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16 shocking facts about the islands in Dubai

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The islands in Dubai are unique, unnatural and intriguing! How were these islands built and why? What happens on the islands of Dubai? What is the purpose of these islands? In this article I delv e into the islands of Dubai and reveal the most shocking facts- are you ready to learn more? Keep scrolling…

The Islands in Dubai

islands in Dubai

Dubai is famous for its tall-standing skyscrapers, luxurious hotels, and extravagant lifestyle. But, the city’s most inspiring feats of engineering are its artificial islands. These man-made wonders attract tourists and investors worldwide with their unique shape and opulent infrastructure.

Beyond their impressive appearances, these islands hide many fascinating facts you may not know. So, let’s begin exploring the 16 shocking facts about islands in Dubai.   

Facts About Palm Jumeirah Island in Dubai

When talking about islands in Dubai, Palm Jumeirah tops the list. Here are some surprising things about this palm-shaped island.

Covers an Area of 800 Football Grounds

To put the size of Palm Jumeirah into perspective, its land of 5.72 square kilometers can cover an area equivalent to 800 football grounds. But, unlike a football field, this island is not just a flat grassy land. Instead, it is a three-dimensional work of art with a trunk, fronds, and a crescent-shaped breakwater.

Stretching for over one and a half kilometres, the island’s trunk stands strong. And from this central pillar, 17 fronds of variable lengths branch out. Each one is a leafy extension of the palm tree’s canopy. All fronds are enriched with a stunning infrastructure, including luxurious homes, world-renowned hotels, and exclusive resorts.

This vast expanse is not just a holiday destination. But around 18,000 people call this island home and enjoy all modern city amenities.

Built with Tons of Rocks and Sand

When it came time to create the island’s base, the engineers in charge devised an innovative idea of using rocks from the nearby Hajar Mountains. Hence, 7 million tons of rocks were blasted and transported to the site to create the island’s strong, stable, and enduring foundation.

For sand, they turned to the floors of the Arabian and Persian Gulf. 120 million cubic meters of dredging sand was used to contour the island’s iconic form. You would be shocked to know that this amount of material is enough to create a 2-meter-wide wall that can encircle the earth thrice. 

Visibility From Space

The Palm Jumeirah, an inspiring representation of modern engineering, is not only an impressive sight from ground level, but it also presents unique views from space. It holds the record of being the only man-made island visible from heights over 40,000 feet.

One of the NASA astronauts, WAKATA Koichi, presented the evidence on his Twitter account. He shared images from the International Space Station in which the palm tree-shaped island stands unique against the Arabian Gulf’s dark backdrop. You can also spot the Palm Jebel Ali and The World Islands on the image’s far left and right sides, respectively.

Offers Aerial View by Skydiving

Imagine soaring high above Dubai’s skyline with panoramic views that stretch as far as your eyes can see. You can’t go to space to experience this kind of awe-inspiring view, but you can certainly get a taste of it by visiting the Palm Dropzone at the beachside.

Skydiving lets you enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Palm Jumeirah Island with its network of beaches, luxurious hotels, and world-class attractions from 10,000 feet. But that is just the beginning. As you freefall towards the earth, you will also be treated to incredible views of the iconic Burj Khalifa, the neighboring city of Abu Dhabi, and even further beyond.

You can also embark on a helicopter tour and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the Islands and their surroundings.

Many Celebrities Own a Property Here

Islands in Dubai are a global hotspot for luxury real estate, and some famous celebrities have invested in properties here. A-list power couple David and Victoria Beckham are no exception. They own a stunning waterfront 7-bedroom villa on this island, which offers breathtaking views of the Persian Gulf. It is decked out with all amenities you can expect from a celebrity home, including a private pool, gym, and cinema room.

From the elites of India, Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire tycoon behind Reliance Industries, owns a palatial mansion worth a staggering $163 million. This ten-bedroom villa is the epitome of luxury, consisting of a private spa, multiple indoor and outdoor pools, and many other premium facilities. Moreover, the Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan also owns a private villa named Jannat.

Crescent-Shaped Protective Breakwater

A unique crescent-shaped breakwater completes the iconic shape of the island of Palm Jumeirah. It was built to protect the islands in Dubai from strong winds and aggressive waves.

Two layers of big rocks follow a layer of one-ton sand in this unique structure. The weight of each rock is estimated to be around 6 tons. The engineers also put a toe wall inside the breakwater with a floating crane providing unparalleled stability.

There are also 100-meter openings on both sides of the breakwater. These gaps allow waters to flow through 16 narrow, deep channels to avoid stagnation. The water only takes 13 days to complete a full circulation cycle. 

The dimensions of this breakwater are equally impressive. It measures about 11 km in length and 200 meters in width. This crescent-shaped innovation stands 13 feet above low tide sea level and is 34 meters deep.

Latest Technologies Were Used for Plotting the Island’s Shape

One of the reasons behind Dubai’s Palm Islands’ popularity is their distinctive shape. But did you know how the engineers achieved it so accurately? To ensure accurate results, they took the help of the latest technologies like Global Positioning System and Vibro Compaction.

GPS made it easier to survey and map the island with precision. It also helped determine the exact coordinates of key features such as the shoreline, breakwater, and other related structures. This technique was also used as a guide for positioning the dredging equipment and monitoring the water’s depth during land reclamation.

Similarly, Vibro Compaction improved soil strength, a crucial need for supporting the weight of buildings and other infrastructures. A vibrating probe was inserted into the soil to densify it, increasing the island’s bearing capacity.

