Editorial: Dubai’s Underbelly Exposed

Editorial: Dubai’s Underbelly Exposed

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Friday, April 19, 2024, 02:16 AM IST
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The recent deluge in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), caused by a staggering 254 millimetres (10 inches) of rainfall in one day, has unveiled a harsh reality: the profound impact of unchecked development on a fragile ecosystem. Dubai's relentless pursuit of progress has led to the creation of architectural marvels, including the tallest building, the speediest lifts, the largest malls, and the busiest motorways and airports. However, this unprecedented development has come at a cost. The city's infrastructure, ill-prepared for such extreme weather events, crumbled under the weight of torrential rains. Cars were swept away, power supply was disrupted, people were stranded at their workplaces or on the roads, and the airport runway was submerged under water. The absence of a proper drainage system exacerbated the chaos, underscoring the shortcomings of lopsided planning.

Furthermore, Dubai has emerged as a pioneer in cloud-seeding technology, a controversial practice aimed at inducing rainfall. While the government denies any correlation between cloud-seeding and the recent downpour, many residents attribute the deluge to the unintended consequences of weather modification attempts. The repercussions extend beyond Dubai, with neighbouring Oman also experiencing significant human casualties as a result of the alarming rains. These catastrophic events serve as a stark reminder of the interconnectedness of climate change and extreme weather phenomena. Just a few years ago, the desert regions of Rajasthan witnessed cyclonic rains, reminiscent of those recently seen in Pakistan. These occurrences underscore the urgent need for global action to mitigate the impacts of climate change, a crisis exacerbated by human activity. In the shadow of Dubai's iconic landmarks, such as the Dubai Frame, where visitors are offered a glimpse of a futuristic cityscape, lies a sobering reality: the fragility of our environment in the face of relentless development.

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