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Dubai's growth threatens area's last surf-able wave

Sunset Beach Dubai © James Harvey



Environment Updates

Beach being built for Burj Al Arab would choke off swell

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 December, 2014 - The mega structures in Dubai changed the way sediment moved and was deposited along the coastline. Since then, many new breakwaters have been built to stop beach erosion.

What does this mean? Fewer places where waves generated deep in the Persian Gulf can break and thereby be surfed. Since 2008, the Dubai municipality has been carrying out a series of beach-restoration works.

Municipal officials were not available to answer questions by The National regarding those works and the developments taking place along the coast. For surfers such as Mr van Dooren, the changes mean less opportunities to enjoy their favourite sport.

When waves do appear between November and May, they average about one metre in height compared with 1.5 to two metres before. He said the changes became most pronounced about five to seven years ago.

“There are no more waves now, except for Sunset Beach,” he lamented, pointing towards the 750-metre stretch of beach on one side of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. At that beach, Dubai Municipality officially allows surfers to use only a 20-metre zone.

But they may not be able to surf for much longer because plans have been announced to expand the marina of the adjacent Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The structure will probably block waves, Mr van Dooren fears. “If they do that, there is nothing left.”

A spokesman for Jumeirah said plans were under way to build a beach for the Burj Al Arab hotel and would go ahead as soon as approval was given.

Dubai, Burj Al Arab, Surf, Sunset Beach, Middle East, Surf Loss

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