The History of Palm Jebel Ali

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Palm Jebel Ali History

In this article we take a quick look aback at the history of Palm Jebel Ali. When and how it all started, what happened along the way and most importantly where we are today.

Palm Jebel Ali is part of Dubai’s ambitious Palm Islands project which also includes Palm Jumeirah and Palm Deira which is now known as Dubai Islands.

The Beginning

Originally launched in 2002, Palm Jebel Ali was planned to be larger than Palm Jumeirah, featuring a similar palm tree-shaped set of islands with a crescent surrounding it. A master project by the state-owned Nakheel, Palm Jebel Ali aimed to contribute significantly to Dubai’s tourism and housing sectors, featuring a series of residential, leisure, and entertainment centers. The design of Palm Jebel Ali was almost identical to that of Palm Jumeirah, resembling a palm tree within a circular barrier (also known as the crescent).

Much like the Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali was set to include luxury real estate ranging from modern apartments, townhouses and luxury beachside villas. In conjunction, the development was also expected to host water theme parks, ultra-luxury hotels and resorts, various beach clubs and a host of entertainment facilities. In many ways, it could be said that Palm Jebel Ali was simply a bigger and more advanced version of its older sibling Palm Jumeirah.

The initial phase of construction saw significant progress, with land reclamation and infrastructure development unfolding not long after the project announcement.

Impact of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008/9

Despite the ambitious plans, the development of Palm Jebel Ali faced significant delays. Several factors played a part however what broke the camel’s back was the global financial crisis of 2008. This global crisis impacted not only Dubai’s real estate but also the global investment and real estate market. This ultimately led to the postponement and revaluation of numerous projects, including Palm Jebel Ali which was ultimately put on indefinite hold in 2009.

Illustration of the position of Palm Jebel Ali

Palm Jebel Ali Today

Fast forward to 2024 and the Palm Jebel Ali is once again very much under the spotlight. This time however for all the right reasons with an ambitious revival plan. This was revealed in late 2023 by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

With this announcement The Palm Jebel Ali project was officially set for a resurgence, reflecting the strong recovery in Dubai’s real estate market. The revamped version of this megaproject will span approximately 13.4 square kilometres, making it twice the size of Palm Jumeirah, and add about 110 kilometers of coastline to Dubai.

Designed to be a luxury lifestyle destination, Palm Jebel Ali will feature some 80 hotels and resorts, green spaces, and a variety of leisure and retail amenities. Once completed It’s envisioned to cater to the beachside living of around 35,000 families, emphasizing Dubai’s ambition as a global leader in luxury and waterfront living.

This timely revival aligns with the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, highlighting a strategic vision for urban development and quality of life improvement.

To learn more about Palm Jebel Ali and learn about the latest updates please see: Palm Jebel Ali Overview

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About The Author
Emma West

Emma is a writer with a background in law and journalism. She loves all things real estate and has lived and worked in Dubai for over 7 years.