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Due to its extremely hot climate and high GDP, the United Arab Emirates has one of the largest per capita water consumptions in the world. Shopping centers and luxury hotels are built with lavish water decoration. Developers construct apartments with as many bathrooms as bedrooms. Sprinklers pump desalinated water onto golf courses, while underground aquifers are also being pumped dry.
The abundant use of water in desert cities symbolizes life, wealth and progress in the eyes of locals, whose parents still remember a very different, very arid world. In today’s Gulf metropolises there are uncountable water cascades, fountains and decorative pools, which form a dreamlike atmosphere between the shiny new buildings and the sea. Gigantic land reclamation projects are carried out to host some of the most expensive residential resorts on earth. These constructions literally grow out of the sea and build new land into a unique aquatic habitat.