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Sat 18 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Nakheel seeks sand beyond Dubai's waters

Nakheel may be running out of sand for its land reclamation projects, according to the firm carrying out the dredging work.

Nakheel may be running out of sand for its land reclamation projects, according to the firm carrying out the dredging work.

The Dubai-based developer has dredged sand from outside of Dubai's territorial waters, the firm's director said.

"Recently they went to Umm Al Quwain," Niels de Bruijn, director of Dutch dredging company Van Oord told Construction Week.

Asked if Umm Al Quwain, two emirates to the east of Dubai, minded giving Dubai its sand, de Bruijn said, "They have enough."

According to Nakheel figures, the land reclamation projects, the biggest of their kind in the world, require around 1.5 billion m3 of reclaimed sand in total from the bed of the UAE's territorial waters.

Other land reclamation projects, including Mina Rashid and Waterfront, also require huge amounts of sand.

"It (available sand in Dubai's waters) is getting less of course," said Van Oord chief surveyor Peter Silvius, who surveyed the seabed beneath Dubai's waters before dredging the sand for the Palm projects.

"We have the three palms and the Jumeirah Islands as well. It's all coming from a rather small piece of ocean that belongs to Dubai."

Silvius said the depth of sand at the bottom of Dubai's waters is relatively low, similar to the depth in the nearby desert.

Speaking at the southern corner of Dubailand where he is working on a major excavation project, Silvius said, "There is no sand here. Forget the sand. Maybe 2m maximum.

"Like here, there are places in the ocean where there is no sand at all. We already made the comparison because they are basically the same."

But Gavin Boyd, Nakheel director of development on the Palm Deira, where land reclamation is currently underway, denied the claims.

"We are not running out of sand," he said. "Only the beachfront sand comes from Umm Al Quwain. The rest of the sand is reclaimed from the nearby areas, from the same source as for the World and Jebel Ali projects."

Nakheel has also announced The Universe, another land reclamation project off the Dubai coast in shore from The World.

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SR 11 years ago

It is scary to think about the after effects of this sand excavation. What about marine culture etc. What are the other environmental effects? Moreover, didn't they assess that they do not have enough sand before launching the project??? Or is environmental assessment only an afterthought???