The UAE is a country built on innovation and advanced problem-solving techniques. Where many people see obstacles and hurdles that cannot be overcome, emirate leaders see challenges that need an effective solution. An example of this is the man-made islands and beaches scattered throughout the region.
These artificial land masses were created in a bid to diversify and sustain economic growth in the UAE through tourism. However, with a limited coastline at the time, the government launched a series of coastal land reclamation projects which resulted in the famous man-made islands we now know.
And today, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are hailed as some of the most popular travel destinations in the world, a big part of which is attributed to the beautiful artificial islands and beaches.
Although the development of man-made land has led to great economic success, provided more land for infrastructure, grown the tourist industry and allowed for exclusive luxury real estate, large-scale artificial coast creation needs to be maintained and nourished regularly to mitigate the negative impacts that stem from such projects.
Here, we look at the importance of a beach reclamation and maintenance company in the UAE, such as Waagner Biro Bridge Services, and the role such businesses play in keeping the region’s man-made islands functional, clean and safe for all.
Put simply, beach reclamation and maintenance refer to the processes used to restore a beach from erosion or longshore drift by adding sand and cleaning the area to “reclaim” the shoreline of the beach. Creating a wider beach with new sand then prevents future damage to coastal structures. Furthermore, the new sand interacts with the waves in the surf zone to reduce the impact of very high tides, storm surges and even tsunamis.
Beach reclamation and maintenance, however, are not permanent fixes and must be carried out regularly to ensure that they are safe and functional for people to use.
The biggest reason that the UAE’s man-made beaches need reclamation is because of erosion. This term refers to the process of wearing away the beach by water, wind and other natural phenomena.
Beach reclamation and maintenance aid in the process of developing a beach for human habitation and use, as well as helping to protect beaches from the elements and overuse. More often than not, beach reclamation projects are carried out to defend beachfront development properties from the ocean or to extend a beach for public or private enjoyment, as well as to re-establish sand bars and protect shorelines from storms.
In the UAE, in particular, Abu Dhabi and Dubai’s man-made islands and beaches suffer from coastal erosion, as these artificial structures disrupt the natural pattern of the ocean’s longshore drift. What this means is that the UAE’s beaches need regular reclamation and maintenance to sustain a safe and functional state.
If tidal surges are repetitively strong, the shore ecosystem could eventually collapse. Beach reclamation provides a stronger buffer against coastal tidal movements, thereby keeping the environment stable and reducing the risk of a structure suffering damage, even during the strong surges.
This is particularly important and useful in the UAE, as the majority of the most expensive real estate in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are located on these man-made islands, right by the beach.
The wider the beach, the higher the number of people that can use it at any given time. And, naturally, the more people that can frequent the beach at once, the better for the economy, as businesses on the shore or nearby will see more footfall and this will boost the tourism industry
Not to mention that successful renourishment projects can promote higher sustainability levels, as adding sand reduces the physical hazards that can be found at the beach, creates safe habitats for marine life and reduces the risk of toxins spreading along the coast.
Beach erosion produces numerous safety concerns and issues over time that can impact how the public uses the space, as well as their safety. Adding new sand helps to:
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are known for their beautiful, pristine beaches – which are kept spotless with rigorous and regular cleaning maintenance. Whether it be public beaches or private ones reserved for hotel guests, cleaning these areas ensures that the space is free from sharp or hazardous objects that might endanger visitors, as well as sustain the eye-catching aesthetic.
A beach effectively acts as a buffer against the movement of the waves as they impact the shore. However, the nature of sand is to erode with any water movement – which thereby eradicates the buffer. To prevent this, beach reclamation and maintenance can be implemented to protect the nature buffer already in place before too much damage occurs.
Since many of the beaches around the UAE are man-made, this point is particularly relevant. Carrying out continuous beach reclamation and maintenance and adding to or sustaining the artificial islands and beaches creates the foundation of a permanent protection area.
A lot of the UAE’s most expensive, luxurious properties can be found on the man-made islands of Burj Al Arab, La Mer and The Palm Jumeirah, just to name a few, while many commercial, hotel and retail businesses are located in popular beach-side settings, like Deira Islands, Bluewaters and JBR Open Beach. And if the erosion of these man-made beaches and islands are not tended to, it can pose serious threats to the safety of the nearby real estate.
With regular beach reclamation and maintenance, the new sand acts as an additional defence line against damage and flooding for these properties, leaving real estate owners with peace of mind.
Beaches are synonymous with a good holiday, which is why many of the most popular travel destinations are those with soft, white sand and tranquil, clear water. It’s one of the many aspects that make Dubai and Abu Dhabi so attractive to tourists from all over the world.
Maintaining and adding to the natural and man-made beaches around the UAE will boost the tourism sector and economy, as well as support local businesses.
One of the more obvious benefits of beach reclamation and maintenance projects is that it provides a safe, clean environment for communities to enjoy. Whether it be swimming, surfing, sunbathing, fishing, building sandcastles or volleyball, beaches are a fun, free space that everyone can enjoy. And if a community allows their beach to be eroded, then the numerous benefits it provides will disappear with it.
The Waagner Biro Bridge Services’ team of decades of experience and skills combined with our extensive, end-to-end services makes us the perfect beach reclamation and maintenance company in the UAE.
Beyond that, our beach reclamation and maintenance division stand for precision and competence paired with flexibility and reliability – and it’s these qualities that ensure we consistently deliver high-quality work in the most efficient and cost-effective ways possible.
Read our case studies below to see Waagner Biro Bridge Services’ excellent work for yourself:
If you would like to learn more about the marine maintenance solutions Waager Biro offers, read our blog “Do You Need Marine Maintenance Works in the UAE? – We Have You Covered”.
Waagner Biro Bridge Services has been building bridges for over 160 years now, and for the last 50, we’ve been providing both governments and private clients throughout the Middle East with reliable, technically-advanced and cost-effective turnkey engineering solutions.
We combine design and construction under one roof for better communication, project management and a more cost- and time-effective end product. Our interdisciplinary team covers everything from design to erection, and we have our own fabrication yard to produce solutions immediately and as needed.
If you would like to learn more about our services in Dubai, get in touch with us and one of our team members will be happy to help.
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