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The Palm Jumeirah
The Palm Jumeirah is an artificial island created in Dubai, using idea of land reclamation by Dubai Government owned Developer Nakheel. It is one of three islands called The Palm Islands which will increase Dubai’s shoreline by a total of 520 km. The Palm Jumeirah is the smallest and the original of three Palm Islands (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira). It is located on the Jumeirah coastal area of the emirate of Dubai.
The Palm Jumeirah is in the shape of a palm tree. It consists of a trunk, a crown with 17 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometer long breakwater. The island is 5 kilometers by 5 kilometers and its total area is larger than 800 football pitches. The crown is connected to the mainland by a 300-metre bridge and the crescent is connected to the top of the palm by a sub-sea tunnel. Over the next few years, as the tourism phases develop, The Palm Jumeirah is touted as soon to be one of the world’s premier resorts. The Palm Island is the self-declared 'Eighth Wonder of the World'. The island will double the length of the Dubai coastline.
According to the developer's publicity material, the Jumeirah Palm island will feature themed boutique hotels, three types of villas (Signature Villas, Garden Homes and Canal Cove Town Homes), shoreline apartment buildings, beaches, marinas, restaurants, cafés and a variety of retail outlets. Over 30 beachfront hotels will be opened by the end of 2009, including:
Oceana Resort & Spa on 1 May 2007The Trump International Hotel &
Atlantis, The Palm
The Taj Exotica Hotel & Resort
Tiara Hotel & Residence
Oceana Resort & Spa
The Fairmont Palm Residence
The Fairmont Palm Hotel & Resort
The Dubai Estates Hotel & Park
Hotel Missoni Dubai
Radisson SAS Hotel Dubai, The Palm Jumeirah
Kempinski Emerald Palace
Kempinski Emerald Palace Residences
Two F-100 Super Sabre fighter jets have been stripped and sunk near The Palm Jumeirah to create an artificial reef, intended to encourage marine life.
On 18 June 2007, the Cunard Line announced that it had sold its former flagship, RMS Queen Elizabeth 2, to Istithmar for use as a floating hotel at The Palm Jumeirah beginning in 2009.
Palm Jumeirah Monorail
The 5.4 km (3.35 mile) Palm Jumeirah Monorail is being built on the island which will be able to transport 40,000 people every day. It is expected to open in April 2009.
Construction began on the Palm Jumeirah island in June 2001 and the developers announced handover of the first residential units in 2006. The island has been created using 94 million cubic metres of sand and 7 million tons of rock. The Palm Jumeirah was created by pouring sand fill onto the 10.5 metre-deep seabed using dredgers. Above sea level, 3 metres of the reclamation were achieved by a dredging technique known as "rain bowing," in which the sand fill was sprayed over the surface of the rising island. Calcareous sand was used for the reclamation. The island includes a curved breakwater using natural rock, intended to encourage the creation of a natural reef and provide habitats for sea life. The land form was reclaimed by the Dutch company Van Oord, who are world experts in land reclamation. Total cost reached US$12.3 billion and maintaining the island is a costly expenditure. Approximately 40,000 workers, mostly from South Asia, have been involved in the construction of the island.
In early October 2007, the Palm Jumeirah had already become the world's largest man-made island. Also at this time, 75% of the properties were ready to hand over, with 500 families already residing on the island. By the end of 2009, 28 hotels will be open on the Crescent.
The complexities of the construction have been blamed, in part, for the extended delays to the completion of the project, the date of which has been pushed back multiple times and is now nearly two years late. Further controversy was engendered when it was revealed that after launching the project, Nakheel increased the number of residential units on the island (with a concomitant reduction in the amount of physical space between individual properties) from the originally-announced 4500 (comprising 2000 villas and 2500 apartments) to an estimated 8000 without recompense to those investors who had purchased early in the expectation of greater separation between properties. This increase was attributed to Nakheel miscalculating the actual cost of construction and requiring the raising of additional capital, although Nakheel has never commented publicly on the matter.
Doubts have also been expressed about the quality of the construction and finishing of the properties on the island and the real ability of the infrastructure on both the Palm and the mainland to cope with the stresses of the sheer number of people leaving from and returning to the development every day once complete.
Furthermore, there are numerous concerns about the environmental impact of the Palm. As originally constructed, the breakwater was a continuous barrier, but it was realized that by preventing natural tidal movement, the seawater within the Palm was becoming stagnant. The problem was corrected by adding an additional gap in the barrier. As explained in the National Geographic Channel's documentary Impossible Islands, part of its Mega Structures series, the breakwater was subsequently modified to create gaps on either side, allowing tidal movement to oxygenate the water within and prevent it stagnating, albeit less efficiently than would be the case if the breakwater did not exist. This same episode addressed the issue of marine life as well, but stated that the breakwater has actually encouraged marine life and that new marine species are moving into the area.