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Palms around the world

INTERNATIONAL

ONE OF the main problems with building a tourist resort where every visitor will want a room with a view of the sea is that, eventually, you are going to run out of seafront land.

Where this has happened in previous tourist boom areas, such as in the Mediterranean, the developers were forced to move their schemes further and further away from the coast.

But in Dubai they don't think like that. If you run out of seafront, why not just create some more? It was with this intention in mind that Dubai development giant Nakheel started work in 2001 on its Jumeirah and Jebal Ali palms - massive islands of the coast intended to provide plots for some of Dubai's most expensive housing.

With the idea accepted the palms have been followed by the World - 300 small islands that make a rough approximation of the continents of the world.

But, it appears the World is not enough for Nakheel. Last month plans were announced for the largest offshore palm yet.The Palm Deira will be 14 km long with a crescent circumference of more than 20 km.Tenders for the first stage of the project - the dredging and placement of material to create the palm - are expected to go out before the end of the year.

'From the previous palms it's likely that the dredging and infrastructure will go to some of the big Dutch civil engineering firms.

But there will definitely be opportunities for UK contractors when work starts building on the palm, ' said one Dubai source.