Technical Report: Palm Island in Dubai

Technical Report: Palm Island in Dubai.

Technical Report: Palm Island in Dubai

Memorandum                                                                      ME EN 5960
















Technical Report

Palm Island in Dubai

The Palm Island is a collection of three largest artificial islands in the world, located on the coast of Dubai. They include Jumeirah, Deira, and Jebel. Their construction began in 2001, and by 2014 most of the work had already been completed (WebTech 1). Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed decided to initiate this engineering project after realizing that oil will not last in Dubai forever and so the city had to be made more attractive to tourist. However, it was the Prince who came up with the palm tree design (WebTech 1). The most surprising thing about this island is that only sand and rocks were used for its construction without any concrete. Considering the massive waves that engulf the coastal region during winter, a lot of science had to be applied in erecting this mega structure. This paper, elaborates the need and desire to establish the Palm Island and some of the challenges that were experienced during their construction in Dubai.

Construction of the island was complex, so the state had to look for land reclamation specialists, and the contract was finally awarded to Nakheel property developers. The Arabian Gulf was considered to be the most effect place to initiate the project because it is only 30 meters deep and 160 kilometers wide (WebTech 1). This openness would give the engineers space to establish a strong foundation, which had to be constructed just with stones and sand. The biggest challenge was how to protect the project from waves. After doing safety calculations, the engineers agreed to build eleven kilometers long breakwater that are three meters above the sea level. However, this could not be achieved in the absence of a sea floor. But creating such a surface with sand alone was not easy since it would easily be carried along by the water. The only option was to drop pieces of rocks on the layer up to 3m above the sea level, so as to exert enough pressure on the sand deposit. Almost 6000000m3 of rocks was used, an amount that was enough to establish two additional Egyptian Pyramids (WebTech 1). For the construction to be complete, a total of about 94000000m3 had to be used (WebTech 1). One may consider this to be a non-issue because Dubai has huge sand deposits. However, it is important to note that desert sand is very fine and can hardly stick together without concrete. Also, such fine sand cannot resist waves. Since it is hard to locate whether sand dropped under the water surface is falling at the right place, GPS technology was utilized; whereby mobile receivers could receive signals from satellites and guide the dredgers on the appropriate locations to rainbow the sand. Since this loose sand was the one to support the whole island, engineers used Vibro-compaction method where machines could regularly vibrate on the surface to make it firm enough.

After construction was over, it took almost a year to strengthen the surface before people could be allowed to construct houses. After the land had been found safe for development, another problem of beach erosion arose. This problem is still in existence up to date, but researchers are still assessing the best way to solve the challenge.



Work Cited

WebTech. “Palm Islands Dubai.” N.d. Accessed 8 February 2017.


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Technical Report: Palm Island in Dubai

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