Dubai Beaches Worth Millions

A prior study, the Abu Dhabi Contingent Valuation study estimated that the amenity supplied by the coastal and marine resources in Abu Dhabi was worth some US $141million to only 15 Abu Dhabi hotels/year equaling a Net Present Value (NPV) of between US $1.3 and US $2.1billion over 13 years, the average period before major refurbishment is expected. In addition, the coastal and marine resources supplied a value of US $683 million to beach users/year. 

To estimate the economic value of Dubai’s coastal amenities we will consider both the Willingness To Accept Compensation (WTAC) for a deterioration in quality of the coastal amenity values, and the Willingness To Pay (WTP) and/or contribute to a hypothetical restoration fund to avoid a loss in the value of these amenities. 

The priorities for valuation will be towards the increasing incidence of Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB), otherwise known as red tides, as a useful proxy for the declining water quality. This can therefore be a means to quantify the value of a pristine coastal water quality environment to key stakeholder groups that utilise the coast both commercially and for leisure purposes. 

The project was carried out in partnership between Dubai Municipality (DM) and the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) with Dr. James Blignaut as the Principle Investigator.

The surveys found that the value of Dubai’s coastal and marine ecosystem services ranges between AED6 billion and AED 21 billion per year in the case of total algal bloom; the tourists’ value comprises 85% thereof. 

In case an offset is available, then the value ranges between AED 4 billion and AED 14 billion with the residents’ portion being 66% thereof. 

These values are much higher than that of Abu Dhabi which ranges between AED 1,8 billion and AED 3,1 billion for total algal bloom and between AED 348 million and AED 578 million when an offset is possible. 

Given the fact that Dubai’s coastline is 18,7 km long and assuming a coastal zone of 1 km wide, the coastal and marine area of Dubai is 1 870 ha. That implies that the plausible range of the unit value of the resource is between AED 3,2 million/ha and AED 11,3 million/ha, or US$0,87 million/ha and US$3 million/ha. 

This is among the highest and most valued ecosystems in the world (Blignaut et al. 2016 & 2017). 

Dubai Contingent Valuation (41491 downloads )