Capillary Break

Salt Barrier - Dubai Water Canal, UAE

Client Meraas, Meydan and RTA

Al Bayader International and Tulipa Landscaping LLC

Consultant AE7 Consulting

Pozidrain Capillary Break




– Fast installation over large areas
– Re-use of excavated materials
– Eliminates drainage stone
– Reduces excavation requirements
– Provides a true capillary break against the rise of saline moisture

Project Description

The canal connects the Business Bay to the Arabian Gulf via a canal, creating the development of the Dubai Water Canal Project. The artificial canal was unveiled on 2 October 2013 and inaugurated on 9 November 2016. Included in the design of the Canal Project are various green networks. These networks allow pedestrians complete autonomy from vehicular traffic. The green networks connect through the parks, residential buildings, shopping and boardwalks.

The Challenge

The brief of the designers was to create a seamless flow for pedestrians allowing for more interaction with the water surface, as well as providing an uninterrupted walking path. AE7 designers recognised the need to provide and maintain a perfect green destination that local residents could enjoy, without the landscaping being affected by saline ground water problems. There are a very narrow range of plants that are salt resistant and salt is a major factor limiting plant growth.

Areas close to the sea where water tables can fluctuate, due to tides and other ground conditions, can cause a build-up of soluble salts in the soil. Capillary action within finer grades of soil can cause the salty ground moisture to rise, which then damages the plants. A simple impermeable barrier could be a solution in preventing capillary rise, except that when rainfall is heavy it also prevents either drainage or infiltration into the surface. A crushed stone break layer with multiple interval spacers could be a solution, but this can be expensive and hard to maintain. The ideal would be an impermeable barrier which was also acts as a spacer to drain water away very quickly in a storm event.

The Solution

ABG, working with the local distributor WT Burden Middle East, proposed the use of ABG’s Salt Barrier within the landscape build up along the canal perimeter to form an impermeable barrier to the rise of the saline moisture, whilst allowing collection and drainage of any surface water percolating down through the soils and paving above. ABG’s Salt Break layer is designed specifically as a drainage void layer and was installed to protect the imported clean soils from the rise of saline moisture through capillary action. It comprises a high strength cuspated core, bonded to a geotextile filter fabric.

ABG Salt Barrier stops the capillary rise of salty canal water, while draining fresh surface water

The ABG Service

ABG offered assistance with cost comparisons, drawings and installation advice. ABG manufactured and shipped from the UK to meet a tight deadline.

Contact ABG today to discuss your project specific requirements and discover how ABG past experience and innovative products can help.

Additional information