The World Islands Dubai, UAE

Off the coast of Dubai in the United Arabic Emirates around 300 artificial islands varying in size from 2.3 to 8.4 hectares are being built. The islands will be sold to wealthy individuals and are shaped as a global copy of all continents and therefore called The World. The key challenge is reshaping the Dubai Coastline and creating new islands from first sketch up to build, construct and realization protected against the sea. Due to the special nature of the environment the client preferred to have the islands to have the atmosphere of luxury islands such as Maledives or Seychelles with a natural appearance resulting in extra challenging requirements to the coastal protection.

Being one of the leading global marine engineering firms we are proud to have firmly established ourselves in Dubai, the most prestigious and ambitious location for waterfront development in the world. Royal HaskoningDHV has been committed into reshaping the coastline of Dubai ever since 2001 starting with the ‘edge’ structures of Palm Jumeirah. Korea Island, Borneo Island, Isla Moda Island, Jalashya Island, Oqyana Island and Coral Island are the islands Royal HaskoningDHV has worked on. The World Reef and The World Environmental Impact Assessment were done for the group of islands as a whole.

Urban development, master planning and architecture require a focus on the surroundings, understanding of the many functions, an eye to the users and insight into the financial feasibility of intervention. In other words: it requires integrated planning from the idea to the implementation. We focus on the core qualities of an area or building resulting in a design with its own characteristics and a recognizable identity. We strive for optimization of the use of material, maximum recyclability, a low use of energy and minimum maintenance leading to a minimal environmental impact throughout the lifecycle of a building.

Due to the special natural marine environment of the project and to ensure that the occupants will enjoy the pleasant environment of the island it is important to minimise the impacts associated with the design, construction and occupancy of the island. In the Environmental Impact Assessment we therefore focused on the quality of the surrounding waters, marine ecosystems, noise, air and human environments.

Utilities are essential to have right from the start of building as well as required in the end situation. Careful planning and incorporation of the required utilities within the overall development right from the start will deliver a major advantage in terms of costs and time. The big challenge compared to regular onshore developments is that utility services are not available from a common grid. The isolated developments in the World demand a complete self-supporting system, which includes electricity, cooling, water, waste water, gas, communications and fire safety. Not having power or water available for developers or residents is simply no option! We use an integrated sustainable design approach enabling us to position utilities as much as possible within structures or the subsurface to assure all required utilities are available and supplied unobtrusively, sustainable and above all comply with esthetical expectations of architects and clients.

Within The World development our company was responsible for the design of the overall protective barrier reef which reduces wave heights within the confines of The World to acceptable levels. For this state of the art piece of civil engineering the latest known technologies were applied to ensure a natural appearance of the reef and The World as a whole. An extensive underwater ‘berm’ guarantees that the incoming waves are broken before they reach the relatively narrow crest above water, which allows a minimum of visual hindrance towards the open sea. We have several design awards for this master piece of work.

In order to get accurate information Royal HaskoningDHV developed a Dubai Coastal Tidal Model using Mike 21/3 software to simulate tidal movement along the Dubai Coast together with assimilations of associated water quality and sediment transport.

Our services were in the fields of:

  • Building services & building management
  • Masterplanning & Architectural design
  • Structural design
  • Mechanical and electrical design
  • Breakwaters and revetment
  • Marina plan
  • Marine transportation plan / studies
  • Marine & civil works
  • Marine modelling
  • Beaches
  • Flushing study
  • Environmental studies
  • Utilities
  • Green building (LEED)
  • Environmental scoping study
  • Technical feasibility studies
  • Floating structures
  • Dredging methods
  • Value engineering
  • Costing
  • Environmental impact Assessment for the Reclamation and Dredging phase
  • Marine Ecology (SCUBA) study
  • Water quality study
  • Sediment quality study