No roads will link World islands to ensure privacy

UAE island broke first with north and south American islands set to break surface next

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By  Eudore Chand Published  April 24, 2004

Nakheel does not plan to connect any of the 300 islands that form part of its huge The World development off the coast of Dubai, neither to each other nor to the mainland. When complete, each island will range from 25 000 to 90 000 m2 in size, with 50 to 100 metres of water between each island. To further enhance the privacy of these exclusive islands, the only mode of transport to them will be via water. Officials said work is progressing on schedule with the American continent to be the next to emerge from the waters. Construction Week had reported in its 13th March issue that the island representing the UAE was the first to emerge in the development. The two-stage reclamation and infrastructure development worth US $2 billion is located four kilometres offshore from Dubai, at a point halfway between The Palm Jumeirah and Port Rashid. “I was pleasantly surprised, when on my way to attend the Formula 1 in Bahrain, I could see at least four to five is lands above the water at various locations,” Wahid Attalla, Nakheel executive director for commercial and operation, told Construction Week. Work is also progressing on bringing up the two outer breakwaters, according to the top company official. “In addition to the UAE island, work is progressing rapidly on the islands of North America, South America and the footprints of the two protective breakwaters,” said Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Nakheel chairman. After less than six months of construction, the island representing the UAE broke surface. The island has been reclaimed to a depth of 14 metres below the water’s surface, and will continue to develop to three metres above the water over the coming months as dredging work continues. The UAE island will ultimately cover a total land area of 17,396 m2. It will have a circumference of 501 metres and a landmass of 600 000 m3. “With several million cubic metres of sand and rock having already been placed, the entire development has clearly begun to take shape,” said bin Sulayem. “The World has captured the imagination of anyone who has come to know of this hugely ambitious project. We have set ourselves a challenging set of deadlines, but we are well on course to meet these. The breaking of the surface is another important milestone in the development of this unique project,” the Nakheel chairman pointed out. The design of the entire project incorporates two protective breakwaters on the outer perimeters to provide shelter from long and cross-shore waves. The outer breakwater will be a submerged reef and the inner breakwater will be 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 and provide shelter for a wealth of marine life. Positioned to be Dubai’s most exclusive property development yet, The World will consist of some 300 islands strategically positioned to form the shape of the world map. Investors in the islands will have the option of utilising them for private or commercial use. “Many Middle Eastern and international investors have already expressed interest in buying the islands. The iconic nature of the project has obviously proved appealing to these investors who are proposing a vast range of development concepts for the individual islands. The ideas encompass anything from a private estate to marinas, boutique hotels, leisure facilities and more,” said bin Sulayem. According to Nakheel, the land and infrastructure only will be sold to investors and then it will be their responsibility to construct the buildings, as they require on their islands under Nakheel’s supervision. Construction of the islands is expected to take two years and then the infrastructure will be put into place, before Nakheel hands the land over to the investors to develop. The contract to construct ‘The World’ project has been awarded to Van Oord ACZ, a Dutch dredging and marine company. The depth of the seabed at the location varies between 11-16 metres. Once completed, the development will comprise of 25 million tonnes of rock and 200 million m3 of sand.

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