Investment will support local fishing community, increase business opportunities and enhance watersports
Abu Dhabi, UAE: Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) the master developer of ports and industrial zones, has announced an AED 17M investment for Marfa Port, for the first phase development of the port infrastructure and maritime leisure facilities for the local community.
The port is at the north end of Marfa city with direct water access to the Gulf, in the Al Gharbia region, 125 km west of Abu Dhabi. It is renowned for its excellent fishing – reportedly the best in the entire region, and its leisure boating and watersports – particularly the diving.
The port has been operational for many years but with little proper infrastructure. The investment is the first Public Realm project, funded by the Department of Transport to be implemented as part of the Al Gharbia master plan.
The development is split into two phases. The first will focus on the port facilities, installing floating pontoons for the fishing community while enhancing the coastal protection with dredging and reclamation work.
The new pontoons will provide 105 new berths and will allow the fishermen to keep their boats in the water instead of pulling them onto the land after each trip and will provide additional space to repair nets and offload the catch of the day.
The construction work will begin very shortly, with the first phase being completed by February 2014. The second phase which will begin in a few weeks will focus on developing the landside facilities at Marfa.
Majestic Marine Engineering has been awarded the contract for the Marfa Port development work. The company has solid experience developing port facilities, having improved amenities for many fishing communities in the Northern Region, as well as working with ADPC to develop the port offering at Sir Bani Yas island.
Marios Economides, Managing Director of Majestic Marine Engineering and Mohamed Al Shamisi, Acting CEO, ADPC formally signed the investment agreement at the ADPC head offices on Thursday 1 August.
Mohamed Al Shamisi, Acting CEO, ADPC, commented: “The ports in Abu Dhabi's Western Region – the Al Gharbia region – are vitally important to the local communities. The Al Gharbia region has enormous potential as a tourism and leisure destination, this investment will create new sustainable business opportunities, as well as helping to preserve the traditional culture and lifestyle of the fishing community at Marfa.”
Marios Economides from Majestic Marine Engineering commented: “The floating pontoons which have already being previously used to berth a total of 4500 boats in 22 ports in the Northern as well as in the Eastern regions of UAE, have been specially designed to sustain the harsh conditions of the Arabian Gulf and are made of materials which are not only environmentally friendly but with proper maintenance they can last up to 40 years. Their durability and strength make them the perfect choice for the project'
The second phase of the development will focus on the landside infrastructure and new marina facilities. The development will include a building for the fisherman's association, a new fish-market and amenities for the local community including retail units for a café, a restaurant and small supermarket. There will be retail units for maintenance businesses, a large paved area for boat parking, a shaded dry dock area for boat maintenance, and around 240 new berths for boats.
Marfa is also popular for its watersports. The new facilities will increase the ports attraction as a visitor destination, with landscaping to develop the area as an extension of the public parks in Marfa. One of the retail units has been earmarked as a diving shop and there will be a new public boat slipway, allowing easier access to the water for watersports such as kayaking, sea angling, kite surfing and windsurfing.