Dubai is known for its beautiful beaches, scorching heat and glitzy nightlife, and now the United Arab Emirates city is in the news for something even bigger than its towering skyscrapers. Sustainable city developer URB just announced their plans for Dubai Reefs, which calls itself the “world’s largest ocean restoration project” and could create a home for more than one billion corals and 100 million mangrove trees within 77 square miles of artificial reef.
“Dubai Reefs aims to become a blueprint for marine conservation, ecotourism and ocean living,” URB CEO Baharash Bagherian told CNN. “Ultimately, it will become a unique resilient destination providing food security and energy from the ocean, whilst empowering a greener economy.”
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In true Dubai fashion, Dubai Reefs will also be a tourist attraction in addition to an underwater ecosystem. Floating residential, retail and hospitality facilities are part of the plan, along with several eco-lodges. But a marine institute is at the core of the project, which will be dedicated to ocean research, coastal environmental protection and education. Dubai-based URB says it will be totally powered by renewable energy produced by solar, hydropower and wave farms. Food production also has a place in the project, as seaweed and oyster farms are in the plans.
Dubai Reefs is as beautiful as it’s ambitious, but the company expects for it to be complete by 2040. Here’s hoping it’s as positive for the environment as it is for tourism.
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