By Eudore Chand
Nakheel says The World reclamation is fundamentally different from that of the Palms
The World uses two breakwaters to protect its islands from the sea. Reclamation works, running at the US $3 billion The World, are different from what the developer Nakheel carried out for the two Palm islands.
“The breakwater is fundamentally different from the Palm,” says Saeed Ahmed Saeed, managing director for projects at Nakheel.
The two breakwaters on the outer perimeters will provide shelter from long and cross-shore waves. The outer breakwater will be a submerged reef and the inner will be 3 m above water. Extensive testing of the breakwaters design has taken place in one of the world’s leading hydraulics laboratories in Delft, The Netherlands.
The breakwaters are also expected to attract a wealth of marine life. It will use 35 million tons of rock and will be 140 m wide.
The distance from the breakwater to the closest island will be some 250 m. “This is so designed that in the peak season, the waves could flow over the breakwater and dissipate by the time they reach the nearest island,” Saeed pointed out.The other major difference is simply that of scale. “The World is three times larger than the Palm, where we needed 100 million m3 of earth for reclamation. In The World, we will require 300 million m3,” says Saeed.
The World has several other variations, indicating that the developer has fine-tuned the project from the experience gained in the building of the Palms.
He said work on the World started late last year and is scheduled to finish by July 2007. So far 50 million m3 of land has been reclaimed. Unlike the Palms, where the breakwater was built first, The World is witnessing simultaneous building of islands and the protecting breakwater.
Saeed said after less than six months, the island representing the UAE was the first to break the surface of the Gulf. This island has been reclaimed to a depth of minus 14 m, and is currently at its final elevation of 3 m above the water. In addition to the UAE, work is progressing rapidly on the islands of North America and Asia, which have also recently broken the sea’s surface.
Meanwhile, Nakheel chairman, Sultan bin Sulayem, said the company did not do any advance sales of the islands. “We received hundreds of applications, but we have not taken any cheques as deposits or made any reservations,” he said when asked by Construction Week.
The developer released the islands for sale during the recent Arabian Travel Market. Rates ranged from Dhs180, Dhs225, Dhs275 and Dhs300 per square feet depending on the location, size and nearness to the open sea. Per island rates varied from Dhs23 million to Dhs135 million. The World comprises 300 islands and was unveiled on 21st September 2003.
“The Palm put Dubai on the map and now The World is putting the map on Dubai,” said Sulayem. “The World follows a very exclusive blueprint of the ultimate status symbol, forming an island sanctuary where the privileged few can stake claim to their own version of paradise, and I am delighted that Nakheel is giving the most imaginative investment dreams the room to be realised with the unveiling of The World island prices,” said bin Sulayem.
“We are sure to find 300 people. But The World is part of a strategic vision for Dubai; and we are not selling to just anyone who comes along with a cheque. We are vetting the applications. There are zoning requirements and we need to know what use the property will be put to,” said Wahid Attalla, Nakheel’s executive director for commercial and operations.