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Dubai Reef: HH Sheikh Hamdan Launches One of the World’s Largest Marine Reef Development Projects

Photo: Unsplash

With Cop28 in full swing, Dubai has launched a crucial and ambitious project to boost coral life. Dubbed Dubai Reef, the initiative is one of the world’s largest marine reef developments and was first unveiled in May 2023. Now, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, has officially set things in motion for the project in line with his directives, and the larger strategic goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

According to Helal Al Marri, director-general of the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism, the project is said to span an area of 600 square kilometers of the emirate’s waters the Palm Jebel Ali to Dubai Islands, and the design of the coral reefs itself will exceed 400,000 cubic meters in total volume. The key aim? To increase the fish and biomass population by eight times over the next decade, while capturing around seven million tonnes of carbon annually, which is the equivalent of 1.5 million cars.

In the session at the Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum,  Al Marri added that the project will operate on a public-private partnership model with a 10% investment from the government, which has also secured commitments for more than 50% of the funding. “We worked with the best minds to look at coral reef restoration and how to rebuild the coral environment and ensure it makes a difference,” he said. “What we would hope is that this successful model makes it very bankable for other communities around the world.”

In a post on LinkedIn, Sheikh Hamdan wrote, “Dubai is strongly dedicated to making substantial contributions to global efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change through initiatives that promote the sustainability of our natural environment, with particular emphasis on coral reefs.”

Read Next: “It’s A Matter Of Survival. We Can’t Sit Back And Watch The World Fall Apart”: Dubai-Based Climate Activist Ayshka Najib On Her Hopes For Cop28 

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