Project Jebel Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Jebel Ali Sewage Treatment Plant

375,000 m³ treated on a daily basis for green Dubai

A signature and key project, the Jebel Ali Sewage Treatment Plant, located in a 670 Ha open desert area south of Jebel Ali, is the largest sewage treatment plant project BESIX ever embarked on. It assures that all of Dubai’s sewage is treated up to international standards and without environmental nuisance.

Unprecedented magnitude

Combined with the existing Jebel Ali Phase 1 sewage treatment works, the new facilities treat the equivalent of the sewage flow originating from a city of 3.35 million inhabitants. A project of this magnitude is unprecedented in the GCC region. All sewage water is treated up to Dubai’s strict irrigation water standards and allows the city to cut back the use of costly desalinated seawater for non-potable use by 700,000,000 litres per day through re-use applications such as irrigation. The second phase of the project was completed using 143,000m3 of reinforced concrete, 24,000 tons of reinforced steel, 2659 mechanical and engineering equipment and machinery, 700km of cables and 30km of pipes.  

Means to an end

Over a period of three years, BESIX – in partnership with Larsen and Toubro – has built an impressive amount of 77 tank clusters and buildings structures. Each tank cluster often consisted of several units: 20 pre-sedimentation tanks to capture the settable solids, 16 aeration tanks where oxygen breaks down the contaminants, 12 large diameter clarifiers to separate the biological bacteria from the clean water, etc… All these structures are interconnected by an impressive network of large diameter pipes moving 375,000 tons of water from one treatment unit to the other, 24/7, all year long.

The whole process produces bio-solids which Dubai uses as fertilizer and soil improver in their numerous landscaped areas: a feature which differentiates green Dubai from other desert cities. This project puts BESIX in a good position to tackle future large-scale water projects in a sustainable manner.

Nature-friendly project

One of the more special features is the valorisation of the main by-product from the treatment process, the sludge. This liquid excess product, which is normally disposed of to a landfill in the desert, is anaerobically digested and then dried in state-of-the-art sludge dryers, which use the by-product of the digestion process, methane gas, as fuel to evaporate excess water.

Coordination is key

Apart from the stringent planning and the integration with existing facilities, the key challenge was the day-today coordination between the various trades to assure that interfaces between civil works and the equipment and long piping and electrical cables were correctly and timely planned without the need for costly and time-consuming re-work.

Project details

Project name

Jebel Ali Sewage Treatment Plant

Area(s) of expertise

Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants

Contract type



Jebel Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates


Six Construct


Dubai Muncipality

Building Period

2016 - 2019

Total value

€ 303 million

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