What does it take to build the largest artificial islands in the world? How are 65,000 fish moved from the Arabian Sea to the world’s largest aquarium? How can a joystick and a robot impact the outcome of a camel race? These engineering and technological mysteries are explored in the latest instalment in Discovery Channel’s groundbreaking original MegaWorld series.
Premiering Sun., June 29 at 7 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT, and simulcast on Discovery HD, MegaWorld: Dubai examines some of the innovations that are pushing the emirate to the forefront of engineering, construction and emergency preparedness. From a small trading port to a thriving economic hub and the most populous region in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai is quickly proving it is more than just a striking locale but a dynamic region on the cutting edge of exotic engineering.
Hosted by Kevin Brauch (da Vinci: Unlocking the Genius, Thirsty Traveller), this fascinating one-hour special examines a world of firsts for the emirate including the world’s largest artificial islands and the world’s largest open water aquarium. Each story explains how these large-scale projects have come to fruition and the how the region’s infrastructure has been designed to support the vast expansion in Dubai. Aside from their achievements in engineering, construction and tourism, find out how the emirate is using technology to benefit everything from policing to recreational camel racing.
Highlights from MegaWorld: Dubai include:
Dredging the World-Famous Palm Islands
The Palm Islands off the coast of Dubai are the largest artificial islands in the world. Commissioned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to increase Dubai’s tourism, each of the three islands will be shaped like a palm tree. Once completed, the islands will add 520 kilometres of beaches to the area and will be home to residential, leisure and entertainment centres. MegaWorld goes behind the scenes at the site to reveal how this large-scale operation can be completed. Step aboard one of the dredging ships used in the project as workers rush to finish reclamation of the Palm’s trunk. Watch as this impressive project is accomplished by dredging up sand from the bottom of the Persian Gulf and offloading it, guided by GPS, in specific locations. Then, don’t miss an exclusive interview with Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem – Sheikh Mohammed’s right hand man – who sheds light on the benefits of this undertaking.
Robot Camel Racing
Robots are taking over human jobs everyday, and the traditional camel racing business is no different. Camel races are now fully automated in the UAE and make for a peculiar sight. Watch as a camel handler follows the rider in a vehicle and uses a joystick on the laptop-sized remote to issue four instructions: forward, backward, sideways and whip action. The robot, which stops if the camel stumbles, is equipped with sensors to receive the camel’s reactions. And if that isn’t impressive enough, the robot is also equipped with a global positioning system and shock absorbers. Find out the secrets behind the evolution of camel racing and just what it takes to win.
Patrolling the World’s Fastest Growing City
Patrolling one of the fastest growing cities in the UAE can be a challenge but the police in Dubai are quickly becoming equipped to deal with virtually any problem they encounter. MegaWorld heads inside their police command centre which is filled with giant plasma screens displaying the location of every helicopter, cruiser or on-foot officer in the city. Having to keep watch over some of the busiest streets in the Middle East, Dubai’s police department has become adept at dealing with traffic mayhem. To cope with the stress on the roads, Dubai is building infrastructure at breakneck speeds: a multibillion dollar automated metro slated to be the longest in the world, 500 kilometres of new roads, 95 new interchanges and nine new ring roads. While the growth has its benefits, it also leaves the region vulnerable to terrorist attacks. In a Discovery Channel first, watch as the Dubai Police Department trains for reacting to dozens of potential emergency scenarios. From roadside explosions and skyscraper rescues to terrorist attacks, see how well prepared these officers are for the unexpected.
Mega Marine Move – From the Arabian Sea to the World’s Largest Open Water Aquarium
Rising from the coastline of the largest man-made island in the world is Atlantis: The Palm, a $1.53-billion (Cdn) hotel development project. Situated on the apex of Palm Jumeriah and reachable by monorail, the hotel will also boast Jurassic Park-style gates that lead to a marine paradise. Inside Atlantis, construction on the world’s largest open water aquarium – the hotel’s central focus – is almost complete. Meet the team overseeing the transport of 65,000 Arabian Sea fish into Atlantis’ 12,000 kilolitre Ambassador Lagoon aquarium. From construction engineers to the experts monitoring the fish, learn how the world’s largest open-water aquarium came to be on Dubai’s famous Palm Jumeriah Island.
The MegaWorld series is produced by EPI in association with Discovery Channel (Canada).