From dusty sands and a humble fishing village, the city of Dubai has transformed as the UAE’s glittering gem. A present-day metropolis and global business centre, the city has become a melting pot of opportunities in terms of tourism, trade, infrastructures, and real estate. Without a doubt, Dubai has proven its strong-points to most of many aspects of a developed country.
Spearheaded by the Ruler of Dubai, Prime Minister of UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and through the mandate of the Dubai Government, various plans and projects are introduced and ongoing, in order to promote the city’s sustainable development and elevating the economic status of Dubai.
At present, tourism in Dubai plays a vital role in the Dubai government’s strategy to maintain the commercial stability of the emirate. Numerous tourism-related projects and developments are implemented, alluring foreign vacationers and investors to consider Dubai as their preferred destination for leisure and business.
Dubai established itself as one of the leading tourist hotspots and business destinations around the world. The city provides nothing but the best offering only the world’s biggest, widest, tallest, and numerous man-made wonders.
Dubai’s modern attractions and one-of-a-kind destinations including numerous artificial islands made this city even more interesting. More and more tourists, residents, and businessmen are fascinated by these man-made islands - the Palm Islands (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Deira aka Deira Islands), The World Islands, and Bluewaters Island to name a few.
The inception of these man-made islands created significant impact in the city’s tourism and real estate sector providing exceptional facilities (residential & commercial properties), created numerous jobs and opportunities for all, as well as home to the upcoming landmarks. The uniqueness and claimed sophistication of these islands benefitted the city’s tourism and real estate industry.
Let us take a closer look at each of Dubai’s man-made island, their unique attributes, coastal locations, how were these islands made, and the things we can look forward to these man-made destinations.
1. Palm Jumeirah
Cost: Approx AED 44 Billion
Master Developer: Nakheel
The first and the most recognised among the Palm Islands, Palm Jumeirah is one of the city’s most ambitious projects. A palm tree-shaped island that is visible from the moon consisting of a trunk and 17 fronds where most of the lavish villas, elegant apartments and townhouses, five-star hotels, international restaurant chains, and world-class attractions are found, creating a one-of-a-kind lifestyle.
The man-made island offers world-class and sophisticated facilities, it is the home to a luxury-themed hotel based on the underwater lost city of Atlantis and a fun-filled Aquaventure Waterpark. Tourists and residents can enjoy an ultimate gastronomical experience with a plethora of high-end restaurants, popular bars, and trendy cafes.
Not just that, the island offers plenty of relaxing outdoor areas, the 11km boardwalk stretches along the exact length of the Palm’s crescent, featuring several food trucks and jogging trails with a scenic view of the open sea and the Dubai Marina on the other side.
Launched in 2001, the Palm Jumeirah was the flagship project of the Dubai-based Nakheel group, a government based developer in the city. In order to create the island, the process of land reclamation was done, sand dredged out from the floor of the Persian Gulf and sprayed on the sea to create the islands.
The Palm Jumeirah adds 100% to Dubai’s shoreline, the total area measures 5km by 5km extending 6.5km into the ocean and the surrounding 11km crescent islands form an innovative long breakwater.
A 300-metre bridge connects the crown to the mainland and the underwater tunnel connects the crescent to the top of the palm. For only 25 AED, travelling to the island is even more easier via a monorail system. It goes along the trunk of the island, from the gateway station in Al Sufouh all the way to the Atlantis and Aquaventure Waterpark and to the crescent of the island.
The Palm Jumeirah is an astounding tourist and real estate destination in Dubai. It offers numerous unforgettable experience and a world-class setting that no one can deny. The island embodies exclusivity and high-end lifestyle that appeals to the rich and famous. Imagine living next to the Beckhams perhaps rubbing elbows with the elites?
2. Bluewaters Island
Cost: AED 6 Billion
Master Developer: Meraas
Situated off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Residence is the gigantic wheel located in Dubai’s newest man-made island. The 210-metre tall Ain Dubai is soon-to-be the largest observation wheel in the world and will serve as the centrepiece of Bluewaters Island alongside sophisticated low-rise residences, and a selection of international food and retail hubs.
