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Impressive portfolio of artificial islands

  • 110 million cubic metres of sand dredged
  • 700 hectares of new land
  • 11 kilometres breakwater

Everyone recognises the palm-shaped Palm Jumeirah island in Dubai. This remarkable, world-renowned megaproject was Van Oord’s first showpiece in Dubai. Since then, 2001, Van Oord has continued to be a crucial partner in this region. Not only for replenishing beaches on the Palm, but also for projects such as The World, Deira Islands, and, most recently, Island 2 and Bluewaters Island. Our latest challenge? The new waterfront of Deira Islands.

Proud builder of the Palm

Project developer Nakheel wanted to develop a world-class tourist venue in Dubai. Palm Jumeirah was launched as part of a wider plan: an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree, with businesses, hotels, villas, and leisure facilities set along splendid beaches. In terms of size (700 hectares of reclaimed land), concept, and engineering, the palm-shaped island was the most ambitious project of all time. Palm Jumeirah consists of a 2 kilometres trunk and 17 palm leaves that are now home to luxury villas and private beaches. Van Oord completed the work four months ahead of schedule and left its mark on the world with this megaproject. 

Trusted partner

In recognition of its earlier achievement, Van Oord was awarded various additional contracts for Palm Jumeirah. It was also awarded the contract to construct The World, an archipelago of more than 300 artificial islands in the shape of a map of the world. The World was completed in February 2008. The construction of two other artificial islands, Island 2 and Bluewaters Island, was done under a contract awarded by Meraas Development LLC. Both islands were linked to the mainland by a bridge and were completed in early 2014. This still-growing track record is proof of the trust placed in us by our partners and clients in Dubai.

I’m proud to be part of the realisation of Dubai’s transformation. It’s fascinating to see how Dubai is moving forward with every new coastal development plan.

Jan Willem Elleswijk, Area Manager
Jan Willem Elleswijk, Area Manager

Minimal impact on public areas

One of the impressive projects, Bluewaters Island, is the future home of several of resorts and an amusement park. The biggest attraction is the impressive 210-metre-high Dubai Eye Ferris wheel. The east side of the island is located close to one of Dubai’s main beaches, and the west side borders the city’s power plant. As a result, the environmental standards for turbidity, dust, and noise were very strict. Project Manager Age van Zandbergen: ‘We had to use our Marine ingenuity to find a smart and solid solution. During the construction phase, environmental measures were taken by installing a silt screen and several buoys to conduct turbidity measurements. The working method was designed in such a sophisticated manner that the impact on the environment and on public areas was minimised.’

World-class hub for tourism

The transformation of Dubai hasn’t stopped. In 2015, Developer Nakheel appointed Van Oord to deliver the new waterfront of Deira Islands. This project is very special to Van Oord because the company constructed Deira between 2005 and 2008. Now the story continues. The scope of this new assignment includes building a 23.5-kilometres coastline and breakwaters. The two-year contract covers 8.5 kilometres of beaches, 3.5 kilometres of quay walls, and 9.5 kilometres of rock revetments at two of the four Deira Islands. The work includes a 4-kilometres stretch of waterfront, big enough to accommodate more than 500 yachts and boats.  

Additional information
  • Start date
    2001
  • End date
    ongoing
  • Location
    Dubai, UAE
  • Business Unit
    Dredging
  • Client
    Meraas Development LLC and Nakheel