Dubai's man-made islands 'a necessity' :: Al Mendar
Sultan bin Sulayem, chairman of Nakheel, says the projects will create a marine ecosystem from scratch. "The bottom of the sea in Dubai is like a desert. I used to scuba dive there and there's no real significant amounts of coral, few rocks. It's flat and sand, with no life basically and not a habitable area for fish," bin Sulayem said, speaking in his office at the top of a Dubai high-rise overlooking the sea. "Turtles only rested on remote islands, and we are planning to build an island for the natural habitat where turtles will return to the area," he added.
Bin Sulayem says the projects, which many Dubai residents say are too showy, are a necessity because the emirate has only a small stretch of coastline on the Gulf. "It will be 1,200 km (746 miles) (of beach when finished) as compared to the 60 km (37 miles) ... now," he said.
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Nakheel disputes environmentalists' claims that building the islands has damaged the ecosystem, saying that most of the coral was already dead.The property developer, which is in partnership with the Trump Organization to build a $400 million luxury hotel on the man-made Palm Jumeirah island, says it will use revolutionary techniques to stimulate coral growth by placing electrically charged meshes underwater.
"I don't see any problem with this technology. We still have to wait and see when we start really doing it at a much, much larger scale, when I say a larger scale I mean a mega scale," said Imad Haffar, Nakheel's head of research and development.