Dubai’s Love Lake – a Heart-Shaped Oasis in the Middle of the Desert

A heart-shaped frame overlooking the Love Lake

photography by: Omri Westmark

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Time after time, the Arabian metropolis of Dubai has proven to be the world’s playground for architects, where practically any plan, regardless of its outlandishness, is feasible. Ensconced in the sunbaked desert around the city is a series of reservoirs known collectively as Al Qudra Lakes. During the late 2010’s, the manmade oasis was expanded when an artificially made lake was created nearby. Featuring a shape of interlocked hearts, the aptly named Love Lake soon became a pilgrimage site for Instagrammers and curious visitors alike.

Despite its arid location and the subsequent lack of permanent rivers, Dubai is dotted with dozens of manmade lakes which contrast its barren landscape. As part of the Emirate’s attempt to green its otherwise desert environment, a series of artificial lagoons was created across the Saih Al Salam Desert, in the outskirts of the city. Stretching over an area of 10 hectares, Al Qudra Lakes are a habitat for more than a hundred bird species, and serve as a recreational hub for whoever wish to take a respite from the hustle and bustle of Dubai.


In November 2018, the green and blue enclave of Al Qudra was eclipsed by a brand-new lake, situated further east. Announced for the first time by the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on his Instagram account, the lake was built over the span of few months under a shroud of secrecy, with the intention of unveiling it as a surprise.

As its name implies, the Love Lake of Dubai comprises of a pair of intertwined heart-shaped ponds, best-viewed from high above. If it wasn’t enough, the whimsical project also includes an adjacent narrow strip of manicured lawn which forms the word “Love” in English, somewhat akin to a greeting card for valentine’s day.


Encompassing about 550,000 square meters of land and water, both lakes are accompanied by a well-maintained esplanade that meanders precisely along their unconventional shape. However, the paved walkway turns into a water-drenched passage at the two sections where the outer hearts meet, entailing a short wade through the shallow waters.


As only winged critters and drones can actually enjoy its heart shape at its fullest glory, the Love Lake is glutted with love-symbol frames, where dedicated Instagrammers can have a photo on the backdrop of the oddly-shaped park. Like its less extravagant counterparts in the close-by Al Qudra oasis, the lake is home to multiple animal species that were brought here intentionally, the most striking of which are the shoals of colorful Koi fish.