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Dubai to Build Massive Artificial Reef; 'A Surfers' Paradise'

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Dubai -- Dubai is building a massive artificial offshore reef in the Arabian Gulf. The reef, in addition to promoting surfing will also protect the coastline and improve its marine life, a report said.

The reef, called Narrow-Neck, will span 73,000 sq m and will be 200 metres long. The location is approximately 400 metres off the coast - between Umm Suqeim and Burj Al Arab, said the Gulf News report.

The construction, expected to cost Dh9 million ($2.5 million), will start in January and is likely to be completed in nine months.

"The artificial reef is a new technology we have opted to protect our coastline as it is much cheaper than the traditional breakwater protection," said Khalid Al Zahed, head of Coastal Management Section at the Dubai Municipality, designers of the project.

He said the reef, designed to channel the flow of water and increase the height of waves hitting the coast, will sit just below the low tide level. Intensity of the tide will reduce after hitting the reef but at the same time, it will magnify waves to help surfing.

"Dubai will be a surfers' paradise after the reef is constructed as it will set off major breaking waves," he said. Al Zahed said that the municipality will register it as a patent product because the civic body is receiving inquiries from other Gulf countries as well as US and South Africa.

The reef will be constructed of geo-synthetic containers filled with sand or stones and sunk to form a horseshoe shape on the seabed. It will be sunk in shallow water with three to seven metres of depth. It is expected that 40,000 cu m of sand will be used.

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