Published on 19 Apr ‘16
Land reclamation and coastal development: For the better?

A blog post as response to IQPC’s complimentary report ‘State of the Market: Marine Engineering in the Middle East’.

In the early 70s, the UAE’s economy was mainly dependent on oil products. This is no longer the case. The sources of revenue now come from travel, tourism and services. Dubai is currently attracting more than 13 million tourists a year, and the goal is to reach 20 million by 2020.

According to the 2016 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index, the UAE leads in infrastructure, transportation and urbanization among the world’s emerging markets. The UAE’s annual population growth rate is about 2.3 percent – one of the highest in the world.

Needless to say, land reclamation will be used to accommodate these developments, in order to build new residences, hotels and tourist attractions. To avoid detrimental ecological impacts, new methods and materials should be introduced and used by everyone who is involved in coastal development.

There are many simple implementations that can be done to avoid ecological disruption, such as the use of silt curtains in coastal construction projects. Sand-filled geosynthetics and geotextiles are just a few other examples of materials that offer protection to the marine environment against particular types of impacts.

Interested in knowing more? We will be present at the Marine & Coastal Engineering Conference in Abu Dhabi next week and hope to see you there.

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