Shaped like a palm tree, the Palm Islands of Dubai are one of the largest man-made islands in the world. Built out of nothing off the coast of Dubai, the Palm Islands are extraordinary feats of engineering and have been evolving into one of the major tourist attractions. The island is filled with fancy luxury hotels, huge apartment buildings and beachfront villas. Only the Palm Jumeirah has been completed and up running, the other two Palm Jumel Ali and Palm Deira have been on hold due to the financial crisis in 2008. Both islands were supposed to be much bigger than Palm Jumeirah, but are currently left stranded and showing no signs of completion any time soon.
Dubai is famous for designing things to be the biggest and the most extravagant in the world and no other project in Dubai exemplifies this pursuit than the erection of the humongous yet gorgeous Palm Islands. Stretched around 5 km into the Arabian Gulf, Palm Jumeirah was built by accumulating tons of rock from the Hajar Mountains and dredging up sand from the Persian Gulf. It is estimated that the sands and rocks used to erect the island could be used to encircle the globe multiple times. Surrounding the Palm Jumeirah is a crescent which acts as a breakwater and secures the island from the razing waves of the sea. The crescent has two gaps that were made for water circulation. The 17 protruding branches of the Palm Jumeirah are packed with a bunch of luxury villas, numerous hotels and resorts whereas the trunk has retail stores, apartments and hotels.
The main reason for the construction of the Palm Islands was to improve Dubai’s tourism industry and increase the flow of tourists. After seeing the prolonged dwindling of oil revenues, Dubai planned to promote the Palm Islands as a unique tourist destination where visitors could have a luxury vacation with their own private beaches and top-class service and amenities. Also, the Palm Islands were constructed to provide the finest real estate for individuals. The largest hotel built on Palm Jumeirah is currently the Atlantis, a high-end hotel with aquarium with more than 60,000 marine animals, its own bay and lagoon, underwater suites and more.
Ecologists have pointed out that the construction of the Palm Islands has brought about staggering changes in the temperature, wave and a massacre of tons of corals. Also, the erosion patterns in the Persian Gulf has changed. In spite of this, Dubai continues to attract tourists from all around the world by promoting the Palm Islands and is the fourth-most visited cities in the world.