Dubai Palm Islands

Dubai Palm Islands

Technology  -   34 Comments
Ratings: 7.71/10 from 42 users.

Dubai Palm IslandsThe Palm Islands are 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 rain-bowing because of the arcs in the air when the sand is sprayed. The outer edge of each Palm's encircling crescent is a large rock breakwater. The breakwater of the Palm Jumeirah has over seven 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 working on the Palm Jebel Ali in 2002 and had finished by the end of 2006. The reclamation project for the Palm Jebel Ali includes the creation of a four-kilometre-long peninsula, protected by a 200-metre-wide, seventeen-kilometre long circular breakwater.

210,000,000 m3 of rock, sand and limestone were reclaimed (partly originating from the Jebel Ali Entrance Channel dredging works). There are approximately 10,000,000 cubic metres of rocks in the slope protection works.

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5 months ago

a very interesting movie!

Niloo Karimian
9 years ago

finished watching a National Geographic program on the making of the Palms
Island and could not resist sharing my thoughts both on the misleading
program and this very ugly, ambitious and environmentally damaging
project. By making of the palms Island the DUbai authorities
with their engineers and collaborators may have put this artificial marsh land
on the map of the world temporarily (since sand erodes), but what amazes me is
the fact that they are insisting on changing the historical name of the Golf
which hosts this drowning Island! Just to
educate National Geographic program and the Dubai authorities,
the name of the Golf is PERSIAN GOLF and not Arabian
Golf. Please check the old maps of the world you must have some copies,
when Persia was appreciated with great leaders, (remember
leaders come and go and facts and reality do not erode they are
permanent, only sand in such conditions erode!!) please check
your maps and see that it has Always been called THE PERSIAN GOLF
that is the reality.

10 years ago

I wonder if they have a real sewer system for this development? They use "Honey Bucket" trucks on the adjacent masssive buildings. Dubai City Planners don't believe in proper sewer systems. Remember that massive Cholera Epidemics started in Europe in the Middle Ages and in 19th century London, from contaminated water systems. It really is just a matter of time before disease results from untreated sewer effluent. I don't know how well educated PEng's can sign off on these projects. They pinch their noses and deposit their pay cheques in a Dubai Bank!

Holden Magroin
11 years ago

this project, and Dubai's development as a whole, is arrogant and unnatural. i like that this mainstream doc mentioned the depletion of the oil reserves, that is an issue we will all be hearing about in the next few years. Dubai's little prince squandered the wealth from his people's natural resources to build an entire city on a western civilization model that has no business being in that damn desert. its like las vegas except no great dam for power. they could have invested that wealth into developing a technology for food production and harvesting energy and been innovative for the whole world and especially take care of the people of that region. that f*ing brand new city doesn't even run on solar. what idiocy. in terms of engineering yes it is impressive. but not worth it at a time like this.

Holden Magroin
11 years ago

this project, and Dubai's development as a whole, is arrogant and unnatural. i like that this mainstream doc mentioned the depletion of the oil reserves, that is an issue we will all be hearing about in the next few years. Dubai's little prince squandered the wealth from his people's natural resources to build an entire city on a western civilization model that has no business being in that damn desert. its like las vegas except no great dam for power. they could have invested that wealth into developing a technology for food production and harvesting energy and been innovative for the whole world and especially take care of the people of that region. that ******* brand new city doesnt even run on solar. what idiocy. in terms of engineering yes it is impressive. but not worth it at a time like this.

11 years ago

cheesy drama doc

11 years ago

T-A-C-K-Y... why do all these up-and-coming nations hold Las Vegas up as a model of "style" when it's basically just theme park veneer. Like it or not they are emulating a cliché of America. China is doing the same thing.. and has anyone seen Mecca lately!? Gag...

11 years ago

However enormous engineering effort it can be i just think this project isn't right in its core. It's too much artificial and lacking true beauty if the bottomline to be. This is like somebody dying her hair to yellow pretending like a real blonde. Yes she can always dye it again when it fades away as in the maintanence scheme of palm islands but it wont just make it good as true natural blonde look

11 years ago

however it was built and by whom it was built isnt the issue, the issue is when the hypocrites come to Dubai they will definitely enjoy every sec the spend on that island partying and drinking till the sun comes up, and they will surely forget about all the poor payed laborers when doing that.

i love Dubai and we do appreciate the efforts of the laborers. The gov. is doing all it can to enhance the living conditions and salary's of the laborers!

