The largest coral garden in the world will be built off the coast of the UAE's eastern emirate of Fujairah.
The UAE's Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) and the Fujairah Centre for Adventures have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to create the Guinness World Record-breaking coral garden.
Neither a final location for the coral garden, nor a timeline for completing the underwater project, has yet been disclosed. However, WAM reported that any potential site would need to be on rocky ground, "within a natural protected area", and less than one nautical mile from the shore.
MOCCAE will supply different coral sizes and types for the development, as well as offer technical support and logistics to the onsite team.
Equipment and materials needed for coral aquaculture and transplantation, and sea transportation, will also be made available by the ministry.
Under the MoU, a joint technical team will be formed to create a project action plan based on the recommendations of both parties. This strategy will need to set out how stakeholders intend to develop the underwater project.
The MoU was signed by Sultan Alwan, assistant under-secretary of the regions sector at MOCCAE, and the director of the Fujairah Centre for Adventures, Saeed Al Muamari.
The UAE's Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, was present at the signing ceremony.
"[The coral garden is] important to help preserve the pristine natural beauty of the region, and its precious marine environment," said Al Muamari.
"The project is the largest in the world, and will help boost local and international interest in the coral reef and the marine environment."
The coral garden in Fujairah aims to attract divers and nature enthusiast to the emirate, as part of national efforts to position the UAE as a destination for ecotourism.