The Dubai Palm Islands must be seen to truly be understood. They also must be seen by a bird’s eye. See it above? Mind-blowing! The story and concept behind The Palm is another one of those wondrous tales of how sections of Dubai came to be. How are so many engineering feats possible in one city? We explored The Palm on my last day – I love how one of the most creative areas of the city was left to the end. Does the spectacle ever stop?
The Palm is a series of man-made islands in the shape of a palm tree. When officials decided to build more of the city, they built it out into the sea. Why not, right? Anything seems possible in Dubai. The Palm is visible from space by the naked eye. Everyone’s favourite Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield posted a photo of The Palm. Check it out here.
Construction of the Palm added kilometres of shoreline to the city. It has it all – more than 100 luxury hotels, flashy sports cars, fine dining, upscale shops. It’s enough to make your head spin. The grand hotel lobbies – check out The Palm Atlantis – become tourist destinations in themselves, packed with people window shopping, going to the aquarium, poking through expensive lunch menus, checking out the waterparks populated by dolphins, sea lions and happy children.
Not truly an island as it is connected to the mainland by a bridge, The Palm’s layout is really amazing – the hotels are lined around the circumference of the “palm tree”, the mansion villas are on the fronds, the apartments are on the trunk. All are along the beach. To build this city within a city, the Palm was constructed by sand dredged from the Persian Gulf and sprayed into the proper position. Rocks were used as a sort of dam. To really describe how it was made gets a little technical, but some fun facts can be seen here. Real palm trees are everywhere, grown in a nursery. It’s palm tree city, literally.
Speaking of feats of design, there is also The World, an artificial archipelago of 300 islands which was left incomplete after the financial crisis in 2008 caused construction to be halted. Apparently building will start up again soon.
TIP: Treat the hotels like you would any sort of sight-seeing, as they are virtually all individually a sight to be seen.
Published journalist, world traveller, big thinker, fun haver