The sand was then sprayed and “vibro-compacted” into shape using GPS technology for precision and surrounded by millions of tons of rock for protection.
By Danielle Berman
Dubai may boast the tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa at 2,717 feet), the world’s largest indoor theme park, and soon the world’s first rotating skyscraper, but most impressive are the city’s man-made archipelagos, all in various stages of completion: Palm Jumeirah, Deira Islands, Palm Jebel Ali, The World, and Bluewaters Island.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the United Arab Emirates’ prime minister and Emir of Dubai, is the mastermind behind these massive projects, which are meant to pique tourism and expand Dubai’s coastline.
So just how were the islands made? A process called land reclamation, which involves dredging sand from the Persian and Arabian Gulf’s floors. The sand was then sprayed and “vibro-compacted” into shape using GPS technology for precision and surrounded by millions of tons of rock for protection.
The Palm Islands: Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali
Today, travelers can access Palm Jumeirah from mainland Dubai via a monorail, and an underwater tunnel connects the topmost frond to the crescent. Upcoming debuts for Palm Jumeirah include The Palm Tower, with floors occupied by St. Regis Dubai and Nakheel Mall, which are set to open in 2018 and late 2017, respectively. No need to settle for Google Earth views: admire the handiwork while free-falling over it at 120 mph via a skydiving excursion.
Work on a second Palm island, Palm Jebel Ali, began in 2002, but due to the 2008 financial crisis, construction halted. Nakheel has since reassured reporters that Jebel Ali is not canceled, but a “long-term project."
If and when the island is complete, it will be 50 percent larger than Palm Jumeirah and feature homes built on stilts, a water park, villas, six marinas, and sprawling boardwalks shaped into the words of a poem written by Sheikh Mohammed himself.
If shopping indoors during a UAE summer is more your style, Deira Mall, with its retractable roof atrium and over 1,000 stores, might just be paradise. The mall will serve as the centerpiece of Deira Islands Boulevard, which will feature retail space and at least 16 residential towers. By 2020, two of the four islands will hopefully be developed and completed, with 250,000 people living on them, to boot.[post_ads_2]
Despite this erosion issue, developer Kleindienst Group is hoping to revive The World in a big way, with the launch of The Heart of Europe by 2020. Six Kleindienst-owned islands round out the project, each providing visitors a slice of (very high-end) European life, complete with underwater villas (aka “Floating Seahorses”), five-star hotels, and even streets lined with manufactured snow. The St. Petersburg island, which is shaped like a heart, promises to be the world’s premiere honeymoon destination.
Burj Al Arab
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