27 February 2009

Palm Jumeirah

Almost everyone I have met in the past 2-3 years (who hasn't yet been to Dubai) have asked me lots of questions about one project in the city - The Palm Islands.

I guess the scale of these absurdities are quiet unbelievable and is rightly met with a lot of scepticism, but the truth is that they are being built and the first of the three is now partially occupied. The aim of these projects are quiet simple – ‘To make Dubai the most Google Earth friendly city!’ i.e. to make these projects an advertisement for an otherwise almost unknown city on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, of course there are other more reasonable sounding arguments – like the need to add 520kms. of new shoreline to lure millions of potential European tourist who are only 5-7 hours away from their paradise in the sun. However you look at it, it’s hard to argue that its hasn’t been successful at ‘Putting Dubai on the world map’ – though new questions arise – At what cost?; Does it really work? and For how longt

Here are a few new photos I have made of and from - Palm Jumeirah.
I will roughly follow a sequence you would follow as a visitor to the island – making your way up the main trunk all the way to the Palm Atlantis resort and back on to main land before seeing a few aerial photos of the whole development.
Along the trunk road with extremely mediocre buildings making up the bulk of the housing units on sale on the island.

The 17 fronds of the palm house the more exclusive villas each with its own private beach in its backyard. As you can see in the above photo due to lack of proper water movement a lot of the villas have stagnant water on their beaches and the water has turned green, makes you wonder if all the relevant water flow tests were done prior to the construction of this mammoth project.

Here's a view of one of the fronds from the surrounding crescent island.

One of the other constant concerns raised about the project is about its workability – the fact that thousands of people have to be able to drive on and off the island and the possibility of traffic jams during rush hour – once the island is completely occupied. To confront this issue the Palm comes with its own monorail system that can transport thousands of commuters daily from the Atlantis and its adjoining water theme park along the entire length of the trunk to the main land, one hopes that it may even connect to the ambitious Dubai Metro project also under construction not far from here.
The palm shaped island is surrounded by another crescent shaped island that forms an 11 kilometre long breakwater. On this giant breakwater are the three main Hotels/Resorts of the Palm. Only the largest one - the Palm Atlantis - has opened and is the large building on the right (above). The small bridge like structure is the monorail linking it to the Palm and Dubai beyond.

This is a view as you exit the Palm, where the monorail crosses all the different levels of car movement.

Here's a photo of the Palm from the 25th floor of one of the towers in Jumeirah Beach Residence which is part of Dubai Marina.
And the next three photos were made last month as I flew out of Dubai heading for London.
Above detail of Palm Jumeirah - you can see the Atlantis resort and water theme park on the crescent, the fronds with the villas, the trunk with the apartment buildings and in the top left corner the high dense area of Dubai Marina.

Above the Palm Jumeirah (bottom half of the photo) and the larger Palm Jebel Ali (upper half of the photo)

And another view of the Palm Jebel Ali - its landfill work is almost complete but is yet to be built upon.
To end this posting here's a small timelapse video of the water traffic around the Palm Jumeirah.
Sorry its very short!! Still experimenting with a small Nikon point and shoot camera that has this option built in...

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