A development by Meraas, this Dhs 6 Billion project serves as an exceptional waterfront lifestyle that offers 10 mid-rise residential buildings featuring 698 apartments, 4 lavish penthouses, and 17 townhouses with a choice of 1 to 4-bed apartments and 5-bed penthouses.
Residents and tourists can also expect an exciting community packed with more than 200 retail and dining facilities as well as a wide range of renowned amusement and leisure hubs, the famous Madame Tussauds Museum, the spectacular vertical gardens, and a nearby public beach to name a few.
With a direct bridge access to and from the Bluewaters Islands and Sheikh Zayed Road, travelling to this man-made island can be easy. Additionally, residents and visitors can also use the new monorail for more convenient travel going to the island. Come 2020, Bluewaters location is going to be central with easy access to areas like Dubai World Central, Expo 2020 site, Downtown Dubai, and Abu Dhabi is a short 45-minute drive.
This man-made island is undoubtedly a world-class destination that is committed to deliver distinct residential and commercial experience ideal for everyone.
3. Jumeirah Bay Island
Cost: Approx AED 448 Million
Master Developer: Meraas
A seahorse-shaped masterpiece lies on the azure Arabian Gulf off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Road. Jumeirah Bay Island is a 6 Million square feet man-made island development by Meraas. The project provides an exclusive destination for both residents and visitors that seeks ultimate privacy and relaxation.
With high-end amenities and stunning surroundings, this man-made island will definitely a choice for luxurious and peaceful lifestyle, with a great view of the sea and Dubai’s impressive skyline.
Jumeirah Bay Island is the home to Bulgari Resorts and Residences, the fifth Bulgari Hotels and Resorts property in the world. The world-class hotel will feature 101 rooms and suites, 20 hotel villas, and a selection of luxury hotel amenities.
Designed by Italian architectural firm, Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, and Partners, the Bulgari Resort & Residences will definitely a symbol of sophistication on the island.
Bulgari Resorts and Residences
This world-class island destination also features a collection of low-rise buildings and villas with gardens and pools strategically positioned across the location. The residential units and the surrounding area embodies a distinct fusion of traditional and modern designs visible on its architecture and landscapes.
The residential area comprises of 165 apartments, 15 mansions, and 8 penthouses range from 1 to 4 bedrooms across in a 6 free-standing buildings as well as 3 to 6 bedrooms for mansions. Additionally, a wide range of state-of-the-art common areas such as gardens, pools, gyms, dining options, sports facilities, and a yacht club.
Residents and Tourists can access a 300-metre bridge provided for a hassle-free travel going to and from the Jumeirah Bay Island.
4. Dubai Maritime City
Cost: AED 3 Billion
Master Developer: Dubai World
Dubai Maritime City mainly serves as the city’s international naval business hub, it offers numerous services and a specialised environment for Dubai’s maritime industry.
The iconic man-made peninsula is stretched across 249 hectares of reclaimed land between Port Rashid and Dubai’s Drydocks World with easy access to some of the city’s key areas including Jumeirah Beach Road, Bur Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, and Dubai International Airport.
The area aims to provide a dynamic community and strengthen the city’s position as one of the leading maritime destinations in the Middle East and across the world. Divided into five major zones, Dubai Maritime City offers world-class infrastructure, services, and regulations that deals with the needs of the global maritime community.
The man-made destination is a home to a prestigious maritime complex, a venue for education, training, and research to support any maritime businesses and services as well as ship repair and maintenance facilities. With its exceptional surroundings, Dubai Maritime City also provides an ideal location for residential, industrial, commercial, and leisure facilities.
5. Pearl Jumeirah
Cost: AED 44.9 Million
Master Developer: Meraas
With the magnificent views of the sea and the glittering Dubai Skyline, The Pearl Jumeirah is an island destination that offers exclusivity and a unique community in an urban setting. Located between Al Diyafa Street and Al Safa Park in the Al Satwa district of Jumeirah, the man-made island covers around 8.3 Million square feet of land.
