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02 December 2023

The World is not sinking, says Nakheel

Nakheel Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah denied Western media reports that the project is in coma (FILE)

By Parag Deulgaonkar

Nakheel, the developer of The World, claimed on Wednesday that the project was not in “coma“ and the islands were not sinking.

Ali Mansour, Director Projects, Marine and Civil Works, in a detailed presentation, said that there would certainly be “slight” erosion of the beaches due to tidal waves but the islands were well protected from waves and currents by an oval frame or breakwater.

The breakwater, which is segmented into six portions, has a total perimeter of 26 kilometres, which significantly reduces any impact from waves or current. The breakwater was completed in December 2007 and 30 million tonnes of rock were used to construct it.

“When you have waves, you have erosion. You have currents, you have some erosion. But when you don’t have both and just tidal movement, you have minimum or controlled erosion which can be compensated at a later stage with the reshaping of the islands.”

Nakheel CEO Chris O'Donnell said: “These islands are within the protected basin so the impact of the wave movements and the currents are significantly reduced. Yes, there will be ongoing maintenance that will be required for the beaches and that’s the case anywhere around the world.”

“Not in Coma”

Asked if the islands were in “coma”, Chairman Ali Rashid Lootah said: “The project is not in coma. We have delivered as per our promise and it is up to the developers now to commence their projects.”
He added that Nakheel was working with some developers and trying to help those serious about launching projects.

Earlier this month, Richard Wilmot-Smith QC of London, acting on behalf of Penguin Marine, which has an exclusive contract for all transport of construction materials and staff to and from the islands, told the Dubai World Tribunal that “the islands were gradually falling back into the sea.”

However, Nakheel attorney Graham Lovett of Clifford Chance said the project had not been cancelled, but was slowed by the global financial crisis.

“The World was in a ‘coma‘ but would be revived as market conditions picked up,” he told the tribunal.

Also See:

No islands repossessed on The World: Nakheel