Dubai created a Decision Support System using the latest weather forecasting technology in order to predict extreme weather events and protect the city’s coastline.

The Challenge

The Dubai coastline faces many risks because of climate change. Sea level is forecast to rise a minimum of 4 mm annually, while storm events are expected to be more frequent and severe. The Decision Support System for Marine and Waterways Management has integrated the latest technology to forecast extreme weather events and flooding, enabling the city to better respond and adapt to these climate change challenges.


The Solution

Dubai launched its Decision Support System for Marine and Waterways Management in 2012, the first of its kind in the region, reducing climate change-induced risks to the coastal zone. The system consists of an integrated suite of meteorological, hydrodynamic, and wave models, combined with real- time data management and Web-based tools, creating a coastal monitoring and forecasting system. The system has been successful in predicting extreme weather events 24 hours in advance, delivering data and decision support to the municipality and public users on everything from sea level rise; change in wave frequency, height, and direction; increased precipitation rates; coastal erosion; and increased sea water acidity. Not just providing actionable, real-time information, the system has allowed for the creation of a comprehensive historical database, as well as a coastal inundation tool, capable of forecasting and mapping the extent of coastal flooding. By collecting weather and oceanographic information, the municipality is able to account for future risks of climate change in its infrastructure planning and design for the Dubai coastline.


Environmental Benefits - The system is designed to help protect and maintain cultural heritage features along the coastline through their identification on maps and targeted monitoring.

Social Benefits - Data produced by the system is sold to developers and other stakeholders to assist in commercial planning.

Economic Benefits - Residents avoid injury and death via the provision of severe weather warnings from the system.

Health Benefits - Residents avoid injury and death via the provision of severe weather warnings from the system.


About Cities100

In its second year, Cities100 – presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation. For the first time, this year’s publication features solutions that address the nexus of climate change and social equity.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2016 publication online here and read more about how may­ors will de­liver the aims of the Paris Agree­ment in a fore­ward by Anne Hidalgo, C40 Chair and Mayor of Paris, here.