Palm Jumeirah: Dubai’s palm-tree-shaped island
When travelling to Dubai, the general feeling you get is that the word ‘impossible’ doesn’t exist there. Wherever you go, you find evidence of this. One project that seems to be straight out of a dream is Palm Jumeirah, a gigantic artificial island shaped like a palm tree, mainly geared towards tourism. So, what is achieved with this island formed of the trunk and crown of a palm tree and its elongated fronds? Without a doubt, the attraction is its originality, the high number of beaches and the extra land creating a mega-neighbourhood for visitors and luxury residences for wealthy people.
We will talk more about this below, but we also recommend that, in addition to enjoying Palm Jumeirah, you visit some other exceptional architectural landmarks. The shapes of the skyscrapers in Dubai couldn’t be more imaginative, starting with The Frame building, which looks like a picture frame and can be ascended by lift, just like the famous Burj Khalifa. No less striking is Cayan Tower, which seems to twist on itself, or the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, which is a seven-star hotel. So far it is the only one in the world to have this many stars.
- El reto arquitectónico de la Palmera Jumeirah
- Qué se puede ver en Palm Jumeirah
- Desde dónde ver mejor la Palmera
- Dónde alojarse en Dubái
The architectural challenge behind Palm Jumeirah
As previously mentioned, the challenge of creating an immense artificial island on which to build a tourist complex with hotels and residential areas, among other things, was no easy task. To start with, if you look at an aerial image, you will see that it is formed of various islands, a main island that is connected to Dubai shaped like a palm tree, and a breakwater surrounding the whole thing. In total, 78 kilometres of coastline along the trunk, the 17 palm fronds and the breakwater. The crown and the island are connected by three tunnels and a monorail.
So, what had to be done 20 years ago to build Palm Jumeirah? First, 120 million cubic metres of sand had to be dredged to form the islands, then, seven million tons of rock had to be extracted from the country’s mountains to create the breakwater. This work was carried out by the UAE construction company, Nakheel Properties, contracted by the Dutch Van Oord group. Other interesting facts about this mega island are that it occupies some 31 square kilometres and that an investment of 10 billion dollars had to be made.
What to see in Palm Jumeirah
Palm Jumeirah is an attraction in itself, not only for the feat of building an artificial island, but also for all that has been created on it: luxury hotels and restaurants, exclusive shops, recreational parks and elite beach clubs. The first hotel to open on the island was Atlantis, The Palm, situated right at the top of the curve of the palm tree. In this establishment you can eat at its restaurant, Nobu, run by the famous chefs Giorgio Locatelli and Gordon Ramsay. Places where you can spend a day at the beach, in glamorous surroundings, include Riva Beach Club and WET Deck Dubai. If instead of lying in the sun you prefer action, you’ll find plenty of companies offering a day out on a yacht or activities such as water skiing.
Another great option in Palm Jumeirah is shopping, with Nakheel Mall and The Pointe, which boast hundreds of shops and activities for families. Something a little more leisurely is strolling along the lovely seaside promenade (1.5 kilometres) at The Pointe, which offers the most extraordinary views of The Atlantis. And, finally, if you’re travelling with your family, there are fun options such as Aquaventure Waterpark, The Lost Chambers Aquarium, swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Bay Dubai and more. You can even take a flight in a light aircraft or a helicopter and go sky diving,
Where to view Palm Jumeirah from
A few years ago the only way to see Palm Jumeirah was from the air, but there is now a cheaper option. The thrill of flying over Dubai’s coastline in a helicopter can now be replaced by The View at The Palm, a 360-degree viewing platform that offers stunning panoramic views of both the deep blue waters of the Persian Gulf and the city’s skyline. This new viewing deck is situated on the 52nd floor of The Palm Tower, which also offers an exhibition on the island’s development, interactive tunnels inspired by aquariums, a café and a souvenir shop. The views at sunset are pure magic. Don’t miss them.
The View at The Palm opened in 2021 and has become a must-visit place in Dubai. Adults can enter for approximately 100 AED (around €24) and children for 69 AED (around €16). The exchange rate fluctuates so check before your trip.
Where to stay in Dubai
To enjoy Dubai like a sultan there is nothing better than being comfortable in the place you have chosen to stay. In this city, this will be easy to come by if you choose a establishment belonging to Barceló Hotels, since they boast four- and five-star hotels, as well as luxury residences.
If you stay at the modern four-star Occidental Al Jaddaf, you will be close to the city centre, making it suitable for both business and pleasure. It boasts large rooms and suites as well as restaurants serving varied cuisine (Spanish, Lebanese, and street food). And, to relax, after a day of tourism, there is nothing better than its heated pool or Turkish bath.
If you like what you have heard about Palm Jumeirah, you will definitely be convinced by the five-star Dukes The Palm, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, which has 279 rooms and suites and 285 apartments. A great place to treat yourself at the hotel is its famous restaurant Khyber, specialising in Indian cuisine, or the acclaimed Dukes Bar. An infinity pool, access to a private beach and an original Kids Club round off its facilities.
Just as tempting is Barceló Residences Dubai Marina, with 253 luxury apartments situated in Dubai Marina, which is perfect for a holiday with the family or friends. You will love its interior design, amenities and the lifestyle of this part of the city.
To round things off are two recommendations a little further from the centre, the Occidental Dubai Production City, close to Expo Dubai with 239 spacious rooms, and the Occidental Sharjah Grand, a four-star hotel situated in Sharjah, a nearby city that is well connected to Dubai.
Frequently Asked Questions
How was Palm Jumeirah built?
To build the Palm Jumeirah district, 120 million cubic tons of sand had to be dredged and seven million tons of rock had to be extracted from the country’s mountains. About 10 billion dollars had to be invested to do so.
Who built Palm Jumeirah?
The construction company responsible for creating Palm Jumeirah, an immense artificial island in Dubai, was Nakheel Properties, registered in the United Arab Emirates but contracted by the Dutch company Van Oord. Several architectural firms were subsequently involved in this colossal project.
Is it possible to visit Palm Jumeirah?
Yes, you can explore Palm Jumeirah quite freely. It is an upmarket neighbourhood with various hotels, luxury residential areas, attractive promenades and high-end restaurants. It also boasts water parks and beach clubs.