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Archive for December 1st, 2009

Why Dubai Developments Failed

Posted by edro on December 1, 2009

Camel Through the Eye of a Needle

Dubai Developments: A Major Ecological Disaster caused by Poor Judgment All Around

Let’s for a moment not mention the sea-level rises and just talk about herding 1.7 million mostly wealthy people into “an area of empty desert and sea.”

Nakheel’s Dubai Coast developments: (L to R): The artificial island of Palm Jebel Ali “under construction.”   The Palm Jumeirah, located about 14km  east of the Palm Jebel Ali. Immediately to the east of Palm Jumeirah, are The World and The Universe Tourist/ Leisure areas. Extreme Right: Palm Deira, the largest of the three palm-shaped artificial islands/ island sites that are located off the coast of Dubai.

Nakheel Property of Dubai says on its website:

The Palm Jebel Ali is a landmark commercial, residential, and tourism development for Dubai, which, along with the Waterfront project, will transform an area of empty desert and sea into a bustling international community, with an estimated population of 1.7 million people by 2020.

Bomber Pilot to Navigator: “I can see the 15 pyramid-sized mountains of garbage produced by Palm Island residents that they wanted us to incinerate!”

Navigator to Pilot: “No, we’re still in Egypt air space, and that’s the great pyramid of Giza to the left.”

Holy Camel, 1.7 million people?

Could you even imagine an additional 1.7 million people living in one of the most fragile ecosystem in the world?

What would their environmental impact be like? Where would they get their food and water from? How about traveling, commuting, shopping,  entertainment… ENERGY?

Here’s the infrastructure needed for the [luxury] housing of an international community with 1.7 million people:


  • 50 Gigawatts of power [Remember this is a leisure community]
  • 400 billion liters of water annually
  • 6 billion liters of drinking water [flown in from Europe and trucked into the Palm Islands, no doubt!]
  • 20 MMT of food  [161,000 jumbo loads per year, or 442 landing per day for food imports alone!]
  • A minimum of 1.5 million tons of clothing and consumer goods
  • An estimated 1.5 million cars, trucks and other vehicles
  • 500,000 sailing boats, powerboats, yachts, ski jets …


  • Sewage: How will they dispose an estimated 2 million tons of domestic sewage each year?
  • Trash: And 4 million tons of garbage (MSW). [In volume, that amount is the equivalent of 15  Great Pyramid of Giza each year. ]
  • Gray water: How about 400 billion tons of gray water annually? (MSW).
  • Co2 pollution: 250 MMT of Co2 per year
  • Damage to the marine environment: Have you ever visited Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong? The Dubai stench in the Persian Gulf would be several orders of magnitude worse.

A few back of the envelope calculations could have saved tremendous amount of material and time waste, not to mention tens of billions of dollars of other people’s money. But hey, the banks aren’t there to make sensible lending decisions.

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Posted in coast of Dubai, Palm Deira, Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Jumeirah, persian gulf ecosystems | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »