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Dredging to kick off on Al Gurm

NMDC set to start on US $272 million mangrove project after plans are approved by Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi

Dredging contractor National Marine Dredging Company is due to start work this week on eleven offshore islands that will form part of the US $272 million (AED999 million) Al Gurm Resort in Abu Dhabi.

Plans for the development, which will be built on and around a natural mangrove near the UAE capital, were only approved by the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi (EAD) on 3 May.

Project architect Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, said: “We have been working with EAD throughout the design process, and everything we do has to be approved by them. Now that we have had the go-ahead, dredging work will begin next week.”

The development, which will feature a 161-room resort and spa, and 59 private villas, is set in 1.8 million m2 of mangrove reserve on the Coast Road of Abu Dhabi island.

According to Al Mazrouei, careful consideration has gone into building within an area of natural importance.

“One of our studies looked into how developing on a mangrove area would affect the local habitat. And we have put in a place a number of environmental protection measures to minimise the impact of construction; we have designed a series of canals to ensure continued water circulation around the mangrove.

“We have also designed a system whereby all sewage from the development will be transported away from the site underneath the main access roads, so construction of arterial routes for pipelines and roads will be kept to a minimum.”

He added that for every tree removed during construction, two more would be planted.

Construction will be carried out in two phases (hotel and residential) and the project is due for completion in the last quarter of 2007.

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