Robert Allen
12 years ago

this programme is amongst the most annoying i have ever watched

Jason Mowbray
12 years ago

my word of the day is oxymoron. Nothing to do with . . . . . ah well. What a world.

12 years ago

I was payed over a grand a week working on this.

12 years ago

Built by the rich for the rich with labour supplied by the working poor paid for with borrowed money.

As such a monument to greed, arrogance and unbridled pride and a waist of human creativity and ingenuity.

In almost all religions pride is a vice, humility is the virtue.

13 years ago

Beautiful! It will probably wash away though. I don't understand why they built everything on sand. They should have build it on concrete and covered that with sand.

13 years ago

the phrase 'more money than sense' comes to mind.

And when the oil runs out worldwide, we'll all see what a ridiculous waste of time this was.

13 years ago

To HY:
Dubai and S'pore outsource all their construction labor to cheaper labor from 3rd world country. Hence, things can be built cheaper and faster and the ultimate winner is the rich developer.

It is not totally correct that S'poreans are shunning hard-labor related jobs. In western countries, there are union restrictions, minimum wages and quotas on foreign labor and a construction worker get a decent pay at the end of the month.

With unrestricted labor import and minimum wage controls, a construction worker may get US$300-500 at best. No S'poreans will get into construction labor for that salary.

Pay them a decent salary just as the Western world does and I'm sure there'll be takers for the job. Of course, that jacks up labor cost and no employer will do it voluntarily. With the government turning a blind eye to minimum wages and labor quota, soon, you'll see skilled workers, technicians and engineers disappearing from the S'pore construction industry as well.

13 years ago

No doubt an incredible engineering wonder, but I don't think it can guarantee a safe income as tourism fluctuates upon the economy of nations or the global situation. I know in the U.K,Greece and other EU nations, people ae spending more time at home as jobs and income decrease due to national debt to the IMF. The only real way to prosper is to erradicate interest and world debt. African nations never recovered from misery until some of their debt was written off. I do agree also that more should be done to help the poor and those suffering at the hands of corrupt individuals.

13 years ago

@ Tyler Durden

A few things...I have lived and worked here in Abu Dhabi for over six years and a few facts about Dubai for you.
They have hardly any oil in Dubai as compared to AD. Most of Dubai's money comes from investments, which, by the way, are losing considerably. AD just lent them $25M last year. And they keep spending like there is no tomorrow. All of those high-rise buildings are virtually empty. Rent has decreased in some cases >50%.
One mistake I noticed at the beginning of the video, the narrator mentioned this was the Arabian Gulf. It is in the Persian Gulf.
Anyway, Thanks for listening,

13 years ago

@ Tyler Durden

I'm Singaporean and if you're referring to the fact that the bulk of our country's construction workers are from other countries such as Bangladesh and China and there are an increasing number of service positions being taken up by people from other countries, you've got that right.

Yes, one of the reasons is that they're cheaper labour. However, the primary reason why Singapore has to outsource it's labour is due to the fact that no one in Singapore is keen on doing manual labour. Our country's emphasis on education over the past few decades have led recent generations to become extremely well educated, and thus most Singaporeans completely reject the idea of working as construction workers or maids etc. It is regarded as one of the "lower" jobs. Though I believe no job is less worthy of doing than another, many of us would prefer to do jobs that are "comfortable" (no sweating under the sun etc) and pays better. So if you are arguing the case that Singaporeans are being left stranded without jobs due to the big scale outsourcing of labour, then the facts are probably rather untrue or inaccurate. In contrast with the Dubai issue, the outsourcing of labour is probably due to us being too educated as compared to the people of Dubai's lack of education. We have too many job opportunities/choices to choose from and doing manual labour would probably be last on the list. We are becoming increasingly affluent and our expectations of our standards of living etc have soared, and our government and the older generations lament that we can and will never truly understand the hardships and obstacles they have faced trying to build this country because we have everything.

