Project Name:

Project Description

NMDC was awarded an AED 1.5 billion contract by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council to construct the Mussafah Channel for Abu Dhabi Ports Authority. The project played a key role in the development of Mussafah Industrial City by allowing ships to pass with greater ease. 

The channel is 63.5 kilometer long, 200 meter wide, with a depth of 9 meters. The project entailed dredging of 65 million cubic meters of soil, using the latest cutting and suction dredgers. 


Mussafah Channel Relocation Project was awarded to NMDC in 2008. The purpose of the Project was to create a 53 km shipping channel to allow vessels with a draft of 9 m to access Mina Mussafah. 

NMDC’s fleet of Cutter Suction Dredgers carried out the work and handed over to the Client 53 km of dredged channel to a design depth of -9.5 m Abu Dhabi Chart Datum (ACD) with a width at the toe side slopes of 200 m with the material arising from the dredging activity was strategically deposited for future use. The latter part of the project included deepening the existing Mussafah waterfront and involved dredging in front of existing quay wall structures. 

In addition to the dredging scope of work, NMDC were responsible for diverting services that bisected the channel, navigational aids and vessel-tracking system, the latter was procured with the assistance of the end user Abu Dhabi Ports Company. 

As the Project neared completion, the risings from the dredging activity exceeded far from what was required for future use. NMDC in conjunction with the Client, Consulting Engineer and the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, developed an environmental off-set plan in the form of a habitat compensation island. This island was constructed using 7,000,000 m³ of surplus material and shaped in such a way that the inner part of the island is affected by tidal flows, thus creating an ideal habitat for mangroves, fish, insects and birds. This is the first project of its kind in Abu Dhabi and is setting a benchmark for future marine projects where the habitat is perceived to be threatened. The whole island is protected by rock revetments designed in such a way that over the time the island will sculpt itself naturally.


Dredging: 65,000,000 m³ of dense sand of which 7,000,000 m³ is placed in the habitat compensation island. 

Rock revetments: 10,000 m³ of core material and armour. 

Navigational Aids: 84 buoys complete with anchor chains and blocks with focal planes ranging from 1.9 m to a fairway marker buoy with a focal plane of 4.1 m. 

All buoys installed are to IALA standards. 

Services Diversions: diversion of three water lines two km long, a marine telephone cable and two power cables diverted using directional drilling/pipe jacking methods. 

Mangrove Planting: approximately 350,000 mangrove seedlings covering an area of around 60,000 m².

Project Details

Client Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council
Location Abu Dhabi , U.A.E
Period 2008 – 2011