At the ongoing COP28 summit in Expo City, Dubai introduces the Dubai Reef project, a groundbreaking marine reef initiative aligned with Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s environmental vision. Led by the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) in partnership with key stakeholders, such as the Regulatory Committee on Fishing of Living Aquatic Resources in Dubai, Dubai Chambers, PCFC, and Nakheel.
Introduced in May 2023, the Dubai Reef project is set to materialize in 2024 as one of the largest marine reef initiatives globally. Encompassing over 600 square kilometers along the coastline from the Palm Jebel Ali to Dubai Islands, its primary objective is to emphasize the significance of coexisting harmoniously with the ocean.
Dubai Reef: Primary Objectives
Aligned with the city’s initiatives, the project aims to enhance fish populations, promote sustainable fishing practices, and bolster food security. Additionally, the Dubai Reef project is poised to play a crucial role in curbing carbon emissions and fostering greater marine biodiversity. Aligned with the objectives outlined in the Dubai Economic Agenda, D33, which seeks to fortify Dubai’s status as a leading sustainable city, this landmark project is set to solidify the emirate’s position among the top three global cities.
Phases of Progress: A Four-Part Journey
In a four-phase initiative, the construction of over 400,000 cubic meters of coral reefs will unfold, employing over 20,000 reef modules. The goal is to amplify fish and biomass populations by eightfold over the coming decade. Simultaneously, the project aims to capture approximately seven million tonnes of carbon annually, equivalent to the emissions from 1.5 million cars.
Deployment of the Dubai Reef project will commence at the end of Q1 2024 and is targeted for completion within a four-year time frame.
“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,” Sheikh Hamdan said.
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Dubai Can project
Initiated on February 15, 2022, by Sheikh Hamdan, the ‘Dubai Can’ project includes the ‘Refill for Life’ initiative, empowering communities to minimize the consumption of single-use plastic water bottles. Since its inception, the ‘Refill for Life’ campaign has effectively decreased the usage of these bottles by more than 15.5 million 500ml plastic water bottles.
The recently introduced Dubai Reef project, a part of ‘Dubai Can,’ not only advances marine conservation but also makes substantial contributions to carbon sequestration, aligning seamlessly with the themes and objectives of COP28.