By Andy Sambidge
Developer's nursery aims to grow 4mn plants per year to 'green' new projects.
Developer Nakheel has announced plans to grow up to four million plants per year at its Waterfront Landscape Nursery which will be used at landmark developments across Dubai.
Created a year ago from a harsh desert environment, the 50 hectare nursery is now the largest in the UAE and currently there are 156,000 plants, shrubs and trees growing to be used for landscaping across the Waterfront and Palm Jebel Ali projects and other projects.
Extensive greenhouse areas have been created at the nursery for growing plants from seed and large shaded areas are used for bringing the plants on.
Twenty hectares of the 50 hectare site have been laid with soil for growing grass with 7.5 hectares of grass having already been planted. Irrigation works in the Nursery are provided from the treated effluent water from the sewage treatment plant in Omran Workforce Accommodation.
The nursery marks a significant sustainability initiative from Nakheel. With the nursery serving multiple developments, and taking "mother stock" cuttings from the Gardens, waste will be reduced, Nakheel bosses say.
Nakheel has also put together a green waste proposal which could see cuttings from established trees and shrubs in established Nakheel developments collected and brought to the nursery where they will be turned in to compost, cutting down not only on waste, but also Municipality costs.
Matt Joyce, managing director of Waterfront said: "We are delighted with the progress our nursery has made since its creation a year ago. With the use of large greenhouses and shaded areas, our plants are flourishing amidst the desert.
"There has been a lot of interest in the plants and trees already - we have taken our first order from the Badrah project within Waterfront, and had enquiries from Palm Jumeirah. Interest is set to grow further as the development progresses".
The nursery is one example of sustainability initiatives at Waterfront - Nakheel, Mouchel and GESolar have also undertaken a joint venture to investigate solar power’s feasibility on a large scale.
A solar panel has been installed outside the Nakheel Waterfront Design Office and will be monitored for the effects of weather, global radiation and lack of panel maintenance. With the region’s strong exposure to the sun, solar energy could provide heat, lighting, mechanical and electrical power, with solar panels providing shade.
Nakheel is developing a total of $80 billion worth of projects and upon completion, Nakheel's waterfront projects will have added more than 1,000km of shoreline to Dubai's coastline.