Van Oord completes The World
At the beginning of February dredging and marine contractor Van Oord completed the prestigious land reclamation project The World in the emirate of Dubai.
The World is a group of 300 artificial islands 4 km off the coast of Dubai, shaped in the form of the continents of the world. The project covers a surface area of 9 x 7 km and was completed in just over four years. The project commenced in October 2003. Fifteen trailing suction hopper dredgers have reclaimed a total of 320 million cu m of sand from the sea to form the islands. In addition, 34 million tonnes of stone have been used to construct the longest breakwater in the world, a 27 km long structure protecting the islands from the sea. The World exists harmoniously with the diverse, surrounding marine life that inhabits its waters,” says Van Oord, “and this is the basis for its future standard towards the environment.” According to Posford Haskoning’s Environment Gulf report, the quality of seawater surrounding the islands was superior to that tested along the shoreline of Dubai. Over 31 different types of flora and fauna are presently in existence, including asparagopsis - which creates a protective canopy above the seabed. As a result, colonies of pearl oysters and other mollusks are beginning to proliferate. Various forms of sea life, such as coral anemones and sea squirts, thrive along and in between the breakwaters surrounding the islands, accepting it as part of their natural environment. Initiatives, such as the water treatment plan to reuse water and recycle waste, or the incentives provided for ‘Green’ developers, will aid in the continued harmony of The World, its customers and its environment.
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