ABU DHABI, 11th November, 2016 (WAM) — Sometimes, while we live in the UAE, it’s often all too easy to overlook or under-appreciate the sheer scale of change taking place before our eyes. Anyone who lives in this city has grown accustomed to new towers reaching for the skies, each higher than the one before, each an architectural jewel. We are used to seeing grand public buildings, malls and facilities open up or new communities changing with virtually the turning of the calendar page every month.

Truly, though, something very unique occurred in Dubai on Wednesday evening as Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, inaugurated the Dubai Water Canal, said Gulf News in its editorial.

The occasion was the culmination of three years’ work and decades of planning. The project has now opened Dubai Creek back through the Business Bay district, under Sheikh Zayed Road, past Safa Park and out to the Arabian Gulf.

In effect, Bur Dubai and the Downtown District are now surrounded by flowing water. Putting it in perspective, the canal project represents the culmination of the dream of the father of modern Dubai, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. He had planned to deepen the Dubai Creek in 1959 to ease marine navigation and planned on constructing both Al Maktoum and Al Garhoud Bridges, as well as Al Shindagha Tunnel. Together, the creek now stretches for 12 kilometres, with the new Dubai Water Canal stretching for 3.2 kilometres.

What’s important to remember is that this project exemplifies the “can do” attitude of the UAE Government and officials. If Abu Dhabi decides to build a new Louvre Museum or to turn Sadiyaat Island into a cultural hotspot, it happens. If Dubai decides to build a Water Canal, it happens.

Yes, there may be detractors who look at the UAE through a vision blurred by their own limitations, but the reality is that innovation, progress and thinking out of the box have never been in short supply here.

When Dubai bid for Expo2020, it won. And that project will be completed on time and will be a jewel too. The Dubai Water Canal shows once more that officials in the UAE can deliver projects and are changing the very geography and history of our nation daily. This nation has never stopped moving forward over its 45 years and that’s something to be proud of.

WAM/Hazem/bashir