Monday, October 2, 2023

Palm Jumeirah: 17 Construction Details, History, Geographical Features, Challenges, and More

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1. What is Palm Jumeirah?

Palm Jumeirah

 ✔ The Palm Jumeirah is an artificial island in the Jumeirah coastal, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

This island is created from reclaimed land.

It was visualized in the 1990s as a luxury residential, commercial, and tourist destination.

It took around six years to build this project.

The shape was first chosen to be a shell, then as (an eagle or falcon) and later finalized in the personal preference of Sheikh Mohammad as a Palm Tree. Engineers used satellites to plot the shape.

The 2 KM-long trunk contains 558 deluxe apartments, townhouses, and a penthouse.

It can be seen through the space very clearly.

About 12,000 palm trees were planted on this island, first grown in nurseries.

The main aim of constructing the project is to act as an insurance policy against the exhaustion of UAE’s extensive oil reserves in the future.

The project’s foundation was constructed from 7 million tons of rock blasted from the Hajar mountains instead of the concrete slab.

Twelve million cubic meters of sand and other stuff were dredged from the sea to form the island. The materials were compacted using Vibro-compaction technology.

It has 17 branches and a central trunk covered by a crescent-shaped 11 km breakwater. It is approximately five by 5 kilometers in dimension and has an area of roughly 800 football fields.

In 2009, The New York Times published that NASA’s laser altimeter satellite had studied the Palm as sinking at 5 mm (0.20 in) per year.



2. Construction Detail of Palm Jumeirah:

Palm Jumeirah

 Project Name The Palm Jumeirah
 Location Jumeirah coastal area, Dubai, UAE
 Area  2,209 sq. miles
 Construction Start Date  August 2001
 Construction Final Date December 2008

Note: the actual opening date was on April 30, 2009.

 Shape   Palm tree surrounded in a circle
 Shape choice   Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
 Developer  Nakheel (a real state company currently owned by the Dubai government)
 Master plan by  Helman Hurley, Charvat, Peacock( American architectural firm)
Number of people living 10000 +
Foundation made from Rocks and Sand
Breakwater – Crescent Construction Company Archirodon Overseas
Total Cost of Construction  $12 billion
Investment  Dubai’s sustainable income from petroleum.
Number of trunks in palm shape 1
Number of branches of palm shape 17
 Amount of foundation rocks and sand used  Seven million tons of rocks and 12 million cubic meters of sand.



3. History of Palm Jumeirah  

Palm Jumeirah

Construction Milestone Date
Construction Commencement August 2001
Construction Completion December 2008
Announcement of First Handovers 2006
Official Opening Date April 30, 2009
Number of Residential Units Ready 75% of properties
Families Residing on the Island 500 families
Hotels Opened on the Crescent End of 20


4. Development of Palm Jumeirah:

Palm Jumeirah

Development Stage Description
1. Concept and Vision Conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in the early 2000s.

Vision: Create an artificial island resembling a palm tree extending into the Persian Gulf.

2. Planning and Design The precise planning and design work initiated to convert the vision into a feasible project.

Involvement of architects and engineers in designing the island’s infrastructure, including the iconic palm tree shape, fronds, and crescent.

3. Land Reclamation The first phase of Development involved extensive land reclamation from the sea.

Millions of cubic meters of sand and rock were used to create the foundation for the island.

4. Breakwater Construction A protective breakwater was constructed around the outer edge of the Palm to shield it from wave action and erosion.
5. Infrastructure Development Development of roads, bridges, and utility networks, including water, electricity, and telecommunications, to support the growing island population.
6. Residential and Commercial Zones Palm Jumeirah was divided into residential communities on the fronds and a crescent featuring luxury hotels and resorts.

Various residential options, including villas, apartments, and penthouses, were developed to accommodate residents.

7. Land Sales and Development Projects Various real estate developers purchased land on the island to construct residential and commercial projects.

