The Palm Islands are a group of
artificial islands off the city of Dubai, which were created using
land reclamation techniques. The company responsible,
Nakheel, is owned by the Dubai government.
The initial Palm Islands plan consisted of three main groups of islands.
The Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, and Palm Deira.
Palm Jumeirah is the first, and smallest of the three planned Islands, and
occupancy started in 2006. The two other palm
projects are currently on hold.
Palm Jumeirah is shaped as a single palm tree — with a two-kilometer-long trunk and 17 fronds — partly surrounded by a
semi-circle, or crescent, made up of three islands
stretching 11 kilometers. It also has two islands on either
side of the tree's trunk. The crescent is in part artistic,
and in part practical — it functions as a breakwater, able
to withstand waves up to four meters, and the divisions in
the crescent means the waters surrounding the fronds and
trunk of the Palm won't stagnate. The Palm is connected to
the mainland by a bridge, and the crescent is connected to
the top of the palm by an underwater tunnel. A monorail is
expected to open later in 2008 to transport people on and
off the islands. (Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira have
slightly different design concepts, though still based on a
The immense undertaking is visible from space. The rocks forming
the base of the islands are being brought from quarries
throughout the UAE, and the Palm comprises approximately 100
million cubic meters of sand and rock. 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. As for the 12,000+ real palms
that will be on the Palm Islands, they are being grown in a
nursery in Dubai.