Authorities in Al Ain said the incident occurred on Friday afternoon when the Arab child, identified as Mohammed, was picnicking with his family in a public park located along the Abu Dhabi - Al Ain road.
The water canal is located just near the park.
The boy had gone out with his grandfather, mother, his brothers and aunt.
A friend of the family said Mohammed was playing with his 8-year-old younger brother when he got stuck in the mud on the banks of the canal before drowning in the water.
His younger brother reportedly tried to save Mohammed after seeing him struggling in the mud, but he got stuck in the mud too.
A resident, who was standing nearby, reportedly hurried to rescue both children. "The man only managed to pull the younger boy out of the mud, but was unable to save Mohammed as he had already been swept away in the water canal," said the Al Ain resident.
According to residents, the water canal reportedly had no safety fence or caution signs to alert the public that it was restricted to swim or play in it.
The rescued child was provided with first aid before he was transferred to a hospital in Al Ain. He is currently under treatment.
Divers from police and rescue teams reached the scene and they searched the water canal for almost an hour before finding the boy's body.
He was buried in Al Ain on Saturday.
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