Dubai: Tea-coloured pond near Mall of the Emirates restored after residents raise concerns

Water took on an unusual brownish tint at popular scenic spot prompting worries about potential algae blooms

by

Mazhar Farooqui

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Published: Tue 16 Jan 2024, 2:11 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 Jan 2024, 8:08 AM

Visitors to the popular Mall of the Emirates Jogging Pond in Al Barsha have raised concerns about the declining water quality at the scenic spot. Photographs obtained by the Khaleej Times depict thick layers of unsightly tea-coloured or brown water, prompting speculation about potential algal blooms affecting the pond.

Algal blooms are dense accumulations of tiny green plants on the water's surface, often caused by an excess of nutrients, primarily phosphorus, which algae depend on for growth.

Situated near the Mall of the Emirates Metro Station and directly opposite the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, the area is a magnet for visitors, drawing both locals and tourists alike.

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Even residents in the vicinity, like Alain, a Filipino expatriate who has frequented the park for nearly two years, expressed surprise at the deteriorating conditions. Alain remarked, "I regularly walk or run along the trail, given its proximity to my residence. However, the muddy brown water is a turn-off. There's now an unpleasant smell lingering in the air."

Dubai Municipality statement

Dubai Municipality, responsible for park maintenance, said in a statement to the Khaleej Times: "Saline lakes sometimes turn a pink or reddish hue. It is a natural occurrence that happens occasionally due to the proliferation of a pigmented species of protozoan, an organism similar to algae. The same natural phenomenon happened several years ago in lakes under the jurisdiction of Dubai Municipality, which did not cause any adverse effect."

Imteyaz Ahmad, Managing Director of Future Water and Power Consulting, suggested the discoloured water could be the onset of algae bloom, possibly linked to weather conditions and changes in water quality.

However, Dubai Municipality reiterated that "the alteration in water colour does not indicate any harm to the surrounding environment" and that the "water remains entirely safe".

"Numerous lakes in the UAE have experienced this natural phenomenon before. It can last for a few days, weeks, or even months, after which the water gradually returns to its original colour," Dubai Municipality said, sharing recent pictures showing the water restored to its original clarity.

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