27 April 2007

Nakheel's New New Island Development

I came across this by chance today.

Dredging contractor Jan De Nul announced back in December 2006 that Nakheel had awarded them a new contract for a new island - called New Island!

It's to be reclaimed 50kms out into the Gulf in 20m deep water and is to be crescent shaped.

Apologies for the poor image - it was taken from the Press Release pdf. In the top left you'll see where the island is going to be located way out into the Gulf and off the Jebel Ali Palm.

In order to be built, the island will require:
~ 3 dredging vessels
~ 1 stone dumping vessel

~ 1 positioning pontoon

~ 29 million m³ of sand

~ 3 million m³ of rock

~ US$115 million
(422, 380,000 dirhams)
~ 27 months to complete

Work started on the project in December 2006 and, according to the JDN Press Release, the island's "primary function is to provide shelter for recreational vessels".

So far, the project isn't showing on the Nakheel website.

The Jan De Nul Press Release can be found

According to this
Wikipedia entry which records the claimed distance, 50kms puts the island outside the UAE maritime contiguous zone. Also see this report which defines the continental shelf boundary between the UAE and Iran.

All this effort and money for a shelter island?

Did I hear someone say casino? (Just a hunch!)


Keefieboy said...

Sounds like a gift for Iran. But I thought all the seabed sand from UAE waters was already used up or committed for the assorted Palms and the World projects - and desert sand just can't hack it?

nzm said...

According to this report, if they continue to take out the quantities that they're now taking, it's going to run out in 5 years.

After that, there won't be any more sand left in the UAE territorial waters - nor will there be any shellfish or breeding grounds left for marine animals

Read this CNN transcript (report was aired on January 3rd 2007) for more concerns on damage to the marine environment, as well as this Al Jazeera report.

Desert sand won't do it - it has different properties and is lighter and finer. See my and Mme Cyn's comments on this UAE Community blog post about that.

samuraisam said...

I'm pretty sure that island is just to house/park the giant super yachts being bought by people that are unparkable most places.

Momo the Wonder Dog said...

Obviously there is no such thing as an Environmental Impact Statement in the UAE. What a shame.

Pandabonium said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pandabonium said...

NZM - I got a new camera yesterday. I did a lot of homework before buying. It's a Canon Powershot S3 IS. I spent the afternoon with it at Lake Senba in Mito City today and love it, though still learning about it. Anyway, thanks for your post about your cameras and also for your suggestions. It helped me a lot.

nzm said...

Sam: 50kms offshore is a hell of a long way out to have a superyacht haven. Besides, if the Queen Mary and heavy container ships can berth in Dxb, nothing would have deeper draughts than those vessels.

Sheikh Mohammed's exceedingly large superyacht was moored off his beach palace some months ago - tied up close to shore on a specially constructed wharf attached to one of the reclaimed islands off the Jumeirah Palm. If that vessel can get in, so can many others.

There's enough dredging equipment off Umm Suqeim Beach at the moment which would make short work of digging a deeper channel for a superyacht marina.

This New Island is going to be a HUGE island.

According to this article, 70 million m³ of sand was used to build the Palm Jumeirah.

This New Island is going to use 29 million m³ of sand - that's just under half the sand used for the Jumeirah Palm!

Take that figure: 29 million m³ of sand. (let's forget about the 3 million m³ of rock.)

The water is 20m deep according to the PR. Let's say that they build the island to 10m above sea level which means that for every cubic metre of island, it requires 30 m³ of sand. Divide 29,000,000 m³ by 30 and you get an island that's going to be 966,666.66* square metres. That's a lot of land just for an airstrip and a landbase!

Therefore I envisage that the New island is for something else - like a casino!

Either that, or there are some very good expensive and bordering-on-illegal, (if not outright illegal), reasons for people to keep their vessels out of Dubai's recognised waters!

Momo: they'd have to look up what that means! Unfortunately, there's very little regard for the environment from big business around here.

Pandabonium: You're welcome! Great camera - excellent choice! A friend of mine has the IS2 and it's an awesome camera. The Image Stability feature is fantastic. Looking forward to seeing some of your images on your blog!

BuJ said...

You need to work for MEED!

btw, the water is deeper and there are much more earthquake risks over there. Has someone thought of that before the Swiss banks started working?

nzm said...

BuJ: MEED couldn't handle me because I have to speak the truth! LOL.

Earthquake risk would be a factor, for sure.

As for banks and insurance companies, it would be interesting to see how they will handle this case!

kaya said...

Looks like the die is cast
the chips are down
umm.... Casino it is then!

elvisdxb said...

maybe a casino?

BuJ said...

honestly who cares about a casino?

kaya said...

Who cares about a casino?
I would think those who approve and will inhabit it, only to promote and propagate that kind of culture, and those who oppose it and will watch in dismay, the signs and the inevitable.

nzm said...

Rumour has it that there was a casino planned for the Burj Al Arab, and then there were also supposed to be casinos on the Jumeirah Palm, but both sites have proved to be not far enough offshore to escape the long arm of Islam. :-)

BuJ said...

NZM have u considered working for MEED?

nzm said...

BuJ: No, I haven't. Do you reckon that they'd be interested in me? :-)

BuJ said...

If i was in charge in MEED I'd give you a job just based on your photographic and logical skills.

You have the uncanning ability to break down complicated things into simple tasks, which means that other less-fortunate people can understand you.

In journalism, this is essential.

nzm said...

BuJ: I take that as a huge compliment - thank you!

My friends (?) call me details-oriented and the ruder ones call me anal, but I much prefer your analysis!

Anonymous said...

I saw a manmade island last week on a flight from Dubai to the UK, it was about five mins or so off the coast, and given the flight path, could well be where your map shows.

It is in the shape of the Nakheel logo, so I am assuming this must be the same project. Not been able to find anything out about it though.