Dubai Reef Project Unveiled To Boost Marine Ecosystem
July 18, 2024
Sustainability UAE

Dubai Reef Project Launched To Boost Marine Ecosystem

Initiative Involves 20,000 Reef Modules

To bolster Dubai’s marine biodiversity and ecological sustainability, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, has inaugurated the Dubai Reef project.

Dubai Reef, spearheaded by Dubai Can, is currently the world’s most significant marine reef development endeavour.

Over the next four years, the project will deploy 20,000 purpose-built reef modules across 600sqkm of Dubai’s coastal waters. The initiative marks a significant commitment to marine conservation, with each module meticulously designed to exceed 400,000 cubic metres in volume.

The project’s strategic goals include enhancing biodiversity, safeguarding coastal and marine habitats, supporting fish populations, and bolstering ecosystem resilience.

The initiative is poised to promote environmental stewardship, bolster socio-economic prosperity, and pave the way for a thriving ecotourism industry. This project preserves Dubai’s marine heritage and promises a brighter, more sustainable future for all.

Collaborating with key partners, the project supports broader national agendas such as the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33), the UAE’s Green Agenda – 2030, and the UAE Net Zero 2050 strategy.

Reef
Dubai Reef is facilitated by Dubai Can. Credit: Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism

Sheikh Hamdan emphasised the project’s significance: “Reef ecosystems are vital components in protecting marine life. Dubai Can’s Dubai Reef project will inject vitality into our coastal waters and contribute to global conservation efforts.”

Proof Of Concept

The inaugural activation of the pilot reef modules follows an initial proof of concept championed in 2021 by Ahmed Mohammed bin Thani and contractors HaejooX.

The project aims to ensure successful implementation and delivery by partnering with entities like the Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) and the newly formed Dubai Environment and Climate Change Authority (DECCA).

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of DET, hailed the initiative as a testament to Dubai’s commitment to sustainability, noting the collaboration between public and private sector entities in driving Dubai’s sustainable future.

Renowned investor Ray Dalio lauded the Dubai Reef project, expressing admiration for its ambitious vision and potential global impact.

“Once again, Dubai is pursuing an ambitiously great project, this time under the visionary guidance of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan,” he remarked.

The Dubai Reef project represents a monumental stride towards environmental sustainability and marine conservation for Dubai and the world.


Dubai Can is a sustainability endeavour with a clear mission: to curb the proliferation of single-use plastic water bottles in Dubai Emirate.

Since February 15, 2022, the initiative has reduced consumption of almost 18 million 500ml single-use plastic water bottles across Dubai emirate.

This initiative employs several strategies to achieve its goal:

  1. Promoting the adoption of refillable water bottles among residents and visitors.
  2. Facilitating access to free and safe drinking water by installing and utilising water stations strategically placed across Dubai.
  3. Cultivating a societal shift towards conscious living by raising awareness about plastic alternatives and broader sustainability issues.

Featured image: Dubai Reef is currently the world’s most significant marine reef development endeavour. Credit: Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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