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The Palm Islands is a series of artificial islands in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on which major commercial and residential infrastructure will be constructed. To date, the islands are the largest land reclamation projects in the world and will result in the world's largest artificial islands. They are being constructed by Nakheel Properties, a property developer in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai, the fastest growing tourist destination in the world, was rapidly running out of beachfront. As a way to solve this beach shortage, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, had an idea to maximize beachfront, and a sketch evolved that was an island resembling a palm tree.

The Palm Islands project is the icon that captivated the worlds attention. The Palm Islands is also the self-declared 'Eighth Wonder of the World'.

Three Palms
The Palm Islands, also referred to as The Palm Dubai and The Palms, are the three largest man-made islands in the world

Palm Jumeirah The Palm, Jebel Ali The Palm, Deira

Palm Jumeirah

The Palm Jumeirah consists of a trunk, a crown with 17 fronds.
The island itself is 5 kilometers by 5 kilometers its total area is larger than 800 football pitches. It will add 78 kilometres to the Dubai coastline.

Nakheel properties marked the arrival of the first residents by bringing one of the worlds largest airships to Dubai.


The Jan De Nul Group started the work on the Palm Jebel Ali in October 2002 and is expected to be completed in mid 2008 The project, which is 50 percent larger than the Palm Jumeirah, will include six marinas, a water theme park, 'Sea Village.

The Palm, Deira

The Palm Deira was announced on 5th October 2004 by the crown prince of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, that a third man-made Palm Island will be built on reclaimed land off the coast of Dubai's Deira beach . It is expected to be finished by 2015. This island is 10 times larger than the Palm Jumeirah, and 5 times larger than the Palm Jebel Ali. The Palm Deira, will be almost as large in size as Paris.


First stage of development includes construction of land foundations

Next stage will include building of infrastructure & bridges

Final stage consists of construction of residential units

Techniques & methods used in construction >GPS >Dredging >Rainbowing >Vibro-compaction



Construction process
Constructed by the Belgian Company Jan De Nul & the Dutch Company Van Oord. Construction began in June 2001 & the developers announced the hand over of the first residential units in 2006. Island has been created using 94 million cubic meters of sand & million tons of rock. Currently, total project cost reached US$ 12.3 billion. Approximately, 40,000 workers were involved in the construction of the island.

Construction process
Sand was sprayed by dredging ships onto the required area which were guided by GPS. The outer edge of each palms encircling crescent (half moon) is a large rock breakwater. Each rock used in island weighs from 1-6 tons and was placed individually by a crane. Breakwater stands in 10.5 meters of sea at its deepest point & rises to a height of 4 meters above sea level. Rocks and sands were then pushed and shaped through process of vibro-compaction.

Construction process
Sub sea tunnel:

Connecting the crescent to main body of island and the island with rest of Dubai. Was designed to transport people on and off the crescent through 1.4 km, six lane highway. Tunnel is a box like structure ,1400 km long and 40 meters wide with two cells for traffic and a service/emergency cell in between. To build the tunnel, a special type of dam (coffer dam) was constructed to exclude water from an area that is submerged.


Facts and Statistics

3 years of planning,42 consulting firms & over 50 studies have helped to ensure The Palms feasibility & sound construction. Marine ecology, traffic, population & business development continue to be studied closely.

Facts and Statistics

Environmental Sustainability
Use of natural material Use of sea sand Vibro-compaction Relocation of fishes and other sea creatures

Facts and Statistics

The Crescent
As breakwater Water circulation

The project took 4 years of methodical planning & exhaustive feasibility studies in Dubai, ensuring that the islands would not disrupt the environment.


The Palm Jumeirahs Ecosystem

Primary Goal
A primary goal in creating the island was to ensure that construction not only had the smallest possible impact on the surrounding environment, but also enhanced the environment beyond the original, predevelopment state.

The Palm Jumeirahs Ecosystem

Expert Involvement Prof. Joseph Valencic Jim Miller

The Palm Jumeirahs Ecosystem

The Findings The Outcome Creation of a variety of landscapes and seascapes Promotion of existence of marine life Growth of diversified Ecosystem

Flourishing Marine Life

New Ecosystem The crescent home Regular visit of dolphins Meadows of sea grasses Urchins, barnacles and sponges Dive Attraction



PALM ISLANDSINTERESTING FACTS Due to its immense scales and unique shape,The Palm Jumeirah,The palm Jabel Ali and The Palm Deira are visible from space with naked eyes.

UAES beachfront will be increased by an extraordinary 166%. Rocks weighing a total of 7 million meter cubic(per island)are being brought in.

CONT. If all the fill materials used to build one palm island were placed end to end , a wall two meters high and half a meter thick could circle the world three times.

Where do all the trees that the islands will require come from?

Expert divers examine rock placement underwater to ensure correct positioning. Divers are also used to review placement of geotextile. Due to advanced planning and reliance on equipment, only 500 laborers working on around-the-clock, shifts have been needed for the reclamation phase of the island.

CONT. Vibro-compaction technique is used Eliminate the possibility of any geo hazards Eliminate the risk of liquefaction in case of earth quake.


Some of the properties available for sale on the Palm Jumeirah are the Palm Jumeirah Residence, Palm Terrace, and Atlantis, The Palm. Located off the beautiful Jumeirah Beach coastline offering superb views of the world famous Burj Al Arab Hotel.

o Palm Island Jebel Ali (ready 2009) will be mostly famous for its Floating Houses. o Nakheel has appointed SMRT Engineering PVT Ltd (SMRTE),to prepare for the operation and maintenance of the 5.45 kilometer, Dh1.4 billion monorail on the Palm Jumeirah.

More than 70 different nationalities have purchased property on The Palm Jumeirah.
Approximately 4,000 villas and apartments on The Palm Jumeirah sold out in 72 hours.


Shape of island Protecting the island from the waves Ensuring high water quality Seeing the island from the space

1. Why Palm Shape?


2. How could such an irregular shape be precisely created in the sea?

The answer is GPS (Global Positioning System) . In the early development of The Palm Jumeirah, GPS was used extensively. Engineers on boats and on foot used the system to check the accuracy of sand placement to within one centimeter of its target, ensuring every grain of sand was placed exactly where it was required. GPS was also used in surveying the development site both underwater and on land, before, during and after its construction.

Protecting the island from the waves

Breakwater :a structure for protecting a beach or harbour Breakwaters are used in ports, harbours and marinas around the world, protecting against high tides and waves. Sogreah Gulf, a Dubai-based company, created a 1,950 metre (almost 2km) long 3D physical scale model of The Crescent. Exhaustive tests were then performed in a tank using a 12 metre random wave generator. The model was built with exactly the same structure as the real crescent. Testing and modification of the design ensured that The Crescent will withstand the waves.


How would the water be 'flushed' (circulated) to prevent stagnation and ensure high water quality ?
WL Delft Hydraulics, Dutch company , finally recommended that two 100 metre openings should be introduced on either side of The Crescent. Allowing the entire volume of sea within the island to be refreshed every 13 days.


The answer was 'Ikonos', the world's first privately owned high-resolution satellite. Orbiting the earth 14 times a day, Ikonos can take full-colour photos with an extremely high resolution. These photographs have been invaluable for both engineering and marketing purposes.

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