What do you imagine when you hear the “Arabian sheikh” word combination? Probably most of us imagine rich petroleum monarch whose wealth is equal to the income of a small country. It is not a secret that this wealth is due to the oil resources available in the United Arab Emirates. But the other thing that also isn’t a secret is that each resource will be exhausted one day.
This is one of the reasons Arab monarchs want to make their country a remarkable place that will attract tourists for long time after the oil runs out. One of the best ways to do so is to utilize the architecture for creating outstanding buildings and objects, such as Burj Khalifa, Princess Tower in Dubai, Burj Al Arab, Dubai Creek Golf Club, and many others.
But something more impressive is the creation of artificial islands near Dubai coasts. These islands include the World archipelago, the Universe archipelago, and the Palm Islands – Palm Jumeira and Palm Jebel Ali.
Jan De Nul Group, a Belgian, family-owned company that works in the field of maritime constructions and dredging, and Van Oord, a dutch company focused on land reclaiming and dredging, were initially hired to create the Palm Islands. The project was led by a company owned by the government of UAE – Nakheel Properties. At first plans included three artificial islands – Palm Jumeirah, Palm Deira and Palm Jebel Ali, but Palm Deira was redesigned and turned into separate artificial Deira Island.
This is the smaller Palm Island, built near the Jumeirah coastal area of the city of Dubai, UAE. This artificial palm consists of a central trunk with 17 branches and oval, 11 kilometers long wave shield that surrounds the whole structure. The island takes an area equal to 800 football fields (“football” means “soccer” in this comparison), measuring 5 x 5 kilometers. A remarkable attraction for divers is the artificial reef that was created from 2 sunk North American F-100 Super Sabre jet fighters. Probably some sort of symbolism could be found in this action… Or just someone decided that two jet fighters would look awesome under water.
Palm Jumeirah uses 300 meters long bridge for connection to the continent, and the top of the palm is connected to the protective hemi-circle via underwater tunnel.
There are three types of villas on Palm Jumeirah – Signature Villas, Canal Cove Town Homes and Garden Homes. Also, the island features hotels, restaurants, beaches and everything needed for complete relaxation.
Palm Jebel Ali
This is the brother of Palm Jubeirah that was supposed to be 50% larger than Jubeirah. Its construction began in 2002 and had to be complete in 2008, but the project is still on hold. Initial plans included building of 6 yacht clubs, sea village, and a water theme park.
It was also supposed to have unique raised pedestrian walkways twat would spell Arabic poem by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum:
“Take wisdom from the wise
It takes a man of vision to write on water
Not everyone who rides a horse is a jockey
Great men rise to greater challenges”