Middle East Cruise News

Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal operator launches massive coral relocation project

Abu Dhabi Ports, the operator of the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal in Port Zayed, has launched a major coral relocation and conservation project, in the waters surrounding Khalifa Port.

Khalifa Port was developed when Port Zayed was turned into a cruise-only port and is the capital of the UAE’s primary commercial harbour. The coral relocation project is intended to protect the marine environment around it.

Abu Dhabi Ports operates the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal up the coast from Dubai.

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Khalifa Port’s coral relocation forms part of a series of mitigation measures to lessen the environmental impact from dredging, whilst reclaiming waters that separate the offshore port’s breakwater from the spectacular nearby Ras Ghanada coral reef.

The plan is being unveiled ahead of the construction of a heavy rail terminal that will connect Abu Dhabi Ports’ flagship, deep-water port to the UAE’s future rail network, Etihad Rail.

“Championing and protecting Abu Dhabi’s natural aquatic ecosystems have always been key considerations in the ongoing development of Khalifa Port, one of world’s most advanced deep-water ports,” said Mohamed Eidha Tannaf Al Menhali, Port Director – Khalifa Port, Abu Dhabi Ports.

“Abu Dhabi Ports is committed to driving both local and global initiatives aimed at introducing new technologies and solutions that will protect marine life and limit the impact of port activities on the local environment,” he added.

The coral relocation program is intended to offset damage from dredging around the port.

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Typically undertaken during dredging and reclamation works, coral reef relocation is a critical exercise in port operations and is deemed essential for protecting local marine wildlife ecosystems.

Under the supervision and guidance of the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, certain species of coral will be relocated from Khalifa Port’s northern revetment to its environmental breakwater.

Using several methods of transporting and fixing the coral, the results and outputs of the project will be evaluated, with a view to determine the best methods and mechanisms for coral transfer and relocation.

The Eastern Mangroves in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi is well-known within the UAE for its biodiversity, offering extensive mangroves around the eastern coast of the island, which have become a popular shore excursion option for cruise passengers exploring the city independently.

The Eastern Mangroves were recently made even more accessible for nature-lovers with the opening of a new walkway interspersed with cafes and rest areas.

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