Dubai 3: Palm Jebel-Ali

Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali, Vibrocompaction (Copyright Nakheel)
Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali, Vibrocompaction (Copyright Nakheel) (click-2-enlarge)

There once was a plan for the Palm Jebel-Ali. It has been redrawn, and redrawn… and the final draft has not yet been unveiled. There is no official information about how exactly it is going to look. And that while the island physically is already there.

The form of the palm itself is similar to Palm Jumeirah, its ancestor. The three palm-islands are by the way all developed by the state-owned developer Nakheel. The ‘fronds’ of the palm however have been extended with a part on stilts. The biggest part is sand, but at 2/3 of the frond the street and houses continue on stilts.

Between the actual palm-form and the ‘crescent’ floating islands in the form of Arabian letters are projected. Together the islands form a poem that is written by Sjeik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sjeik van Dubai. Translated it is something like this:

Take wisdom only from the wise,
Not everyone who rides a horse is a jockey.
It takes a man of vision to write on water,
Great men rise to great challenges.

The floating islands are designed by a small Dutch office called Waterstudio, a firm that is specialized in floating houses and floating structures.

Palm Jebel-Ali is quite differently structured as Palm Jumeirah. Where the first palm is organized along an axis, the second palm is organized concentric. And to continue: the third palm, Palm Deira, is organized like a cake.

For Palm Jebel-Ali it means that the crescent is directly accessible from the mainland of Dubai. When you take image that the crescent of Palm Jumeirah in scale can encircle a city like Delft, you can imagine that will be quite a drive from the mainland to the ends of the crescent of Palm Jumeirah. In the case of Palm Jebel-Ali the crescent is even larger, so the need for a different organization was obvious.

I think from there, the designers decided to give this whole palm a more concentric structure; cutting the ‘trunk’ loose, and phasing the fronds outside.

Speculating on the not so near future of the palms, it can be expected that – if needed – Palm Jebel-Ali can be expanded with an extra ring of development, in continuation of the projected structure. In the case of Palm Jumeirah it would be logical to extend the central axis.

When checking Google Maps it struck me that Palm Jebel-Ali is located outside of the current urban area. Palm Jumeirah situated in between vacation resorts, and Palm Deira is an seaward extension of the old city of Dubai, but where this second palm is located, there is… nothing. That is in the future however to change with the super-mega-gigantic development of Dubai Waterfront, which in size is comparable to Manhattan.

Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali, Vibrocompaction (Copyright Nakheel)
Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali, Vibrocompaction (Copyright Nakheel)

Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali (Copyright Nakheel)
Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali (Copyright Nakheel)

Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali (Copyright Nakheel)
Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali (Copyright Nakheel)

Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali (Copyright Nakheel)
Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali (Copyright Nakheel)

Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali (Copyright Nakheel)
Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali (Copyright Nakheel)

Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali (Copyright Nakheel)
Nakheel - Palm Jebel-Ali (Copyright Nakheel)

Nakheel - Dubai's future coast (Copyright Nakheel)
Nakheel - Dubai’s future coast (Copyright Nakheel)

Dubai 1: The story so far
Dubai 2: Palm Jumeirah
Dubai 3: Palm Jebel-Ali
Dubai 4: Palm Deira
Dubai 5: The World
Dubai 6: Burj Al Arab
Dubai 7: Burj Dubai
Dubai 8: Dubai Towers
Dubai 9: Dubai Renaissance
Dubai 10: The Cloud


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