Dubai Municipality’s Environment Department is currently undertaking an ambitious project to rejuvenate beaches of the emirate as part of an integrated and continuous programme to be undertaken under the auspices of the Coastal Management Section.
Director of Environment Department Eng. Hamdan Al Shaer said the municipality is giving a facelift to the emirate’s beaches with the objective of improving the coastal environment as part of the emirate’s strategy with regard to environment conservation.
“Beaches are subject to seasonal Shamal winds that deprive them of vital resources needed, especially in view of the re-formation of the coastal line. As the time passes by, this will result in loss of beach sands and emergence of rocks and stones thereby causing the beachgoers to lose the comfort and security. This matter requires maintenance and nourishing the beaches in a scientific and well-planned manner that would provide maximum stability and continuity,” he said.
Al Shaer noted that Dubai Municipality attaches special concern for the public beaches given their soaring popularity with residents and visitors of Dubai as they are considered a place to unwind for families and individuals. The beaches in Dubai are calm where people can enjoy privacy. In addition, there are enough parking spaces and a good road net-work.
In this regard, the department has already restored the Jumeira 3 Beach, Umm Suqeim 1 Beach and the Al Mamzar Park Beach, all of which were supplied with 600,000 cubic meters of high-quality beach sand.
Head of Coastal Management Section Alya Abdul Rahim said the section had begun restoration works for Jumeira 3 Beach. The works of this project started by restoring the 800 metre long rock breakwater that is parallel to the beach. As this has not been designed basically to provide beach space, more rock layers have been added so as to prevent erosion of beach sand.
“Furthermore, this beach has been nourished by some half million cubic meters of clean beach sand,” she said, pointing out that the Jumeira 3 Beach has been almost deserted by the visitors due to dirty sands that were dotted with rocks and stones. Moreover, water used to clog behind the breakwater during high tide. Following the restoration works, visitors began to throng this beach”, she said.
Abdul Rahim added that currently work is going on in order to fix the southern side of the Umm Suqeim 1 coastal line as 70 per cent works of constructing a vertical sand barrier have been completed along a 120 meter stretch. The objective of this barrier is to prevent sand erosion and preserve the beach which has been now nourished with some 40,000 cubic meters of beach sand.
On the method of constructing the sand barrier at Umm Suqeim, she said an advanced method is being followed in setting up this type of structures in which Australian-made _fibre geotextile_ containers are used. These containers would be filled with sand, which would then weigh up to five tonnes, and they are used instead of big-size rocks. This would do away with a sore sight and offer an appropriate place where some marine creatures can grow.
Abdul Rahim noted that the Coastal Management Section has also completed restoration works of the Beach at Al Mamzar Park which is now receiving a large number of visitors. This beach has been nourished with more than 30,000 cubic metres of sand as the beach was subject to large-scale erosion due to some natural factors.
She explained that the maintenance and beach nourishment works are progressing as per a flexible time-plan in which coastal areas have been divided into multiple sectors. Maximum care is taken not to cause any inconvenience to people living nearby, especially as most of the entrances to the beaches pass through residential areas. “Success of this project clearly shows the significance of following up the decree no. 22/2001 issued by the Ruler’s Court pertaining to protection of coastal areas in the Emirate of Dubai, particularly as the sand used in beach nourishment is of superb quality and it comes from excavation works in the coastal region.
The Coastal Management Section, meanwhile, has introduced some measure to control vehicular movement on Jumeira and Umm Suqeim beaches by placing barricades and has specified some areas for parking the vehicles. Alya noted that this step is aimed at ensuring safety of beachgoers and providing a comfortable and peaceful environment for them.