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The dark side of Dubai's stunning archipelagos.

Who has not seen at least some photographs of the magnificent Palm Jumeirah artificial island archipelago? This extraordinary creation of human architectural thought, fantasy and technological capabilities, many people are in awe. Unfortunately, not everything connected with this unique construction is so beautiful. In a very short time, the landscape of the bay and the
Published: November 26, 2011 - 15:25
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 06:40
The dark side of Dubai’s stunning archipelagos.

palmjumeri

Who has not seen at least some photographs of the magnificent Palm Jumeirah artificial island archipelago? This extraordinary creation of human architectural thought, fantasy and technological capabilities, many people are in awe. Unfortunately, not everything connected with this unique construction is so beautiful.

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In a very short time, the landscape of the bay and the coastline has changed dramatically. Unfortunately, where huge money and projects worth billions are involved, aspects such as the welfare of local flora and fauna are pushed to the margins. In the case of Palm Jumeirah, the poor supervision of the environmental impact of the works, the incredibly rapid process of interference and redevelopment of the shoreline and the management of the waters of the bay have had a very negative impact on the entire marine environment.

“Everything is happening so fast that we have no idea what effect it will have on the local ecosystem. Never before, on any coast, has there been such a huge intrusion in such a short time. We don’t know how serious the consequences will be,” said Peter Sale, from the United Nations University.

To build the island, 94million m³ of sand was needed. Over the course of a few years, there have been changes characteristic of many decades. In some corners of the island, the water remains still for weeks at a time, which can cause excessive algae growth, plus although fish are settling into the new environment, they are not quite the same species that lived here before. This creates entirely new food chains, which it is not clear how the populations of individual species will be determined.

The problem is very serious. The region has already lost 70% of its natural coral reefs! Those that remain are threatened, or largely degraded, by changes to the ecosystem. The construction of a second archipelago, which is even larger, has already consumed 8km² of reef!

“Unfortunately all the predictions about the environmental aspects of this project are very pessimistic. Nothing good is going to come out of it unless there is suddenly a massive change in the way the project is run,” – Charles Sheppard, from the University of Warwick, who studies environmental change in the bay, said.

Source: nature.com
Photo: wikipedia.org

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Marcin Pawelczyk
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