Palm Island is certainly the most ambitious architectural project in Dubai, packed with top-notch resorts, breathtaking oceanfront villas, high-rated hotels, ports, shopping arcades, and water parks. Often called as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, Palm Islands are the world’s largest manmade islands and are named after their remarkable design that resembles a palm tree. With its exuberant aquatic life, the Palm provides superb activities for visitors to indulge in such as snorkeling and scuba diving.
The iconic islands are the creation of Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum and constructed by Al Nakheel Properties off the Persian Gulf’s coast. The artificially-erected archipelago is classified into three islands: Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, and Palm Deira. Here are some of the many things that make Palm Islands a unique global destination:
- Extending about 7 kilometers into the Persian Gulf, the island’s construction has added nearly 180 kilometers to Dubai’s shoreline, thus increasing it by staggering 166%.
- The Palm Island is the fruit of intensive planning and hundreds of feasibility studies that reviewed several aspects of the design, engineering, and technology. Several expert divers were hired to inspect the rock structures under the water and check their stability.
- The unique design of this engineering marvel resembles a date palm tree topped with a crescent that not only bounds the island but also serves as a seawall that resists high waves as happens during a storm or cyclone.
- Despite its similarity to palm trees, there are no real palm trees on the islands. In fact, over 12,000 nursery-grown palm trees will be planted on the island.
- There are three islands that comprise Palm Islands namely Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira.
The Palm, Jumeirah
The island houses popular tourist attractions Crescent, The Trunk, and 16 Fronds. It also has the luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel, Atlantis hotel gracing the crescent, and posh residential properties including Oceana. It has themed boutique hotels, villas, and shoreline apartments. The Kingdom of Sheba located on the island is a unique commercial retreat for relaxation that is run by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
The Palm, Jebel Ali
The Palm Jebel Ali serves as an entertainment station for children as well as grown-ups. The island is almost double the size of the Palm Jumeirah, and has six ports, an aquatic theme park, and stilts homes built between the crescent and the fronds.
The Palm, Deira
The Palm Island Deira, is the third of the man-made Palm Islands that is built on reclaimed property off the coast of Deirah beach. The Palm Deira is the largest among the three islands stretching 14km in length and 8.5km in width. It consists of residential properties, ports, shopping centres, games facilities, and clubs. The 41 fronds in palm tree design will have residential spaces containing villas or townhouses.
Challenges faced during the construction of Palm Islands
Unarguably, one of the most spectacular architectural and planning projects, Palm Islands had its share of ups and downs. The engineers stumbled upon several constraints and challenges during the construction. Here are some of the key challenges faced by the construction and design teams:
- The time expected for completing the project was a major important constraint. The estimated time was too long but, to complete the construction of the island sooner, around 40,000 workers were hired who worked in 2 different shifts every day.
- The oceanic waves were as high as 2 meters sometimes. The frequency of storm was estimated at 1 in a year.
- The soil was weak as it was constantly exposed to rising sea water. Erosion of soil due to high water currents and strong winds was another major problem as it carried away the sand that formed the greater part of the island.
- Moreover, the construction posed a threat to the marine ecology. This included the loss of fish and reefs and fish as well as the interruptions in the reproductive cycle of the fish that were found in the vicinity of the shoreline. A research conducted by marine scientists showed that the new-born fish were unable to stay alive in the conditions along the shoreline of Dubai because of constant disturbance to the environment and ongoing construction that caused movement of boulders, shifting of sand, vibrating effects.
- The island was constructed just right outside the Dubai coast that resulted in the loss to the overall shape of the coast along the seashore.
- Several obstacles continued to trouble the engineers even after the construction. The installation of pipelines and utilities was too difficult and backbreaking.
How were these challenges overcome?
True to its spirit, Dubai overcame these challenges with the engineering and design teams along with thousands of skilled labourers working relentlessly to complete the islands just the way they were meant to be.
- To counter high waves and the continuous movement of the sea water, sea walls or breakwaters were constructed on all sides of the island.
- The sand was sprayed over the island using rainbowing technique where the sand was sprinkled from the dredging vessels on top of the land.
- The complete island was designed in such a way that water did not stagnate between the sea walls and the islands.
- To prevent sand erosion from the island, preservation systems sprayed materials along the islands’ coast and along the Dubai coast.
- Marine ecology was revived through natural mechanisms that attracted newer species of fish and facilitated reef formations.
To sum up, Palm Islands has thousands of waterfront villas, residential buildings, water homes, and luxury hotels in addition to a number of ports, health spas, resorts, shopping centers, restaurants, movie theaters, games facilities, and underwater activities, making it the world’s largest artificial archipelago that are visible from space.
The luxurious land of stunning high rises, man-made islands, gold haven, welcoming beaches, Dubai offers top-notch education and employment opportunities too. The city is home to some of the best universities and global learning institutions. If you are studying in any of the colleges in Dubai or UAE, you will need essay writing services to come up with high-quality assignments.