Asia | 2010-2014

The Project of an L-Shaped, Sand-Containing Breakwater, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Products:ACETex® PP, ACETube® - hydraulic structures

Application: Breakwaters


This project was at a coast in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, where there was a groin for the protection of the navigation channel. The local authority planned to build a fishing port right there where the groin was and decided to make use of it as a part of the port.

Problem / Task

An L-shaped breakwater of about 700 m long was designed to be attached to the groin to make a port. The newly-built breakwater of 147 m would reach from the coast with a right-angular turn to the northeast and another 524 m to be connected with the groin. The whole structure should be 9 m high, 2.5 m of it under water and 6.5 m above the sea level on account of the tidal range being 3 m.
Cost-effectiveness, fast construction, and optimal safety were the requirements for this particular project. However, most breakwaters in the UAE are built with rubble which is costly. Other materials, such as concrete boxes (caisson), concrete blocks are also expensive. Therefore, the local authority wished to look for a more economical option for the project.

Solution/ Design & Construction

After a thorough assessment, ACETube® geotextile tubes were chosen to construct the proposed breakwater. Generally, geotextile tube was filled with sand and used as a core in breakwater structure; however, this project design applied various types of ACETube® as the perimeter barrier structure which contained and trapped in-situ sand to forming the core of the breakwater. The construction was carried out from bottom to top with the usage of 286 ACETube® geotextile tubes. Externally, ACETube® was covered with an under-layer of aggregates and further protected by a layer of armor rocks. The final look was similar to a rubble-mound type breakwater.


The innovative application of ACETube® for breakwater construction significantly reduced the cost and minimized environmental disturbance. The result turned out to be better than expected. The project even won 2013 International Achievement Award from IFAI for its outstanding performance.


Breakwaters restore and protect shorelines by interrupting wave energy, and allowing sand to accumulate along the coast. Compared with rock fill, durable polypr...

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