Iconic developments like Atlantis The Palm and The Palm Tower were completed, adding to the island’s allure.

8. Tourism and Attractions Palm Jumeirah became a prominent tourist destination with attractions like Atlantis The Palm Resort, Aquaventure Waterpark, and The Pointe waterfront dining and entertainment complex.
9. Environmental Considerations Efforts were made to ensure environmental sustainability, including extensive landscaping and the creation of green spaces.

The crescent area serves as a habitat for marine life, contributing to the island’s ecological balance.

10. Ongoing Development Palm Jumeirah continues to evolve with ongoing development projects, such as new hotels, restaurants, and residential communities, keeping the island vibrant and appealing.
11. Iconic Landmark Palm Jumeirah has achieved global recognition as an iconic landmark, attracting worldwide residents, tourists, and celebrities.

Its distinctive palm tree shape and luxurious offerings have made it a symbol of Dubai’s ambition.


5. Geographical Features:

Palm Jumeirah

Geographical Feature Description
Palm-shaped Design Resembles a palm tree with a trunk, fronds, and a crescent-shaped island at the top.
Reclaimed Land It was created through extensive land reclamation by dredging sand from the seabed to form new land.
Man-made Island It is recognized as the largest artificial island globally, a testament to Dubai’s engineering innovation.
Breakwater The crescent-shaped island at the top is a protective breakwater, shielding the island from the open sea.
Artificial Channels A network of artificial channels for transportation and irrigation crisscrosses it.
Beaches Boasts 11.1 kilometers (6.9 miles) of coastline lined with beautiful, artificial beaches for residents and visitors.

6. Challenges arise during the Construction of the Palm Jumeirah:

I. Overtopping and stability for designing

The breakwater was constructed from rock and sand, but mostly rock. The sand layer of the bottom breakwater crescent is 7.4m thick.

The main challenge was to dump the sand layer, so it was decided to leave the sand when the sea was calm to ensure stability.

The natural protection for breakwater comes from the outer armor, made from the huge rock boulders that weigh about 6 tons.

The boulders were connected by interlocking without using concrete.



II. Availability of construction material

There is no use of concrete and metal for its Construction because the prince wanted it to be constructed from natural materials.

Although UAE is a desert area with lots of availability of sand, the sand was of no use because the sand in the desert was beautiful to provide stability. That’s the reason why dredging sand was collected from the Persians.



III. Design as the land reclamation

Land reclamation was constructed from the dredging sand collected from the Persian and Arabian Gulf floors.

The sea surface was then sprayed with sand and compacted with a Vibro compactor into the shape to ensure the precision of the body. It was directed using GPS technology.



IV. Struggle to keep the seawater flowing between the palm-shape

This problem was solved by cutting the 328-foot opening in the outer circle of the structure to provide the flow that the inner area needs for the circulation of the water and fresh beaches.



7. Residential and Commercial Areas:

Palm Jumeirah

Residential Areas Description
The Trunk The central part of Palm Jumeirah features a mix of residential properties like apartments, villas, and townhouses.
The Fronds The 17 palm-shaped branches extend from the Trunk, each with its unique mix of residential properties like apartments, villas, and townhouses.
The Crescent A protective 11.1-kilometer (6.9-mile) long breakwater home to luxury hotels and resorts and a limited number of residential properties.
Commercial Areas Description
Nakheel Mall A large shopping mall on the Trunk housing various multinational and local brands, restaurants, and cafes.
The Pointe A waterfront retail and dining destination on the Palm Jumeirah Crescent featuring a wide range of global and local restaurants, cafes, and shops.
Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk A 1.5-kilometer (0.93-mile) long waterfront walkway along the Palm Jumeirah Crescent, popular for jogging, walking, and cycling, granting scenic views of the sea and skyline.



8. Architectural and Engineering Aspects:

Aspect Description
1. Land Reclamation Reclaimed land from the seabed by dredging millions of cubic meters of sand.

