UAE expected to tow first iceberg to its coast in 2020

National Advisor Bureau proposes plan to tow icebergs from Antarctica to eastern coast of the UAE

The pilot phase of the UAE Iceberg Project is expected to begin during the second half of next year, it has been revealed by the National Advisor Bureau Limited, the organisation behind the ambitious project.

According to a report by WAM, the Bureau has launched the official UAE Iceberg Project website, which serves to highlight the major stages of the project, and its intended benefits, in relation to the local environment and economy.

The Bureau has put forward the project of towing icebergs from Antarctica to the UAE coasts, so as to leverage them as new sources of freshwater in the region. Following the initial announcement, significant interest was generated, with several international media outlets and scientific bodies questioning the feasibility of the plan.

As such, a scientific committee is now being set up, consisting of scientists, experts and specialists on Antarctic icebergs and marine sciences to study the project. The committee will also initiate collaboration with water research centres and universities from around the world, the report added.

National Advisor Bureau Limited is currently developing a technology that will reduce project costs, ensure zero ice melting during the transportation phase, and facilitate the water-transfer process to consumers at minimal cost. Details about the technology are expected to be official unveiled during the fourth quarter of 2018.

The cost of the project is estimated to be $50 million to $60 million and the pilot phase will start either from the coast of Perth, Australia, or Cape Town, South Africa. It will then be followed by the necessary steps to tow the icebergs to the eastern seacoast of the UAE during the first quarter of 2020.

The report added that the project would place the UAE on the glacial tourism map as the first desert country to offer glacial tourism on its coasts, saving iceberg enthusiasts the trouble of travelling to the North and South Poles.

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