Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah – Case Study


In this article, we will discuss Palm Jumeirah.


  1. Overview – Palm Jumeirah  

The Palm Jumeirah is a manmade island in Jumeirah coastal area, Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

This island is created from reclaimed land.

It was visualized in the 1990s as a luxury residential, commercial as well as tourists destination.

It took around 6 years to build this project.

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

Palm Jumeirah

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 which was 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 reserve in the future.


 Project NameThe Palm Jumeirah
 LocationJumeirah coastal area, Dubai, UAE
 Area 2,209 sq. miles
 Construction Start Date August 2001
 Construction Final DateDecember 2008

Note: the actual opening date was on 30 April 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 living10000 +
Foundation made from Rocks and Sand
Breakwater – crescent  construction companyArchirodon Overseas
Total Cost of Construction $12 billion
Investment Dubai’s sustainable income from petroleum.
Number of trunks in palm shape1
Number of branches of palm shape17
 Amount of foundation rocks and sand used 7 million ton rocks and 12 million cubic meters of sand.


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

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

It consists of 17 branches and a central trunk covered by a crescent-shaped 11 km breakwater. It is approximately 5 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 the rate of 5 mm (0.20 in) per year.


  2. History of Palm Jumeirah  

Palm Jumeirah construction was started in August 2001.

The construction of Palm Jumeirah was completed in December 2008.

The developers announced the handover of the first residential units in 2006. But the opening date was 30 April 2009. 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 were opened on the Crescent.


  3. Challenges and Solutions  

The challenges that arise during the construction of the Palm Jumeirah are listed below:


I. Overtopping and stability for designing the crescent-shaped breakwater 

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 dump the sand when the sea was at the calmest to ensure stability.

The real protection for breakwater comes from the outer armor which is made from the huge boulders of rock where each rock weighs about 6 tons.

The boulders were connected with each other 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 very fine to provide the 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 Floor.

The sea surface was then sprayed with sand and compacted with a Vibro compactor into the shape, to ensure the precision of the shape. 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 beaches fresh.


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