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Dubai announces launch of mega marine reef development

DUBAI, December 2, 2023

Dubai has announced the launch of one of the world's largest marine reef developments, thus marking a pioneering step in the journey towards ecological preservation. 
 
The project will be led by the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) and founding partner, the Regulatory Committee on Fishing of Living Aquatic Resources in Dubai, in cooperation with Dubai Chambers, the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC), and Nakheel.
 
The project, a part of the city’s efforts to increase fish stocks, support sustainable fishing and contribute to boosting food security, will also play a vital role in reducing carbon emissions and increasing marine biodiversity. 
 
Unveiling the project, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, said: "As the city continually strives to achieve the objectives outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, to strengthen Dubai’s profile as a leading sustainable city, the landmark project is set to further consolidate the emirate’s position as one of the top three global cities."
 
He pointed out that preserving the environment, safeguarding wildlife and promoting biodiversity were core priorities for the UAE, aligned with the strategic initiative to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. 
 
He also emphasised that safeguarding the continuity and quality of human life requires a concerted and intensified commitment to launching high-impact projects and championing the adoption of best practices that ensure environmental safety and sustainability for generations to come.
 
"Dubai recognises the critical importance of the environment and is fully committed to its preservation as a top strategic priority for ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come. The profound challenges posed by global climate change have exerted significant pressure on various forms of wildlife, and Dubai is strongly dedicated to playing a substantial role in mitigating these effects through initiatives that promote the sustainability of our natural environment, with particular emphasis on coral reefs. Coral reefs are a vital component in the protection of marine life and have both economic and environmental significance. We are pleased to see this promising project launched in Dubai, contributing to global efforts aimed at conserving coral reefs," he noted.
 
The launch of the project coincides with the hosting of the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28), which is being held at Expo City Dubai from 30th November to 12th December. The Dubai Reef project stands as a testament to Dubai's commitment, as exemplified by initiatives like the citywide sustainability movement, ‘Dubai Can’, in supporting marine life, enhancing marine biodiversity and its aspiration to establish itself as a leading global sustainable city.
 
‘Dubai Can’ was launched on 15th February 2022 by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, along with the ‘Refill for life’ initiative, which aims to empower communities to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles. The ‘Refill for life’ campaign has successfully reduced the use of these bottles by over 15.5 million 500 ml plastic water bottles since its launch. The newly unveiled Dubai Reef project under ‘Dubai Can’ will not only further boost marine conservation but also significantly contribute to carbon sequestration, aligning perfectly with the themes and goals of COP28.
 
Reefing Dubai's Coastlines: A Momentous Milestone
 
The Dubai Reef project is a monumental endeavour, deploying artificial reef modules of various sizes, spanning a staggering 600 square kilometres of Dubai's pristine waters. The meticulous design of these reefs exceeds 400,000 cubic meters in total volume, with an estimated capacity to capture over seven million tonnes of carbon annually. Beyond carbon capture, this project plays a pivotal role in coral reef habitat restoration, coastal protection and the revival of marine biodiversity along Dubai's foreshore.
 
Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General of the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), commented, “Aligned with the ambition of our visionary leadership to make Dubai the best city in the world to visit, live and work in, the Dubai Reef project will contribute towards advancing the goals set forth in the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, with a key focus on developing our green economy and stimulating ancillary sector growth to support our ESG and the UAE NetZero 2050 goals. This initiative also emphasises the importance of our rich marine heritage, while further enhancing our city’s strong credentials as a responsible tourism destination and increasing the city’s positive social impact for citizens, residents and tourists alike. Together with our stakeholders and partners, we will continue to invest in Dubai’s sustainable future, which will be catalysed further by the hosting of COP28.”
 
The Dubai Reef project is a strategic investment aligned with the vision of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed to leave a lasting legacy for protecting and sustaining wildlife and the marine environment and contributing towards the wellbeing of our planet.
 
As a key founding partner of the Dubai Reef project, the Regulatory Committee on Fishing of Living Aquatic Resources in Dubai will be responsible for the technical aspects of fish stock propagation and sustainable fishing.
 
Nakheel Chairman Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani said: "The launch of the Dubai Reef project builds on the commitment that Dubai has to safeguard the blue water ecosystem that surrounds the emirate, as well as ensuring that the abundant natural resources we have the privilege of enjoying are preserved for future generations."
 
"Nakheel is proud to be a partner of such an innovative approach to prioritising environmental stewardship and contributing to Dubai's sustainability," he added.-TradeArabia News Service



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