posted on 10/11/2008: 6005 views
Reclamation of The Palm Deira is expected to finish in 2014 and land equivalent to three Palm Jumeirahs has been reclaimed so far, said a senior official yesterday.
"We are currently focusing on the area closest to the Deira side, which will be known as the Deira Island Front. The satellite images of the project show work in progress. The Deira Island front itself is as big as The Palm Jumeirah and spread over five million sqm. We have currently reclaimed land equivalent to three Palm Jumeirahs so far," said Abdulla bin Sulayem, Operations Director at The Palm Deira. "As we speak, vibro-compaction is on and more than 90 per cent is complete on the Deira Island Front, the first phase of the project. Land there is ready for construction. We expect reclamation of the project to be finished in 2014."
He declined to give an end date for the entire project completion. The STP contract will be awarded very soon but the rest of the contracts will be announced based on the future phases of the project, he told Emirates Business. There are three batching plants on site to develop concrete and readymix for the project and a fourth one will be commissioned soon. "We are not thinking of downsizing the project," he said. The Palm Deira is currently achieving around 450,000 tonnes of rocks per week and 200,000 cubic metres of sand a week.
Recent media reports that work had stopped at The Palm Deira were incorrect, he said. "We are still working, according to the business plan approved by Nakheel," said bin Sulayem.
"This project is a city that will include all the offerings of the two other Palms and hence we are starting with the first part of the project – Deira Island. In this phase, infrastructure for internal roads has started for Zone A, which is our first target. Our sales office is 90 per cent complete and will be finished by this year-end. We have also started construction on a four-kilometre long promenade, which is expected to open to the public by next year. This area will also feature a shopping mall, an iconic hotel, a business park, a renowned hotel chain and affordable housing. Each city needs to have different scales of apartments. Hence the affordable housing will be on the levels of the Gardens project."
Daily 3,000 workers are working on The Palm Deira, he said. For instance, 700 people work on reclamation, 500 on the first bridge, 500 on the sales office, around 500 workers for soil improvement and 100 to 200 daily for rock transport.
"Instead of selling, we decided to first get the infrastructure right and get approval from the RTA and Dewa. The first bridge that we are building with the RTA is in progress and it will be partially open by the second quarter of 2009 and will be completed by next year-end," said bin Sulayem.
"Putting 1.3 million people on an island close to a congested area is not easy to do. We have examined different systems and ways to make this work as an island and have plans to connect to the Metro and include water transportation. This figure has been approved by the RTA, based on their road design studies."
Also the workforce accommodation is being built on the island to reduce traffic flows to the island.
Meanwhile, the columns have started to come up for the nine sub-stations of 132 KV and piling is in progress for the first buildings in the project. The first complex will consist of three residential buildings and three office buildings. "We expect construction to finish by 2011 in this phase," he said. "The whole project will take longer to be completed – being a long-term project. People will be living while the project is ongoing."
According to him, the master plan for the entire project has not been finalised. "The Palm Deira consists of 43.5 million sqm of area and is seven-and-a-half times the area of The Palm Jumeirah but the density is more in the latter," he said.
"We have completed the first phase of the Deira Island master plan for the project. But we don't want to complete the whole master plan for The Palm Deira since it is an evolving project," said bin Sulayem. "We cannot stick to one plan for a project of this scale until the end of the project since market demands change. We do not want to have something that will not work for us in the long run."
Teo A King design consultants are the master planners for the project. "We will invest and develop in 10 to 15 per cent of the project ourselves, especially the part closer to the historical areas of Dubai," said bin Sulayem. – Emirates Business
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