I mean, even primary school kids have expensive handphones and laptops now!

tyler durden
13 years ago


Your accent seems to reveal that maybe you live in the Kingdom yourself ?, I understand what the projects and construction are sold as and how they are advertised to the people. The fact is that these projects benefit only those who can afford them starting at 1.5 million and up you have a hard time convincing me this benefits the masses. The tourist industry it creates does subsidize some of the oil revenue, true. But really without the oil non of the other people going there can afford to play and throw around the money they do so it wouldn't matter anyway. Once the oil is gone tell me who can afford to Fly to Abu Dubai? He could be building sustainable infrastructure for the people and sending them all to universities with the oil money, instead of committing the next generation to work in the service industry as most will. I have bad news for the people of Abu Dubai, if they can outsource the service they will do that as well and the locals will be jobless. Historically these "Princes" have lived lavish lives with private jets, hundreds of cars huge mansions and mega yaht's, their concern for the people ends there. If you don't serve them you are useless to them. I have see Singapore outsource it's labor force tremendously and while an economic success the native Singaporeans have been on the decline. The same is true for Bahrain, if you believe them when they tell you to "just go along with it" and let them keep stringing you along forever the only "shock" you're in store for is the one you made yourself.

13 years ago

the prince is trying to help his people and soon to be people(unborn)escape the shock if oil run out in the middle east. i dont think thats greedy. his thinking about his people.

also what his doing is artistic too. this will surely be appriciated by the people of the future..

13 years ago

A must see for any construction buff. More mega construction / machine docs would be nice here. Amazing what money can build nowadays.

13 years ago

why cant these richer then rich people get together to feed and clothe and get clean water to the poorer of they're countries?..then building something so useless

13 years ago


You got it. @Skye it could never have been built in the US because you couldn't have gotten away with paying people $600 to $800/month for manaul labor. People who use oil and gasoline have no idea who is benifiting financially in the transaction and the abuse and greed they possess to create the things of marvel you see here.

It should be enough to drive people to get the most fuel efficient vehicle they can buy and conserve as much as possible. But they won't. And the peoples of the gulf region will keep on raking it in and paying third worlders to do the work for a basic living wage so you can marvel more at the achievements they get others to create with their money to be built on their soil.

To follow....they will hire expats to develop the technology that pushes oil out of the picture....why? because they will have all the money in the world to do so.

It goes even deeper. Do you think an expat teacher in a gulf country can fail a child for not learning the curiculum? they can but they will lose their job. So is that a culture the is bringing up the brightest? The culture is about as messed up as it gets and wealth and greed and foolishness on the consumption side of oil is what is making it all happen.

Abu Dhabi is the place with the oil money. Dubai was built on debt as we have seen in the past year. And also when the first big rain storm came after the Palm was built guess what? The houses flooded. So it isn't all that you see.

13 years ago

@ tyler durden there are debate's going on about what type of tech the Egyptians were actually using because they had the Baghdad battery, its also said when people spent to much time near the ark of the Covent there hair would fall out and they would get sick and burnt skin that sounds like radiation to me possible nuclear technology ?. Its also said they knew about scalar tech the stuff tesla was messing with.

tyler durden
13 years ago

Last time I was in Dubai this hadn't been completed, it's interesting to see how it eventually developed. I remember feeling sorry for all those imported workers, I would see in the buses and trucks especially after seeing their living conditions. There was an eye opener. The separation between rich and poor was never more apparent. I guess it's the way of all huge constructions like this. It makes me think about how the Egyptians built what they did, lacking all our modern tech and engineering knowledge. The Crown Prince sure has done alot to bring Dubai out of the sand, I commend his achievement but cannot overlook his greed. I hope in the future our money and engineering genius is put towards benefitting the masses and not just the select few who can afford to live in this way.

13 years ago

Without putting too much thought into it I agree with you Skye-hook.

13 years ago

At the risk of being yelled at, I will state my true feelings about this subject & the video. Very good documentary! Thorough , interesting, very professionally done. I am not only impressed, I feel the whole world benefits from something this magnificent being built. It's similar to the pyramids in that way. Something monumental built by man. A major achievement! A thing never attempted before, done well, by engineers who really put their all into it. A thing not just of huge proportions done well, but a thing of elegant beauty. I wish it a wonderful future. Am I jealous that it's not in my country, the USA? Not at all. I'm just glad it exists. I wouldn't ever want to be on the USA island in The World islands there. Could be a target someday. But it's a wonderful thing, & I wish it well. I wonder how long it will survive. It would be nice if it exists thousands of years.
*Thanks for putting this on here, Vlatko.

13 years ago

I liked the 'soundtrack' :)))