It seems to me, the Dubai city planners may have watched the Kevin Costner movie, â€œField of Dreams,â€ one too many times. But they werenâ€™t far wrong. They did build it and they did come. In fact, they are still coming and the planned developments over the next few years should bring even more. I found some interesting photos of Dubai which show the development over the last few years. The first one is taken in 1989 and the second in 2005. Spot the difference? There has been quite a stunning amount of development in Dubai, and these two photograph, seen together, graphically demonstrate that fact. The next few are some projections of future developments. Itâ€™s hard to see an end in sight, with the â€˜Palm Islandsâ€ and â€œWorld Archipelagoâ€ developments pushing the boundaries even further.
The Palm Islands:
The Palm Islands are technically artificial peninsulas constructed of sand dredged from the bottom of the Persian Gulf by the Belgian company Jan De Nul and the Dutch company Van Oord. The sand is sprayed by the dredging ships, which are guided by DGPS, onto the required area in a process known as rainbowing due to the way the sand arcs when sprayed. The outer edge of each Palm’s encircling crescent is a large rock breakwater. The breakwater of the Palm Jumeirah has over 7 million tons of rock. Each rock was placed individually by a crane, signed off by a diver and given a GPS coordinate. The Jan De Nul Group started the work on the Palm Jebel Ali in 2002 and finished by the end of 2006. The reclamation project of the Palm Jebel Ali includes the creation of a 4 km long peninsula, protected by a 200 m wide and 17 km long breakwater built around the island. 135,000,000 mÂ³ of rock, sand and limestone were reclaimed (partly originating from the Jebel Ali Entrance Channel dredging works). The slope protection works for the crescent include approximately 5,000,000 mÂ³ of rocks.
Rumors about celebrity purchases of the islands on â€œWorldâ€™s Islandsâ€ have been rife since the developmentâ€™s announcement. David Beckham, Rod Stewart, Richard Branson are all rumored to be investing in an island. Although Michael Shumaker was given one by Dubaiâ€™s Crown Prince Generak Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. One of the few confirmed developments is the purchase of 14 islands that make up Australia and New Zealand by Investment company Dar. The islands are being terraformed to the investors specifications to create 19 islands, to be developed as a resort named OQYANA.
Irish business consortium Larionovo has plans to develop the ‘Ireland’ island into an Irish-themed resort. The plans include a large internal marina, apartments and villas, a gym, hotel, and Irish-themed pub. In July 2007 it was announced that ‘Ireland’ Island would feature a recreation of Northern Irelands’ famous Giants Causeway. Keep on building, they’ll keep on coming.