They carefully placed sand to create the palm tree shape, fronds, and crescent.

2. Breakwater Design The crescent-shaped outer ring is a protective breakwater, safeguarding the island from the open sea.

Critical for island stability and erosion protection.

3. Palm Tree Shape Meticulous planning and design for the palm tree shape, including the Trunk, fronds, and central crescent.

The Trunk serves as a transportation corridor.

4. Infrastructure Development Extensive infrastructure development to support population and tourism, including roads, bridges, utilities, and connections to the mainland.
5. Residential and Commercial Buildings Construction of various residential and commercial buildings featuring innovative architectural designs and engineering solutions.
6. Luxury Hotels and Resorts Advanced engineering for luxury hotels and resorts on the crescent, including underwater foundations and extensive landscaping.
7. Canal Network Intricate artificial canal network for transportation and irrigation, requiring precision engineering for creation and maintenance.
8. Environmental Considerations Implementing engineering solutions to ensure environmental sustainability, including landscaping, green spaces, and promoting marine life.
9. Ongoing Development Ongoing development projects like Nakheel Mall and The Pointe continue to push the boundaries of architectural and engineering innovation.
10. Iconic Landmark Palm Jumeirah’s Design and Construction have made it an iconic global landmark symbol.



9. Environmental Sustainability:

Sustainability Initiatives Description
1. Landscaping and Green Spaces Extensive landscaping and creation of lush gardens, parks, and green areas to grow aesthetics and supply natural habitats.
2. Marine Life Promotion Design of underwater breakwaters and structures in the crescent area to encourage coral development and attract various marine species.
3. Sustainable Building Practices Incorporation of sustainable building practices in newer developments using energy-efficient materials and technologies.
4. Water Conservation Implementation of water-efficient systems, like low-flow fixtures and appliances, to decrease water consumption.
5. Energy Efficiency Adopting sustainable practices like efficient HVAC systems, high-performance insulation, and low-emissivity glass.
6. Waste Management Establish waste management programs for waste reduction, recycling, and proper disposal.
7. Transportation Alternatives Promote alternative transportation options, including walking and cycling, to decrease reliance on private vehicles and reduce carbon emissions.
8. Green Building Certifications Some properties on the island have got a green building certification.
9. Environmental Regulations Dubai authorities have implemented environmental regulations and guidelines.
10. Ongoing Sustainability Initiatives Implement sustainability initiatives to enhance Palm Jumeirah’s environmental performance and diminish its ecological footprint.



10. Transportation and Accessibility:

Road Transportation Description
Palm Jumeirah Monorail A driverless monorail connecting the Trunk of Palm Jumeirah to the mainland.

10 stations along the route.

Approximately 10 minutes travel time.

Palm Jumeirah Road Bridge A six-lane bridge linking the Trunk of Palm Jumeirah to the mainland.

Approximately 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) long.

Approximately 5 minutes to cross.

Public Transportation Description
Dubai Metro A rapid transit system serving Dubai.

Two lines: Red Line and Green Line.

Red Line connects the mainland to Palm Jumeirah via the Monorail station.

Private Transportation Description
Taxi Taxis are available on Palm Jumeirah for convenient island and mainland travel.
Car Rental Car rental services offered by various companies in Palm Jumeirah for independent exploration.
Accessibility Description
Accessible Features Palm Jumeirah is generally accessible to people with disabilities.

Monorail, hotels, and resorts are equipped with ramps and elevators.

Challenges Some areas, such as beaches, may pose challenges for people with disabilities regarding accessibility.


Read More: Suez Canal
Verified By:  Er. Bipana Kshetri Puri 


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Er. Madhu Krishna Poudel
Er. Madhu Krishna Poudel
He is a founder and lead author of Dream Civil International and his civil engineering research articles has been taken as source by world's top news and educational sites like USA Today, Time, The richest, Wikipedia, etc.
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