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A prime investment

The desire to secure Dubai's prosperity after its oil reserves have been depleted is responsible for the huge level of investment in local infrastructures from both public and private sources. It is with this and the future needs of tourists and high income residents in mind that spectacular projects such as The Palm were conceived.

After four years of exhaustive feasibility studies, environmental impact research and planning, construction on the first Palm (Jumeirah) began in June 2001, with The Palm at Jebel Ali following in October 2002. An international consortium of leading firms in the respective fields required, was commissioned with the task of developing the project under the supervision of the Dubai Government. The three stages of construction included one of the largest land reclamation projects in history, in which 100 million cubic metres of sand and rock was deposited. Next came the construction of bridges, flyovers, storm water protection systems and sophisticated technical infrastructures, before real estate development started in 2003. When The Palm at Jumeirah reaches completion in 2005 and The Palm at Jebel Ali in 2006, one of the most extraordinary feats of engineering ever will have been realised-indeed, some call it the 'Eighth Wonder'.

Funded by the Government of Dubai, along with local and international banks, the overall cost amounts to approximately $5 billion. The project has received generous funding, but the investment would not have been made had there not been complete confidence in its huge potential. In reality, the government is investing in the future by providing state-of-the-art infrastructures at subsidised rates. Although this is a lost leader for them in the short run, the success of the project is ensured because its excellent investment opportunities attract large numbers of investors. After all, where else would a public authority subsidise prices to maximise investors' profit margin? As a result, the real estate on The Palm represents one of the best investment opportunities available today.

Michel Cruz

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