Impressive Feats of Engineering #5: The World Islands

On behalf of everyone here at Motion Drives and Controls, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of our valued customers a very happy New Year. Whatever the future may hold, we hope it brings you every success, and we’re certainly looking forward to a great 2015.

However, it’s definitely a case of ‘business as usual’ for us, and so we’re cracking on with our ongoing series by looking at a collection of artificial islands. In essence, what we have here is a genuine man-made archipelago, which makes you wonder why more people haven’t heard of it. Dubbed ‘The World Islands’, this quirky construct looks pretty impressive to us. Read on to find out more…

Dubai 1

The World Islands

In actual fact, the World Islands have been around for a good long while in some form, but the project is not yet complete. That makes this particular feat the first development that we’ve chosen which isn’t finished. The project was first envisioned as 300 separate islands which would form the rough shape of a world map, but global finance problems in 2008 caused the initiative to founder. In the last few months, the BBC reported that construction was once again under way, so it may not be all that long before something like the finished product begins to be realised.

The Construction

But what about the engineering techniques? Well, the existing islands are made from dredged up sand, and the expanses themselves range in size, with the largest island being 42,000 square metres. However, 386 million tons of reclaimed rocks are also used in the World Islands – a number that tops even the cubic metres of sand – and the entire archipelago is shielded by a breakwater in the shape of an oval.  Some early reports claimed that the World Islands were in danger of sinking back into the sands, and complications have dogged the scheme, but it’s hardly the only artificial island in Dubai.


The Palm Islands

If you haven’t come across the World Islands, then the Palm Islands may ring a bell. The Palm Jumeirah islands are in a finalised state, although further additions are planned, and the construct uses very similar methods of engineering to the ongoing World Islands. A total of 16 quarries were needed to supply the necessary rocks, and the resulting  materials could build a wall that would stretch three times around the world! Shaped like a palm tree – hence the name – the Palm Islands have also had to overcome numerous issues relating to erosion and the installation of various utilities (like pipelines). The Dubai artificial islands haven’t been free of controversy, but, even taking that into account, they remain genuinely impressive undertakings.

Here at Motion Drives and Controls, we love to see engineering used in creative ways, and we like to think that our Boschert products and the like are similarly remarkable in their own small way. If you’re an engineer and need professional solutions for power transmission and the like, then we’re the ideal place to come, so contact us by calling 01926 411 544 or email at and we’ll be happy to help.

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