Land Reclamation in the Arabian Gulf: Security, Environment, and Legal Issues

Elham Fakhro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides an overview of reclamation developments constructed in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain during the past decade. Although the effects of land reclamation have been studied from an environmental perspective, the potential for land reclamation to contribute to domestic and inter-state tensions in the Gulf has been under-researched and therefore has not been factored into policy decisions governing the scope and scale of offshore expansion. The paper draws on international legal precedent and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to consider the legality of land reclamation in enclosed maritime areas and to argue in favour of the modernization and enforcement of existing legal standards as a means of restricting the practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-52
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Arabian Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013


  • Arabian Gulf
  • Bahrain
  • International Court of Justice
  • Iran
  • Land reclamation
  • Persian Gulf
  • Qatar
  • Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment
  • UAE
  • UN Convention on the Law of the Sea
  • environment
  • offshore developments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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