Palm Jumeirah

This was the first of the three ‘Palm’ artificial islands and it really amazed the world. Palm Jumeirah was completed in 2004 and is now well and truly ‘alive’. Its many villas are owned by rich people the world over, which is quite unique. The island is in the shape of a palm tree, with a trunk and sixteen fronds. Palm Jumeirah is 5 by 5 kilometres in size and has 72 kilometres of coastline. What’s special is that you reach the island via a tunnel under the water, and you can reach the breakers that surround the island.

Palm Jebel Ali

This artificial island also has the shape of a palm tree. Its construction was begun in 2002, but was placed on indefinite hold during the global financial crisis. The unique this about this one is that most of the villas will be built over the water on stilts. They are placed so they will create the words of a poem, which you will only be able to see from the sky. The poem was written by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The island is set to house several theme parks. Busch Entertainment Corporation, owner of parks such as SeaWorld, Aquatica, Busch Gardens and Discovery Cove in Florida, plans to built similar parks here. These parks will be located in the crown of the palm tree, in the shape of an orca.

Palm Deira

This is going to be the largest of the three palm islands. In actual fact, it isn’t entirely shaped like a palm tree, as it misses its trunk. This is so the sea can flow more easily. The plan for Palm Deira is that the island will reach 14 kilometres into the sea and have a width of 8,5 kilometres. This project was also placed on hold in 2008.

The World

It is known as the largest artificial island project in the world. It is an archipelago of islands that will resemble a world map from above. This immense feat of engineering is located four kilometres off the coast of Dubai. What’s special is that the breakers, made up out of large boulders, form part of the world shape, for example to the north of the ‘Europe’ part. They’ve dredged up 300 islands made out of sand. This prestigious project was delivered on the 10th of January 2008 by Dutch marine engineering company Van Oord. These islands will mostly house villas, hotels and apartments.