The Palm Islands are artificial islands in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on which major commercial and residential infrastructure will be constructed. The islands are the largest land reclamation projects in the world and will result in the world's largest artificial islands. They are being constructed by Nakheel Properties, a property developer in the United Arab Emirates, who hired the Dutch dredging and marine contractor Van Oord, one of the world's specialists in land reclamation. The islands are The Palm Jumeirah, The Palm Jebel Ali and The Palm Deira.
The islands were commissioned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in order to increase Dubai's tourism. Each settlement will be in the shape of a palm tree, topped with a crescent, and will have a large number of residential, leisure and entertainment centers. The Palm Islands are located off the coast of The United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf and will add 520 km of beaches to the city of Dubai.
The first two islands will comprise approximately 100 million cubic meters of rock and sand. Palm Deira will be composed of approximately 1 billion cubic meters of rock and sand. All materials will be quarried in the UAE. Between the three islands there will be over 100 luxury hotels, exclusive residential beach side villas and apartments, marinas, water theme parks, restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities and health spas.
The creation of The Palm Jumeirah began in June 2001. Shortly after, The Palm Jebel Ali was announced and reclamation work began. The Palm Deira, which is planned to have a surface area of 46.35 million square metres and which the developer, Nakheel, claims is a surface area larger than that of Paris, began development in 2003. Construction will be completed over the next 10-15 years.