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Audacious Engineering Marvel : Dubai's Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah is Dubai’s self-styled “eighth wonder of the world” which is stretched 5Km into Arabian Gulf and is shaped like a date palm.

1. It’s made from millions of tons of rock and sand

Instead of concrete slabs, the foundations of The Palm were created from 7 million tons of rock blasted from the nearby Hajar Mountains. And while the desert emirate is surrounded by sand, 120 million cubic metres of the stuff were dredged from the bottom of the sea to form the island. In fact, the amount of rock and sand used in Palm Jumeirah’s construction could form a 2m-wide wall that would circle the globe three times.

2. An 11km breakwater protects the island The crescent-shaped breakwater was the first section of The Palm to be built. It protects the inner island from strong sea currents and the seasonal ‘shamal’ winds that blow across the Gulf from Iraq. A geotextile membrane, which stops the sand from washing away, was topped by a layer of one-ton rocks, followed by two more layers of rocks weighing up to six tons each. A 100m-wide opening was added on each side of the crescent to allow water to circulate and prevent it becoming stagnant. A 6m-wide boardwalk stretches the length of the crescent and is a top spot for a sunset stroll.

3. Engineers used satellites to plot the shape With the crescent in place, a fleet of sand dredgers worked around the clock to create the trunk and 17 inner fronds. Creating the perfect palm shape called for high levels of precision though. Guided by a hi-tech GPS, the dredgers sprayed the sand into place with pinpoint accuracy. Vibro-compaction technology was used to prepare the 560 hectares of reclaimed land to be built on. The finished island covers an area equivalent to 600 football pitches and is four times as big as London’s Hyde Park.

4. A temporary dam was built A 6-lane sea tunnel – built using 200,000 cubic metres of reinforced concrete, 30,000 tons of reinforcing steel and 110,000 tons of rock – connects the trunk to the crescent, 25m below sea level. To build the tunnel under dry conditions, two 1.2km-long dykes were constructed to form a dam. More than 5.5 million cubic metres of seawater was pumped out in just 45 days, with around 2,000 fish caught and relocated to prevent them getting trapped inside the drained space. Meanwhile, the dykes were later used as temporary roads for construction vehicles.

5. It took just six years to build The $12 billion project began in 2001 and six years later, the island’s first residents moved in. Today, the 17 fronds are home to around 1,500 beachfront mansions, with a further 6,000 apartments on the trunk. Major hotels on the crescent include Atlantis The Palm and the Waldorf Astoria, with brands such as Fairmont and Viceroy on the trunk. Resorts in the works include The Royal Atlantis, next to the existing Atlantis resort, and Palm 360, a two-tower resort connected by a 155m-long "sky pool".

Source: travelzoo , wikipedia

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