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Rakeen utilizes latest dredging techniques as work begins on $1.8bn

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, October 09 - 2007 @ 13:18

Rakeen is undertaking the greatest precautions and using ‘state of the art’ dredging techniques and technologies in order to ensure that the Al Marjan Islands are developed with the highest levels of environmental responsibility.

Rakeen has contracted Dredging International, a leading international company specializing in amongst other things the construction of man-made islands, to carry out the dredging, reclamation and rock revetment works on this, the first project of its kind to be developed in Ras Al Khaimah.

Using sophisticated techniques and a highly advanced computer telecommunications system, ensuring precise satellite navigation and positioning, Dredging International has been tasked to complete the reclamation work with the highest level of accuracy, efficiency, safety and cost effectiveness.

“The Al Marjan Island project has been designed to be a haven for luxurious living and unparalleled leisure and recreation. Rakeen has meticulously master planned all phases of the project to incorporate the most environmentally friendly practices during construction of the islands and throughout its lifetime ensuring multi-levelled sustainability of the project. This way, we guarantee occupants a lifetime premium with the most conducive living environment in terms of health, safety, security and amenities,” said Dr. Imad Haffar, COO of Rakeen.

Located 27 kilometres southwest of the Ras Al Khaimah town centre, the Al Marjan Island project is a cluster of four coral-shaped islands dotted with a variety of water homes, floating villas, hotels, resorts, sporting facilities and commercial spaces over a total area of 2.7 million square meters. The furthest point of the beach is 4.5 kilometres out into the sea.

Rakeen has rejected ‘hostile dredging’ techniques to create the man-made islands, preferring a more natural approach by using surface fill with coarse earth material. In shallow waters and up to two kilometres away from the original shore line, land reclamation was carried out using land back filling. The remaining areas of the Islands are currently being reclaimed using sub-sea sand pumping.

The sand is outsourced from deep offshore borrow areas very far away from the furthest point of the top of the Islands, in order to not disturb the marine ecology. Shallow surface reclamation along with sub-sea pumping, as opposed to the method of rain-bowing, eliminates the need for dredging channels in shallow waters and avoids sea bed siltation thus maintaining crystal clear waters around the islands for its inhabitants to bask in and enjoy. Additionally, instead of concrete ripraps that are visually unappealing and harmful to marine life, Rakeen has used over four million pieces of natural rock that are carefully laid one at a time for building the essential breakwaters.

“The rocks add a long-term value to the project as they will generate more marine life and help reef formation, giving birth to a new ‘natural’ wonder in Ras Al Khaimah and adding lustre to the underwater paradise of the Arabian Gulf. We are confident that with the latest technology and careful planning, we will create a self-sustaining community that our clients will be proud to call their home,” revealed the project manager Dr. Fawzi Shadid.

The first step towards building a man-made island is to make a prospective design that sets as priority efficient water circulation and ensures highest water quality whilst maintaining stable beaches.

For that state of art simulation, specialized computer technologies are utilized including flushing and water quality modelling. A physical model created by a professional marine consultant determined the height, the size and the weight of the armour rock and guaranteeing its persistence against the highest wave occurrence in 100 years.

The design and construction of the ‘confinement bund’, the skeleton of the island that will contain the reclaimed sand, is the second step. The reclamation of Al Marjan Island is anticipated to be completed early 2008; the infrastructure on the third island to be completed by 2010 added Dr. Shadid.

”Dredging International is using 3D modelling of the Islands 3 and 4 break-waters in order to ensure full compliance with the design specifications during construction phase. This technology provides continuous and accurate monitoring of the size, dimensions and location of individual rocks entailed in the break-water construction.

The 3D modelling system interfaces with DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System), an enhancement to the Global Positioning System (GPS) known to most Gulf residents from the navigational application in cars. DGPS uses a network of fixed ground based reference stations to broadcast the difference between the positions indicated by the satellite systems and the known fixed positions. 3D modelling relays the data to the rock installation machines on site, where advanced computer technology continuously shows the machine operator the exact type of rock required for a specified location,” says Dredging International’s Resident Director Jacques Paynjon.

He added that Rakeen’s vision of environmental responsibility and care reflects at length the corporate vision of Dredging International, and that Dredging International in offering the most advanced technologies available to this pioneering project in Ras Al Khaimah is pleased to cooperate with Rakeen.

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Tuesday, October 9- 2007 @ 13:18 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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