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Thu 11 Oct 2007 06:15 PM

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Palm island dredgers running out of sand

Developer finding it increasingly difficult to dredge up enough sand for made-made islands, official says.

Dubai developer Nakheel is finding it increasingly difficult to dredge up enough sand to build its man-made islands, a senior official said in comments published on Thursday.

Ali Mansour, Chief Executive of Palm Jebel Ali, the second biggest of Nakheel’s three palm-shaped islands, said that decisions will need to be made soon on how to guarantee there is enough sand to finish the job.

“We have to stay in UAE waters when we dredge up the sand, and it is a lot more difficult than it was when land reclamation first began,” Mansour told Time Out Dubai.

“At the present time we have the expertise to continue, but we are looking at the future, and decisions will have to be taken quite soon on how we make sure we have enough sand.”

Nakheel is building three palm-shaped islands off the coast of Dubai, as well as an archipelago shaped as a map of the world and an extensive waterfront development - all of which require tens of millions of square metres of reclaimed sand to build.

Reclamation work on the Palm Jumeirah has finished, but reclamation on the other projects is still ongoing and the remaining projects are much better in scale than the Palm Jumeirah.

Only around 20% of land reclamation is complete on the Palm Deira, reclamation on The World will not be finished till next year, and Dubai Waterfront - an 8,100-hectare development made up of seven islands - is in the early stages of reclamation.

The Palm Deira will be the world's largest man-made island when complete, eight times bigger than the Palm Jumeirah and five times bigger than the Palm Jebel Ali.

And dredging work has not yet finished on the Palm Jebel Ali either.

Mansour also said that Nakheel intends to increase the size of the palm and will now reclaim an extra two million square metres of sand, bringing the total amount to more than 12 million square metres - twice the amount dredged for the Palm Jumeirah.

“I cannot talk about dates in terms of when everything will be ready, by the original land reclamation has been done and we are doing the extra two million square metres now,” Mansour told the magazine.

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