The centrepiece of downtown Dubai, a city filled with modern architectural marvels to baffle one’s mind is the Dubai fountains. Situated on the manmade Burj Kalifa Lake which runs between the Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar, the palace hotel and Burj Dubai, the fountain is quite possibly one of the largest in the world spanning a length of 279 meters, almost the length of two football fields. Designed by WET Design, a California based company and developed by Emaar, the fountains were built at a cost of AED 800 million (USD 218 million). Surpassing its sister fountain at the Bellagio Hotel Lake in Las Vegas by 25%, the Dubai fountains have the capacity to shoot water as far as 500 ft and 22,000 gallons at any given point.
The fountain consists of many high pressure water jets and shooters to create the fluid movements to match the rhythm of the songs with astounding precision. The oarsmen or water robots make the water dance while the shooters, shoot the water up in to the sky. Super shooters have a capacity to shoot up to 240 ft in the air while the extreme shooters can go as high as 420 ft, a height of a 50 storey building. Though the extreme shooters are not used in the shows anymore, the super shooters are used but require high pressures and time to build up that pressure and so are rarely used. The water jets are accompanied by 6,600 light and 25 colour projectors to create an eclectic array of stunning lights and dance in the water. The central beam can be seen 20 miles away and is quite possibly the brightest point in the Middle East as seen from space.
With a loud boom and a swish, the water dances to the beats of Arabian contemporary music, English classics, world music and even a few Bollywood favourites. The water raises with a blaze of colour and glamour from the deepest blue of the lake to the beats of ‘Baba Yetu’ an award winning Swahili song, ‘Time to say Goodbye’ , ‘I will always love you’ by Whitney Houston, ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson are among the few. The shows are performed daily with half hour duration each from 6 pm to 11 pm.