Private Island, UAE, Geosynthetic Containers

Private Island Abu Dhabi, Geosynthetic Containers
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Our client, an Abu Dhabi-based developer, appointed Ecocoast as its coastal advisor to protect and improve the coastline of its luxury island development off the coast of Abu Dhabi.


The changeable nature of the surrounding mobile sand shoals and migrating channels on the island required Ecocoast to develop site-specific, low-risk and robust designs to cope with the changing environment. The construction materials needed to be equally as robust to effectively divert tidal flow, prevent erosion, protect the coastline from strong tidal forces and ultimately stabilize the island. An integrated design for the entire island, taking into account future construction and reclamation works, was required.


The coastal protection and beach stabilization works were based on comprehensive coastal engineering studies of the site that included detailed bathymetric survey, wave and current modeling. The design developed was a series of low crested, submerged, segmented sand-filled geosynthetic container breakwaters linked with a continuous toe to seaward – similar to a natural fringing reef – combined with rock breakwater structures in key locations. It was designed to reduce wave height and resultant wave-driven currents and to create protected sandy beaches.

The segmented design also enables essential flushing of water to prevent stagnation and reduce siltation. The solutions for each section of the island were designed to blend into the natural environment and provide safe sandy swimming beaches.

The use of predominantly sand-filled geosynthetic containers was a cost-effective option compared to rock, due to the availability of high quality beach sand on the island, and the materials were in-line with the island’s eco-philosophy.