AL Hair Recreational Lakes


Nature Parks & Environmental Projects


Al Hair Lakes is the largest naturally occurring wetland habitat in the kingdom at the end of the Wadi Hanifah catchment basin, where it seeps into the desert. The recreational lakes are situation on the escarpment above. These were made possible by the relocation of a…

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Al Hair Lakes is the largest naturally occurring wetland habitat in the kingdom at the end of the Wadi Hanifah catchment basin, where it seeps into the desert. The recreational lakes are situation on the escarpment above. These were made possible by the relocation of a waste water treatment works, from central Riyadh 35km south, to the desert nearby. The Arriyadh Development Authority, proposed using the excess water produced by this facility for recreational purposes, before being returned to the Al Ha’ir lake system below. We were responsible for developing the design and master plan of the upper lakes system together with providing a layout for basic infrastructure. The lakes totalled a collective surface area of 20 ha and were to form the basis for a future resort development with recreational facilities around these. The basis of design grew out of studying the existing contours, to best place the lakes with minimal grading or construction of retention embankments. To accommodate the total surface area, the lakes were placed on different levels. Creating individual lakes increased the shore-side development possibilities.  The lakes were connected via a system of weirs, which were an opportunity to create interesting landscape features or waterfalls as a part of the lakes system. Pedestrian access to these features was also considered. Once the primary features were in place, the infrastructure framework was designed around this.