Limitless ploughs ahead with Arabian Canal
By Richard High29 July 2008
More than 1.5 million m3 of sand, rock and earth - enough to fill 600 Olympic-size swimming pools - has been excavated for the Arabian Canal, the 75 km man-made waterway designed and managed by United Arab Emirates-based developer Limitless.
Pilot excavation work on the US$ 11 billion project has left a giant hole which, at 700 m long, 200 m wide and up to 45 m deep, is big enough to hold nearly 20 A380 Airbuses or eight of the world's largest cruise ships.
Excavated earth - 1 billion m3 - will be used to form new landscapes along the canal, including hills up to 200 m high, providing views of the waterway and creating new land on which to build hillside villages.
A statement from Limitless said it has now received 10 bids for the first phase of the major earthworks on the project. The contracts will be awarded by the end of August. Ian Raine, project director for the Arabian Canal said, "Construction of the canal involves one of the biggest excavations ever undertaken in the region. The sheer size of the project means that it will be split into around 10 different packages in total.
"This first package involves the excavation of an 8 km stretch of the waterway at the northern end of the inland section of the canal. It will run 2.5 km to the west of the Dubai bypass and 5.5 km to the east."
Limitless is using photographic and video technology to monitor land changes throughout the excavation, which began in December and will continue for the next four years. Its Goematics Information Systems (GIS) team carries out a weekly aerial mapping surveys via helicopter, and will soon be tracking progress at ground level with new laser scanning equipment mounted on a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Established in July 2005 Limitless operates in three specific areas: master planning large urban communities, waterfront development and the implementation of large scale balanced projects