capacity.

“Here is the main problem I believe: we grow very fast without taking into consideration all possible negative impacts,” he told me, adding that the mega-real estate projects along the waterfront don’t help.

Within a few years, however, Dubai city planners said that its sewer system had caught up with the fast pace of city development, according to a 2011 report from Gulf Today:

A NUMBER of newly developed areas in Dubai, including locations around Sheikh Zayed Road, Business Bay, Dubai Marina and Aweer have been linked to the main sewage network of the city.

Dubai Municipality (DM) claims that the delivery of sewerage services has been ensured in the entire areas of the city with the completion of the several new projects, including the establishment of a giant sewage water treatment plant at Jebel Ali at an estimated cost of Dhs1.55 billion.

Talib Julfar, the director of Drainage and Irrigation Department at the DM, said that new plant, second phase of which was completed in 2010, would be the main sewage treatment plant for the city in place of the current Al Aweer plant.

“An odour treatment plant was also set up to prevent emission of unpleasant stench affecting the surrounding areas,” he added.

“The waste water treatment plant, spanning over an area of 670 hectares of land, has a capacity of processing 300,000 cubic metres per day, 150,000 cubic metres for each phase,” elaborated Julfar.

“Giant sewage pumping stations and pipelines, including a project at an estimated cost of Dhs580 million have been set up to transfer sewage from Dubai’s different areas to the plant and transfer treated irrigation water to various locations in the city,” he noted.

Before oil reserves were discovered in Dubai in 1966, it was nothing more than a port town and market. In 1971, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah joined together to create the United Arab Emirates, one of the richest countries in the world, according to UAE’s official website:

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Dubai took a strategic decision to emerge as a major international-quality tourism destination. Investments in tourism infrastructure have paid off handsomely over the years.

Dubai is now a city that boasts unmatchable hotels, remarkable architecture and world-class entertainment and sporting events. The beautiful Burj Al Arab hotel presiding over the coastline of Jumeira beach is the world’s only hotel with a seven star rating. The Emirates Towers are one of the many structures that remind us of the commercial confidence in a city that expands at a remarkable rate. Standing 350 meters high, the office tower is the tallest building in the Middle East and Europe.

The fast pace of Dubai’s (and the rest of the UAE’s) development brought growing pains, including the sewage woes from this rumor. By all accounts, however, Dubai implemented city-wide sewer systems years ago.