By Dylan Bowman
Dubai property firm says initiative aimed at raising environmental awareness.
Dubai-owned property firm Nakheel is to invest 200 million dirhams ($54.5 million) over the next three years on promoting sustainable coastal development, chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said on Saturday.
Bin Sulayem said the initiative, known as Blue Communities, was a "call to action" aimed at raising awareness worldwide about the environmental impact of coastal development.
"Almost two thirds of the world’s population live in coastal communities and a large amount of development is taking place in these locations. As such there is a need for significant investment in research, development and positive transformation of these environments," he said.
"The long term aim is for Blue Communities to provide leadership in the development of sustainable coastal communities."
Nakheel said the 200 million dirhams would fund research and development and "promote active engagement with international experts on the issues of sustainable development, construction, management and governance of coastal communities around the world".
Nakheel, part of conglomerate Dubai World, is developing three palm-shaped islands, an archipelago in the shape of a map of the world and a beachfront development and collection of islands called Dubai Waterfront along the emirate's coast.
The company on Saturday revealed plans to develop another manmade islands project called The Universe between the Palm Jumeirah and Palm Deira.