The main component of this island are the residential properties with the mixture of villa and townhouse plots. Individuals can purchase a plot in the island and has the opportunity to build their own home. The project features 7 prime residential areas, a town centre with retail hubs, schools, mosques, 2 km promenade, beaches, and waterfront hotels.
A development by Meraas, Pearl Jumeirah offers a one-of-a-kind address in the heart of Dubai’s finest residential district. This man-made island offers an ideal lifestyle for those who enjoy seclusion yet want to always stay connected to vibrant city living.
Leisure and entertainment options in the island are also on-point, the well-known Nikki Beach provides ultimate beach experience, from dining, entertainment, music, fashion, arts, and film packed into one exciting venue.
Nikki Beach Residences is a high-end community in Pearl Jumeirah featuring 63 branded apartments with a choice of 1 to 4 bedroom units, 6 townhouses, and 1 penthouse all with top-notch household spaces, a designated parking area, and access to community facilities. Nikki Beach adds more life and a one-of-a-kind ambiance in this sought-after island destination.
6. Dubai Harbour
Master Developer: Meraas
The much anticipated man-made island project, Dubai Harbour will surely turn a world-class destination to the next level. From the MENA region’s largest marina capable of handling 6000 travellers to the upcoming Dubai Lighthouse, Dubai Harbour will soon become one of the city’s sought-after destinations for tourism, trade, and real estate.
A development by Meraas and Emaar Properties, this 20 million square feet man-made destination will feature a 10 million square feet waterfront residences and a brand new hotel project consisting of high and low rise buildings, waterfront villas, and retail outlets. The location also provides numerous hotels, retail hubs, shopping malls, yacht clubs, restaurants, cafes, and workplaces.
The man-made island will provide unparalleled waterfront project and the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region’s largest marina. It will expand the city’s yacht capacity and will completely place Dubai’s profile as a leading journey transport terminus.
Located between the site a Mina Al Seyahi on the plot between the Palm Jumeirah and Jumeirah Beach Residences. Dubai Harbour will be developed in several phases and is expected to be completed in four years once the construction starts.
7. Deira Islands
Master Developer: Nakheel
Another mega-project by the Nakheel Group, Deira Islands formerly known as the Palm Deira, is one of the much anticipated mammoth developments in Dubai. The project will feature four smaller man-made isles.
A glittering destination that will host about 250,000 people and a plethora of entertainment, leisure and retail centres including numerous hotels, luxury apartments, multifunction buildings, night souq, grand mall, and marinas.
The man-made island will feature upcoming Deira Islands Mall, the grand mall will become the centrepiece of the island.
It will cover a massive area of 745,000 square metres with the island's amenities and facilities expected to create 80,000 jobs from the residential, leisure, retail, and tourism sectors.
Furthermore, the island will also host a 2-km long night souq and is set to be the world’s largest night market with 5,300 shops along with restaurants and cafes.
We will hear more about this modern wonder in late 2018 as it will launch its first project, the Night Souk. Moreover, two of the four islands are expected to be completed by 2020 following the first batch of the residential and hotel towers by the second quarter of the same year.
8. The World Islands
Cost: Approx AED 51 Billion
Master Developer: Nakheel
Isn’t it exciting to live or at least stay in one of the island countries of Dubai’s World Islands? Perhaps this is the most ambitious project of the city, The World Islands feature a collection of 300 man-made islands in the shape of a world map.
The construction started in 2003 but placed on hold because of the 2008 financial crisis yet say no more, because this giant project still knows how to make a comeback after 15 years of hiatus.
The development of the man-made islands is fully operational again. According to the reports, Nakheel Group is going to revive the enormous project located 4km off the coast of Dubai and 21km east by northeast of Palm Jumeirah.
