Australian firm worked on all facets of the first-of-its-kind mangrove park project in Abu Dhabi
GHD, a leading international professional services company, operating in the market sectors of water, energy, buildings and transportation, has said that it has played a crucial role in developing a key mangrove park in the UAE for the Abu Dhabi-based Modon Properties.
In a statement, the Australian firm said that the Jubail Mangrove Park is a first-of-its-kind project that is focused on raising environmental awareness of the mangrove habitat, while also providing edutainment facilities that promote conversation.
A series of pedestrian boardwalk routes have been installed, providing access adjacent to the mature mangrove forests and tidal lagoons of Jubail Island, GHD explained, adding that the 2.6km boardwalk navigates its way through a variety of ecosystems, including mangrove habitat, intertidal mudflats, salt marshes, lagoon channels and distinctive sandstone geological formations known as zeugens.
The company explained that it had provided a wide range of services for the landmark project, which represents a shift in the leisure offerings within Abu Dhabi, with a focus on nature and ecotourism. This is in line with Abu Dhabi Government’s vision for promoting the natural beauty of the Emirate and maximising its tourist potential.
As such, the Jubail Mangrove Park features a series of attractions, including kayak launch points, floating pontoons, expansive net-structures that allow children to get their feet wet, stepping pads and seating nodes with educational signage, it stated.
A particular highlight is the two-storey observation tower, which provides panoramic views of the wetland habitats and across the city of Abu Dhabi. The route terminates at a visitor centre and café, complete with plaza seating, food van area, and an education terrace for school or group visits.
GHD was involved at all stages of the project, including schematic design, detailed design and project management, said Malcolm Dixon, regional general manager (UAE).
“The main challenge was to choose a construction methodology that would suit such an environmentally sensitive project, as well as mobilising people and equipment in the heat and humidity given that the peak of construction occurred during summertime,” remarked Dixon.
He pointed out that GHD’s design and supervision team worked collaboratively with Modon to overcome these challenges and the group’s in-house environmental team carried out regular inspections, as well as raising labor awareness about the sensitivity of the mangrove area.
“Similarly, our supervision team worked with the landscape design team to find constructible solutions for any unforeseen obstacles, providing a multidisciplinary approach that was crucial for successful project delivery in unique marine conditions,” observed Dixon.
“GHD’s involvement in this project establishes the company as a frontrunner in the environmental design and construction of innovative solutions for ecotourism and environmental education,” he added.