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Introducing the world’s largest ocean restoration project: Dubai Reefs

Dubai Reefs, the world’s largest ocean restoration project, was unveiled on the coast of Dubai by URB, a developer of sustainable cities. URB has already designed and built sustainable cities in Yiti, Oman, and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. With the Dubai Reefs project, URB is now bringing its expertise to the Dubai coast.

Dubai Reefs is a sustainable floating community that will offer a variety of residential, hospitality, retail, educational and research facilities. URB has set itself the goal of making Dubai a global center for ecotourism, eco-research and ecological regeneration through Dubai Reefs.

Baharash Bagherian, CEO of URB, placed great emphasis on the value of the ocean in maintaining a healthy environment when developing the Dubai Reefs project. “The health of our cities is inextricably linked to the health of our oceans,” said Bagherian. “The ocean is the source of life and controls everything. Since everything on our planet is connected, a healthy ocean is also a healthy city. Our ocean will look completely different by the end of the century if we don’t act now.”

Dubai Reefs will be powered by renewable energy sources such as solar energy, hydropower and wave power plants, in line with Bagherian’s environmental program. Dubai Reefs accommodation will offer unique marine ecotourism experiences in state-of-the-art floating eco-lodges.

At the heart of the project is a marine institute dedicated to protecting Dubai’s marine and coastal ecosystem. The institute will focus on environmental education and conservation and spearhead a global initiative to eliminate plastic waste from the oceans. To counteract the damage caused by oil drilling and dredging along Dubai’s coast in previous decades, coastal ecosystems are designed to sequester and store carbon. Over a billion corals and 100 million mangrove trees will find a natural habitat thanks to a 199 square kilometer artificial reef.

Dubai Reefs is expected to create over 30,000 jobs in a green economy and transform Dubai into an enviable eco-destination. “We need entrepreneurship in the planning of coastal cities and in the type of infrastructure and developments associated with the sea,” said Bagherian. “As an innovative coastal city, Dubai is best positioned to lead such a transformation. Dubai Reefs aims to not only create a unique, resilient destination for ecotourism and marine research, but also to become a blueprint for marine life while mitigating the effects of climate change.”

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