UAE

Watch: ‘O2 Engineers’ plant bottle-shaped Chorisia or Silk Floss trees with pink-red flowers for first time in Dubai

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It also released a video that showed how municipal workers, wearing fluorescent yellow uniforms that describe them as ‘O2 Engineers’, plant these trees and seasonal flowering plants at the project site. O2 is the chemical formula for oxygen, which is produced by plants.

The Chorisia tree (Chorisia Speciosa) belongs to the mallow family, featuring a broad, swollen stem that serves as a water reservoir, the municipality said. According to a species account published by the University of Redlands in California, its common name is Silk Floss Tree.

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The tree is native to the Amazon Rainforest in South America. It is also found elsewhere, used as a decorative tree.
Image Credit: Supplied

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These trees can reach a potential height of 25 metres with thick and thorny bottle-shaped trunks and branches. This plant is native to the Amazon Rainforest in South America but also can be found in other parts of the world as a decorative tree due to their colourful flower.

It has hibiscus-like flowers that make it look very distinct. Flowers can grow to five to six inches wide with a bright pink colour. The tree has fruits that have bean-sized black seeds and large seed pods that contain large quantities of cotton fibre. As a deciduous tree, it becomes completely bare of leaves and flowers during the winter months.

Lighting system

The municipality said the beautification project involving the inaugural planting of the special tree covers a vast expanse of 302,266 square metres. As part of beautification efforts at the intersection, the Municipality has also installed multi-colour linear lighting systems.

It said the project reflects the municipality’s commitment to increasing green spaces in Dubai and strategically planning and implementing beautification projects, with an aim of expanding cultivated green spaces and elevating Dubai’s overall civil and aesthetic appearance.

Horse hoof design

The design of the intersection at Al Meydan and Al Khail roads has been inspired by the patterns of horse hoof prints. The outcome is a unique artwork that combines elements of wild nature with thoughtfully chosen ornamental plants. To elevate the aesthetic appeal of the city, the Municipality has enriched the landscape by planting diverse evergreen tree species.

Smart irrigation

“This project includes state-of-the-art technologies leveraged by the Municipality to implement sustainable irrigation systems and water drainage. These systems include fully automated irrigation mechanisms, eliminating the need for human intervention. Additionally, innovative wind-resistant spraying techniques have been integrated, resulting in a water-saving of around 30 per cent,” the municipality stated.

The implementation of sustainable groundwater and rainwater drainage systems by the Municipality has proven effective, particularly during the recent rainfall. Furthermore, a pumping station with a capacity exceeding 280 cubic metres per hour has also been established, along with a tank with a capacity of 1,000 cubic metres.

Expanding green spaces

Dawoud Al Hajri, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, emphasised the significance of horticultural beautification initiatives and highlighted the efforts to expand green spaces across Dubai. These efforts reflect the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to position Dubai as the best city to live in the world.

Al Hajri stated that increasing green spaces in Dubai is integral to the Municipality’s strategies aimed at promoting environmental sustainability in the emirate. The goal is to establish a comprehensive environmental impact that preserves natural elements and resources while improving their overall quality. These efforts are expected to enhance Dubai’s attractiveness and aesthetic appeal while ensuring the highest standards of living and luxury for its residents.

Hajri said: “Dubai Municipality prioritises the development of agricultural beautification projects with a primary goal of enhancing the ever-renewing vitality of Dubai according to integrated world-class standards, in addition to fostering sustainability in Dubai by actively implementing innovative irrigation technologies that rely on fully recycled water.”

Major milestone

Dubai Municipality consistently carries out horticultural beautification projects that adhere to the highest global standards. These efforts integrate innovative design elements and employ cutting-edge irrigation techniques utilising recycled water. The goal is to promote the sustainability of environmental resources.

In 2023, the Municipality accomplished an exceptional milestone in tree planting within the emirate, with the successful planting of over 185,000 trees, fulfilling the complete objectives of the Green Dubai initiative. This achievement led to the addition of an extra 234 hectares to the green area in Dubai. It further underscores Dubai Municipality’s commitment to afforestation, demonstrating a dedication to expanding vegetation and improving the per capita allocation of green spaces.

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