Strategic Sewerage Tunnels – Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  • Dubai Municipality (DM)
Project Value

3.2 Billion


Energy And Environment, Tunneling, Water And Wastewater


Design And Urban Planning, Program/Construction Management (PM/CM)

In 2016, Parsons was awarded the Dubai Strategic Sewerage Tunnel project by Dubai Municipality. The project involves building a deep sewerage tunnel system for Dubai that supports the city’s strategic 50-year master plan. The works include building two deep wastewater tunnels, and the associated deep pump stations and link sewers. When complete, the project will eliminate over 100 pump stations throughout the city. The primary objectives for the project are to reduce the overall cost of treating wastewater in the Emirate, reduce carbon emissions (through the use of gravity systems), decrease power consumption, and prepare for Dubai’s expected population growth.

Careful Planning Is Key To Success

Building such a large and important piece of infrastructure requires careful planning – to make sure that it is built correctly, and that it meets its intended purpose. Therefore, we undertook extensive master plan flow forecasts and feasibility studies to check that our design met planning parameters and forecast methodologies. This involved liaising extensively with local developers to incorporate updated population and land-use projects into our model. Our design and construction methodologies also required detailed planning. For example, we carefully selected shaft sites so that we minimized traffic disruptions and inconvenience to the public. And we adopted a deep tunnel design to mitigate surface disruptions, as compared with traditional open-cut construction techniques. Sustainability was another focus. The project incorporates sustainable characteristics focused on reducing energy requirements.

The Dubai Strategic Sewerage Tunnels project will convert the existing sewerage system from a pumped system to a gravity system by decommissioning the existing pump stations and providing a sustainable, innovative, reliable service for future generations.

Project Scope And Environmental Impact

Our scope included updates to the master plan flow forecasts, feasibility studies, preliminary design, tender preparation, program management for the detailed design consultants and design-build contractors, and construction supervision of the primary tunnels and terminal pumping stations. We also conducted studies to optimize the current functionality of WSTP and JSTP as part of synergizing the existing facility to the tunnel system in the future. Other studies include stormwater relief management, sewerage system policy, financial modeling, environmental impact assessment, and system resilience through risk assessments. We were also responsible for implementing an innovative project management information system (PMIS) with building information management (BIM) capabilities and conducted public engagement plans for the project.

Dubai Tunnels

During this project, we ensured our design minimized traffic disruptions and inconvenience to the public by careful selection of shaft sites. In addition, the deep tunnel design largely mitigated surface disruptions to the environment, compared with traditional open-cut construction techniques.

Project Updates

In June 2023, the Executive Council of Dubai approved the transformation of Dubai’s sewerage system, including the procurement of the Dubai Strategic Sewerage Tunnels (DSST). The Dubai Municipality (DM) has the support of the Dubai Government to procure and deliver DSST under a public-private partnership (“PPP”) model. DSST will be procured and delivered under six packages.

J1, J2, and W will be procured under a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (“DBFOM”) PPP model, with a concession length anticipated to be in the range of 25-35 years. J3 will be procured under a Design-Build-Finance (“DBF”) PPP Model, with a concession length anticipated to be in the range of 25-35 years. J1, J2, W, and J3 constitute the “DSST-TLT” project.

The procurement models for J-STP and W-STP are currently under consideration. While they are integral components of the DSST system, they will be procured under a process separate from the DSST-TLT procurement process.

We have delivered the preliminary design and tender documents, and we have also provided a recommended contract strategy for the PDR. Parsons is currently serving as Technical Advisor to DM, supporting EPC contractors’ prequalification process.

Innovating With Our Management Information System (PMIS)

Innovation is one of our core values, and we demonstrated this by developing and implementing a Project Management Information System (PMIS), which was a first for the client. We worked with Dubai Municipality to create a PMIS that it can use on both this and future projects. The PMIS was also designed to integrate seamlessly with Dubai Municipality’s existing systems. The PMIS provides the project management team with project information in dashboard format, allowing for quick assessment of progress and performance. It also hosts all design and construction documentation for easy access by the engineering consultants and construction contractors.

Services Provided

  • Feasibility studies
  • Preliminary design
  • Project Management Information System (PMIS)
  • Sewerage policy study
  • Financial model
  • Public engagement
  • System resiliency study
  • Tender preparation and support
  • Project Management Consultant (PMC) for detailed design
  • PMC for design and build
  • Construction supervision
Learn More About Our Tunnel Expertise

We provide innovative solutions to some of the largest, most complex tunnel and underground construction projects in the world. Our skilled and experienced experts are dedicated to overcoming the toughest challenges to deliver technical solutions that yield multiple benefits (e.g. cost, time and efficiency benefits). As on this project, the team considered every aspect of the design and build processes – from how to deliver on the client’s objectives, while minimizing disruption to residents and reducing any environmental impact. Our approach is thorough and holistic. We focus on the detail, and the ‘big picture’. Learn more about our tunnel solutions.

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