Biggest Building Site on Earth!



Those looking for tranquil, unspoilt beaches, rustic charm and authentic maritime culture will probably choose to look elsewhere. But for the world's permatanned classes with bling to display and money to burn this extraordinary construction project in the Persian Gulf is an irresistible draw.

Begun in 2001, the Palm Islands are a 12-square-mile group off the shores of Dubai. With 14,000 labourers toiling day and night, the first of three unfeasibly large, palm

shaped artificial islands, Palm Jumeirah, is nearing completion, and about to receive its first residents.

When the luxury homes on the Palm's 17 giant 'fronds' were first put on sale in 2004, the buyers - of what will become a cross between Las Vegas and Wilmslow-on-sea - included the Beckhams, who put a deposit down on a £1.2million designer pad with two swimming pools, Michael Owen, Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey, and Gary Neville.


Prices start at £100,000 for a one-bedroom flat with a shared pool and go up to £3.8million for one of the 90,000 sq ft plots on the end of each frond - but this price doesn't include the villa. Michael Jackson is rumoured to have a financial stake in the project.

The islands almost defy description. They are huge artificial peninsulas, made from some 90 million cubic metres of sand dredged from the bottom of the Gulf.

The outer edge of this first Palm is a gigantic, 7mile-long breakwater built of 7 million cubic metres of rock brought from 17 different quarries in the United Arab Emirates. It will be able to withstand 12ft-high waves.

When the Palm Islands were first mooted, a decade ago, Dutch engineers were called in to ensure that the new land would be safe from winter storms and day-to-day marine erosion.

However, the developers, Al Nakheel Properties, rushed ahead - only later realising that the original design did not allow enough water to flow through the development.


Lack of water flow would be sure to cause stagnation and environmental damage. So the Dutch were recalled, and two extra channels, clearly visible in these pictures, were cut into the outer barrier.
If this hadn't been done, the artificial lagoon created by the reef would soon have become a fetid haven for algae and mosquitoes.

Once finished, the Palm Jumeirah, which extends four miles into the Gulf, will accommodate some 60,000 residents in 2,500 exclusive beachside villas, 2,500 apartments in 20 high-rise blocks and 50 luxury hotels.

At least 50,000 workers will staff the hotels, two marinas, water theme parks, restaurants, shopping malls, sports centres, health spas and cinemas

Bridges more than 300 yards long will transport visitors from the mainland to the Palm Jumeirah, and a canal will carry water taxis

along the 1.2 mile-long 'trunk' of the island, while an electric monorail will whisk visitors and residents overhead.

More than 12,000 palm trees are being grown on the mainland for the island's gardens.

The Palm Jumeirah will be followed by two more palm tree-shaped islands that will require a further 1.3 billion cubic metres of sand and stone.

The developers are also building The World Archipelago, a cluster of 264 islands that form a world map. Rod Stewart is rumoured to have bought the island shaped like Britain. The total cost of constructing the islands is some $14 billion.



Wow, they seem to have everything. I guess it was just a lot of baloney when someone was trying to convince everyone that money can't buy everything. Of course it can....

How about some skiing in the 120 degrees Fahrenheit desert:







Original Poster