Monorail – A Convenient Transportation Mode for Tourists From the Mainland to the Island

Technically speaking, Palm Jumeirah is not an island, as you can access islands only by air or water. They do not connect to the mainland by any means. But that is not the case with Palm Jumeirah. A monorail connects it through the mainland via a 300 meters long bridge.

It was one of the first monorails introduced in the Middle East. And the shocking part? The trains do not have drivers. However, there are attendants on board to tackle any emergency. Its length is almost 3.4 miles, while an average speed of 35 kilometres per hour.

Constructed in Just 6 Years

The most astonishing fact about Palm Jumeirah is that it took only 6 years for its construction to be complete. It was a whopping $12 billion project. With the construction beginning in June 2001, the island was ready to hand over the first batch of its residential units in 2006.

By 2009, there were already 28 hotels in the region. Currently, this 17-year-old island in Dubai homes a plethora of luxurious beaches, villas, and resorts. Some unique exploration-worthy places here include the Aquaventure Park, Lost Chambers Aquarium, Dolphin Bay, Club Vista Mare, etc. The list is never-ending.

Interactions with Dolphins at Dolphin Bay

Dolphin Bay, at the Aquaventure Waterpark in Palm Jumeirah, offers the opportunity to interact, swim and take pictures with dolphins in their natural habitat. These creatures are trained to perform tricks such as jumping through hoops, blowing bubbles, and giving high-fives. This is something that many tourists enjoy, but you should always do your research on the ethics of animal tourism and swimming with dolphins before you visit.

You can also take a behind-the-scenes educational tour of the dolphin habitat with a Marine Mammal Specialist or become a dolphin trainer for a day. Palm Jumeirah is a world-renowned destination that offers a multitude of exciting attractions, and Dolphin Bay is just one of the many.

Facts About The Worlds Islands in Dubai

Located off the Dubai coast, The Worlds Islands is another depiction of man-made creativity in the city. Let’s explore some shocking facts about it below.

Collection of 300 Artificial Islands

One special aspect of all major islands in Dubai is their foundation based on a unique structure. Considering that, The Worlds Islands is designed to resemble the world map, with 300 small islands representing different countries or regions. Like Palms, it was also created by dredging sand from the seafloor.

Only a few of the islands in Dubai are now developed into luxury resorts. But, many of them are still untouched due to the global financial crisis of 2008, because of which many investors withdrew their funds from the project.

Despite these challenges, the Worlds Islands is still an interesting attraction in Dubai, providing stunning skyline and Persian Gulf views.

Lebanon Island – Accessible Only By a Boat

Lebanon Island is one of the few fully constructed and accessible islands of Dubai open to visitors. This private space serves as a luxury resort and an event venue. It is a hub of fun activities like swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, etc. Many people visit here to host various events such as weddings, corporate retreats, and musical festivals.

The surprising element about this island is that you can only access it by boat from the mainland. No monorail or underground tunnels accommodate transportation like that in Palm Jumeirah. 

Rumors of High Sinking Rate

The financial crisis had already dealt the Worlds Islands in Dubai a heavy blow. But fate had yet another challenge in store for this project in the form of rumours that the island is slowly sinking back into the sea.

According to Penguin Marine, the land’s sand-based foundation is returning to where it belongs, the floor beds. If this continues, this region will soon disappear from the list of islands in Dubai. However, the developer Nakheel denied these rumors saying their three years survey did not see any such disaster coming.

World Records Set By Islands in Dubai

Islands in Dubai have set some exciting world records. Some of which include:

Bluewaters Island – World’s Largest Ferris Wheel, Ain Dubai

The Ferris wheel in Ain Dubai on Bluewaters Island boasts a height of almost 250 meters. You will be shocked to learn that these figures can easily surpass that of most skyscrapers. It is already giving competition to Eiffel Tower’s 300 meters tall infrastructure.

This amusement ride holds up to 1,750 people at once in its 48 luxurious cabins. Each cabin has the capacity for 40 individuals. Enjoying a ride on this world’s largest Ferris wheel offers 360 views of all major islands in Dubai, including Palm Jumeirah.

Jumeirah Bay Island – Has World’s Fourth Tallest Hotel, Burj Al Arab

Jumeirah Bay Island in Dubai is home to one of the world’s most iconic hotels, Burj Al Arab. It is the fourth tallest hotel in the world, standing at 321 meters high. The hotel offers a range of premium facilities, including private beach access, a luxurious spa, and numerous dining options. And on its 27th floor is the famous Skyview Bar with panoramic views of the city.

Tourists can indulge in multiple fun activities on their trip to Jumeirah Bay Island. Ski Dubai on the island offers skiing and snowboarding opportunities on real snow. Moreover, tourists can also visit the Dubai Mall providing a range of shopping and entertainment options, including an aquarium and an ice rink.

Palm Jumeirah – Has World’s Largest Choreographed Fountain, The Palm Fountain

Palm Fountain at The Pointe in Palm Jumeirah Island spreads over 14,000 square feet. It was launched in October 2020 and, since then, has been the world’s largest fountain. Surprisingly, it is the only multicolored fountain to feature in Dubai.

If you are visiting Palm Jumeirah, do plan to watch the fountains dance to the beat of popular music while enjoying stunning views of the Dubai skyline. It also hosts several events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and cultural events. You can check the events calendar to see what’s happening during your trip.

The Islands in Dubai: To Conclude

The islands of Dubai are absolutely fascinating! It will not be wrong to say that Dubai has pushed the boundaries in designing its world-famous islands. But beyond the awe-inspiring infrastructure, these regions hold many shocking things you might not have known before. Whether you are a curious traveller or a thrill seeker, the islands in Dubai are sure to surprise you in various ways.

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