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UAE Islands Research Paper

Man-made islands in Dubai

There are several residential projects that are now being implemented in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. First of all, one should speak about the construction of the Palm Islands and the World Islands in Dubai.

These projects were implemented in order to solve the problem of beach shortage in the city, beginning in 2003 (Badescu & Cathcart 2011, p. 66). At that time, the coastline was not sufficient for construction industry. There was virtually no space that could be filled by office buildings, hotels, restaurants, and so forth.

These islands are made of the sand that has been dredged from the bottom of the sea. To a great extent, these artificial islands were supposed to serve the needs of the real estate market which was booming in the UAE (Froelich, 2008, p. 430).

It was supposed that the territory could be used for various residential projects such as the construction of restaurants, luxury hotels, shopping malls, villas, or sports facilities (Froelich, 2008, p. 430). The islands can be used by various businesses that intend to operate in Dubai.

The availability of artificial islands can stimulate the growth of tourism in the UAE. At present, many of the construction projects on the Palm Islands have not been completed. However, there are many people who are willing to settle on the Palm Islands (Roza, 2009, p. 54). They prefer to move to Palm Jumeirah because it has the most developed infrastructure (Roza, 2009, p. 54).

These are some of the details that can be identified, but there are several environmental problems that should not be overlooked. First of all, these projects can disrupt the functioning of many marine eco-systems. One should not forget about the erosion of the coastline (Roza, 2009, p. 54).

These are the risks that are associated with land reclamation (Roza, 2009, p. 54). Overall, the construction of these artificial islands is one of the most ambitious development projects that are now carried out in the UAE, as more than $ 12 billion have already been spent.

These artificial islands are constructed by the government that wants to stimulate the development of the real estate market in Dubai. The costs associated with these artificial islands can be justified if investors are willing to use the territory. In case the demand for this territory decreases, these artificial islands may become an extra burden for Dubai. These are the main details that can be identified.

Masdar City

Abu Dhabi has taken a different development approach which is a symbol of the city’s attempt to develop a sustainable and environmentally sensitive socio economic growth plan. It can be described as an arcology or a set of interrelated buildings and infrastructural facilities that can remain sustainable for a long time.

Abu Dhabi’s government has instigated a Swiss Village, MASDAR City, an urban green space design, which is a new urban area designed from scratch that will only depend on renewable energy. The designers are using the sun, the desert’s greatest threat, as a great asset for renewable energy.

The construction of this complex will require approximately $ 22 billion (Pollalis 2013, p. 253). There are several distinct elements of Masdar City. This arcology will rely primarily on renewable energy sources, and it will not be dependent on fuel or electricity produced in other parts of Abu Dhabi (Pollalis 2013, p. 253).

Although Masdar is marketed as green over the top project, it is a way to get the message out into the open, and make people realize that they need to change the way the population thinks. It is not about advertising but about a new way of living and thinking. It is isolated, and if you do not fit in, you are not accepted.

As for the man-made islands, environmental aspects have been ignored during the urban development process. Decision makers and planners must understand the relation between a built and a natural environment in order to enhance the urban characteristics in a sustainable manner, as these could trigger long-term environmental economic and social impacts (Gret-Regamey ET AL. 2008).

It is expected that this artificial complex can provide accommodation to more than sixty thousand people who will be living and working there. This complex will be oriented for the needs of companies that will work on the development of sustainable technologies (Brebbia 2011, p. 37).

Masdar City will also be used by research centers and educational organizations. The functioning of this arcology will be based on the use of sustainable transportation such as E-taxis (Brebbia 2011, p. 37). The private vehicles of employees will not be used on the territory of Masdar City. Also, much attention will be paid to the recycling of waste that will be re-used (Smith 2012, p. 309).

This project is carried out by a governmental organization, namely Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company. This organization intends to make Abu Dhabi more sustainable, especially at the time when natural resources are becoming scarce. This is the long-term objective that policy-makers want to attain.

Additionally, the construction of this arcology can boost the growth of the real estate market in Abu Dhabi because it can attract many investors from different countries. People working in Masdar City may want to buy or rent apartments in other areas of Abu Dhabi and the demand for housing might eventually increase.

Thus, the completion of this complex can have long-lasting implications for many people in Abu Dhabi. This city will be completed at the end of 2025 and it could be an important step in the development of the housing industry in the United Arab Emirates. It is possible that similar residential projects will be implemented in the country or neighboring states.


Badescu, V & Cathcart, R 2011, Macro-engineering Seawater in Unique Environments: Arid Lowlands and Water Bodies Rehabilitation, Springer, New York.

Brebbia, C 2011, Sustainable Development and Planning V, WIT Press, Boston.

Froelich, B 2008, A Bull for All Seasons: Main Street Strategies for Finding the Money in Any Market, McGraw Hill Professional, New York.

Gret-Regamey et al. 2008, Ecosystem Services in Agricultural and Urban Landscapes, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.

Pollalis, S 2013, Infrastructure Sustainability and Design, Routledge, New York.

Roza, G 2009, The Creation of Islands, The Rosen Publishing Group, New York.

Smith, P 2012, City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age, Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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