Once completed, the man-made archipelago will feature luxurious resorts, themed hotels, and opulent homes own by the rich and famous. The islands sizes range from 14,000 to 42,000 square metres with an average distance between each other of about 330 feet. The development of this project cost more or less $14 Billion USD.
The much-anticipated comeback of “The World Islands” project will signify another milestone for tourism, trade, and real estate sector of the city. Tourist and residents can expect exciting destinations such as the Ibiza-style island and the Floating Venice complete with canals and gondolas.
Of course, the island countries of Lebanon and Greenland will still offer nothing but the best and look forward to the launch of The Heart of Europe by 2020.
The Six Kleindienst-owned islands will also feature a high-end European life project complete with underwater villas aka “Floating Seahorses”, five-star hotels, and numerous top-of-the-line amenities. The St. Petersburg Island is a heart-shaped island that will premiere as one of the hottest honeymoon destinations in the world.
Let us not forget some of the islands owned by famous and rich personalities, Great Britain Island, Germany Island, and Sweden Island to name a few as well as the Lohan Island owned by Lindsay Lohan.
9. Palm Jebel Ali
Master Developer: Nakheel
Another man-made destination from the series of the Palm Islands, The Palm Jebel Ali began its construction in 2002 but due to the financial crisis in 2008, they had to stop the construction and put it on hold.
However, Nakheel Group reassured that the mega-development is not cancelled but a “long-term project”. If and when the island is complete, it will be 50% larger than Palm Jumeirah and will feature world-class residential, commercial, leisure, and entertainment facilities.
The Palm Jebel Ali will be an exceptional destination once it's done, it will offer 70km of virgin beaches, luxury hotels, six marinas, and entertainment attractions such as SeaWorld Aquatica, Busch Gardens, and Discovery Cove.
The man-made island serves as an exclusive location for picturesque homes built on stilts and the exceptional boardwalks shaped into the words of a poem written by Sheikh Mohammed Himself.
This project is still in development stage. Once completed, it is expected to house more than 250,000 people. The first phase of the projects on the Palm Jebel are planned to be completed by 2021.
10. Marsa Al Arab
Cost: AED 6.3 Billion
Master Developer: Dubai Holdings
Dubai is set to create the grandest tourist destination, alongside the famous Burj Al Arab. The exceptional man-made islands that mainly focus on providing one-of-a-kind leisure concept catering both residents and tourists.
Marsa Al Arab will soon become Dubai’s go-to place for the ultimate entertainment experience featuring world-class facilities such as the new Wild Wadi Water Park, Marina Park, a live theatre that will become home to the world-renowned show Cirque du Soleil - first in the Middle East, the launch of Dubai Pearl Museum, family-oriented hotels, apartments, retail hubs, and plenty of dining options.
The resort island will add 2.2km of beach frontage and will be positioned on either sides of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The northeast side will be 2.5 Million square feet and will feature various entertainment attractions, marine park, and the new Wild Wadi Waterpark, to name a few.
On the south-west side (1.5 Million square feet), a private island that will feature 140 luxury apartments, marina, and a boutique hotel which will be operated by Jumeirah Group.
From leisure, commercial, and residential spaces, Marsa Al Arab provides all-in-one location as it strengthens the city’s position as one of the top tourism destinations in the world.
11. Burj Al Arab Isle
Cost: Approx AED 3.6 Billion
Master Developer: Jumeirah Group
We do not want to miss something here, Burj Al Arab Island? Yes! Did you know that one of the city’s most iconic landmarks sits on its very own man-made isle? With its famous structure and a 7-star hotel status, Burj Al Arab is a 1,053 feet hotel stands on an artificial island off the coast of Jumeirah, connected to the mainland by a private bridge.
It took three years to reclaim the land from the sea and another three years to construct the building itself.
Specifically created for the Burj Al Arab, the man-made isle features private beach for its guests, has its own helipad, extraordinary landscaped outdoors surrounded by the ocean, and sophisticated facilities, all provide for an exceptional island destination.