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24 April 2024

Coastal projects add to eco-costs

By Ashaba K Abdul Basti


Dubai Municipality is faced with the prospect of increasing the substantial amount it spends on coast protection, as vast construction and developments extend the waterfront from 73km to 1,500km by 2010.


The authority currently spends more than Dh100 million a year to fund its coastal monitoring programmes through its Coastal Management Section, a senior Dubai Municipality official has said.


The monitoring programmes detect and remove marine pollutants and determining the level of oxygen content and concentration for marine life to meet international parameters.


But Dubai’s environmental mission will grow as a result of the boom in coastline developments, which have dramatically increased the emirate’s shoreline. The municipality will host the seventh International Summit on Coastal and Port Engineering this month, where impending environmental challenges will be discussed. The theme of the conference is “Best Practices in the Coastal Environment” and it will run for five days between February 24 and 28.


“It will be an important platform where international coastal and port engineers will exchange know-how and experience. We will be able to learn the best practices from some of the most industrialised countries,” said Hussain Nasser Lootah, acting director-general of Dubai Municipality, while announcing the conference yesterday.

Presentations at the conference will concentrate on practical applications, as well as managerial and environmental aspects of coastal and port engineering in developing countries.


Papers from UAE presenters will cover the marine environment issue of the Dubai Creek, coastal modelling of the emirate’s shoreline, generic impacts of large-scale structures on the coastline, marine forecasting and oil spill readiness.


It will also highlight the establishment of a statutory framework and institutional capacity for management of the coastal zone, future port expansion and sustainable dredging.

Current coastal projects in the Gulf region alone are estimated at more than Dh360bn and more coastal projects are coming up because of the commercial potential they offer.


More than 226 papers from 43 countries, 14 of them from UAE, will be discussed at the conference and more than 1,000 marine engineers will be present. The muni­cipality spent Dh732,000 to sponsor 100 individuals from developing countries to take part in the conference. Marine ecology is an important global issue as more than half the world’s population lives within 60km of a coastal region.