Island owners hit back at 'sinking' claims

Developers dismiss claims as 'ridiculous'; say studies prove structural integrity.
By Shane McGinley
Thu 04 Feb 2010 12:14 PM

Two major owners on The World development have dismissed a UK media report that the manmade islands are sinking and merging, and said that independent technical reports have confirmed the islands' structural integrity.

Rahail Aslan, CEO of Select Group, which is developing the islands of France and Spain, told Arabian Business that the media reports were “ridiculous”.

Aslan said that four months ago Select had carried out its own study of the two islands and looked at issues such as soil analysis and island topography and the results found that “everything is in order and intact.”

Fellow island developers Kleindienst Group also commissioned its own independent and full-scale technical study of its islands, Josef Kleindienst, the group’s CEO, told Arabian Business.

Kleindienst’s study included soil and land compaction studies and flushing and wave modelling studies. Kleindienst owns the six islands collectively known the ‘Heart of Europe’, and said that before the group can start construction this quarter it is “required to conduct vibro-compaction measures to ensure the bearing capacity of the island.”

The engineering procedure will see the sand mechanically agitated into position, locking the particles of sand together. This will result in a reduction in sand height of approximately one metre and construction can then begin.

“Following the studies conducted we now know exactly how to sustainably manage and maintain the resort shoreline of our islands, so that the impact of nature is controlled. The bottom line is the sooner we build and maintain our islands the better,” he added.

On Wednesday, the project’s master developer Nakheel issued an official statement denying the reports as "wholly inaccurate.”

The World is an archipelago of 300 manmade islands located 4km off the Dubai coastline and designed in the shape of the world map. Unveiled by Nakheel in May 2003, there are 17 major projects worth more than $30bn currently under development.

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