‘Major reclamation on Palm Jebel Ali is 95 per cent completed, with the remaining 5 per cent due for completion in the coming weeks,’ Nakheel executive chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem told MEED on 22 February. ‘Construction of the breakwater, which surrounds the island, is 98 per cent completed.’

The variation will see 30 million cubic metres of sand being added. ‘Fifty per cent is being used to widen the crescent to 350 metres, which gives more flexibility to our investors,’ said Bin Sulayem. ‘The remainder is being used across the main body of the island to compensate for settlement that will occur during and after soil densification – a process used across all of our reclaimed projects to increase the density of the land.’

With the main reclamation phase nearing completion, Nakheel is planning to enter the construction and infrastructure phase. ‘Parts of the island will be handed to investors as early as August this year, at which point they will commence their own construction,’ said Bin Sulayem.

Jan De Nul has been involved in the reclamation of Palm Jebel Ali since 2002. In early 2004, the dredger’s role was expanded when it replaced Turkey’s International Marine Contractors for the rockworks and protection contract (MEED 13:02:04).

Like Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali will have 17 fronds and a trunk, providing a shoreline of 5 kilometres. It will be built from sand and rock dredged from the seabed or mined from quarries. Villas, hotels, marinas and a water theme park will be built on the island, as well as bridges, tunnels, a shopping complex and related entertainment facilities.