Australian technology company Global Road Technology to protect Sharjah’s ancient middle eastern site Mleiha from modern challenges.

AN AUSTRALIAN company that specialises in building ‘spray-on roads’ on mine sites and in regional Australia has been selected to protect an archaeologically-sensitive historic site in the Middle East from the impact of modern tourism.

The Mleiha archaeological site, about 55km east of Dubai, is one of the most important historic excavation sites in the region, providing evidence of Greek, Persian, and Indian trade routes and artefacts, dating back thousands of years.

Global Road Technology (GRT) is using cutting-edge technology to protect the ancient site from the modern impact of tourists, with hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to tour the site, and a new visitor centre, each year.

The site’s custodians, faced the challenge of catering for a soaring number of visitors eroding walking paths, roads and the historically-sensitive surrounds.

GRT managing director Troy Adams said because of the company’s Australian-developed technology the company had been selected to strengthen and protect the area.

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“It is a credit to our world-class researchers; we can deliver roads and walkways in a different way to traditional methods, using less imported materials, water and manpower,” Mr Adams said.

“Traditional methods use petroleum-based products such as bitumen, and trucking in large amounts of gravel or other roadbase, which could harm this important cultural site.

“GRT has experience working with environmentally sensitive sites, to ensure the custodians can balance the desire of the public to see and explore these areas, while minimising any harm to priceless artefacts and the surrounding landscape.

“While our roads have less impact on the environment, they are just as capable of handling the loads and wear of hundreds of thousands of people on foot, arriving by car or by tour coach.”

GRT will work with local contractors to deploy its polymer solution to gravel roads, and sand and earth walking trails, to ensure visitors can safely drive to, and walk around, the site in all weather conditions without impacting their surroundings.

The result will be harder-wearing road surfaces and walkways that retain their natural look and colour but are more resistant to wear from weather and traffic, have less environmental impact and have reduced maintenance requirements for the site’s owners.

GRT will complete on-site works before the end of 2015, with over 600 tonnes of environmentally friendly GRT products shipped into the UAE which has been logistically challenging with GRT to continue to provide over-site and minimal ongoing maintenance.

“We are proud to be chosen to work with the local development authority, and to help showcase this important site to visitors from around the world,” Mr Adams said.

About the Mleiha Archaeological Site

  • Mleiha is the only known large settlement in the region from the pre-Christian era.
  • The presence of iron and copper artefacts at the Mleiha Fort indicates a stable power base, which governed all or part of the surrounding region’s economic activity.
  • Researchers have uncovered evidence of market districts, trading routes and goods from foreign destinations including Greece, from where they were transported by sea or land caravan.
  • Evidence excavated to date suggests that the residents of Mleiha built tower tombs for their deceased, burying them alongside possessions and valuable items.

For more information on Sharjah’s ancient middle eastern site Mleiha or Global Road Technology products please contact us.