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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 29, 2020
Headline for Fun Facts about Palm Jumeirah – The man-made miracle of Dubai
Joanna James Joanna James
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Fun Facts about Palm Jumeirah – The man-made miracle of Dubai

Dubai is an impossible city amidst the desert – who would have thought it would become such a popular destination. It has become what it is because of the ingenuity and creativity behind its design.


Millions of tons of rock and sand

The Palm Jumeirah is a manmade island in the shape of a palm tree. This artificial island is home to many world-class hotels and residences and has become a prime piece of property in Dubai's already lucrative market. One Palm Jumeirah hotel that has really turned heads is Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort and is worth checking out if you're planning a trip this way. This megastructure in the sea was built using over 120 million cubic meters of sand dredged from the ocean floor and over 7 million tons of rock quarried from the nearby Hajar Mountains.


The breakwater

The crescent-shaped breakwater was actually the first part of the Palm Jumeirah to be built. It is itself quite the engineering marvel. It is 11km long and serves to protect the inner islands from strong sea-currents and the seasonal winds. A state of the art geotextile membrane was first laid in place to stop the sand getting washed away and topped with a layer of rocks weighing one-ton and with another layer of larger rocks weighing over 6 tons.


Help from a satellite

After the breakwater was built, the next stage of construction involved gigantic sand-dredgers working around the clock to fill the 17 inner-fronds with sand. The Palm Jumeirah is quite massive and reclaimed nearly 560 hectares of land from the sea – this is the equivalent of nearly 60 football fields. To accomplish this major task with pinpoint accuracy the sand dredgers used a very advanced satellite GPS system.


A temporary dam

A six-lane underground tunnel connects the breakwater-crescent to the main trunk. In order to build this, nearly 5 million cubic meters had to be pumped out. This was accomplished by building two 1.2km long dykes which served as temporary dams. Over 2000 fish were caught and relocated to prevent them from getting stranded once the sea-water was pumped out. The two dykes served as temporary roads while the construction was taking place.


Only 6 years

This project cost nearly 12 billion US dollars and was completed in only 6 years. For a project of this magnitude, it is a- near-impossible feat. The 17 fronds are home to nearly 1500 beach-front mansions and the trunk has a further 6000 apartments. The project started in 2001 and in 200 the first resident moved in. The major hotels on the island are situated on the crescent.


Trump Tower – Dubai

Donald Trump before becoming the President of the United States was best-known as being a highly successful real-estate developer with his Trump Tower in NYC being his flagship building. Before setting his mind on becoming a president he actually had a 60-storey hotel planned to be built in Palm Jumeirah, however, the project was quietly shelved after the financial crisis of 2012.