Getting to the Hotels at The Palm Jumeirah Requires Going Underwater

While the glorious Palm Jumeirah — an island shaped like a huge palm tree — will house more than 20 hotels and other high-end facilities, getting people to the man-made island was a design challenge. Rather than build a road over the water — which would disrupt the look of the palm — engineers decided to build an underwater tunnel.

Connecting the tip of the island’s trunk to the crescent, the project is gargantuan in scope, involving 200,000 cubic meters of reinforced concrete, and requiring the construction of dykes and a dam to keep the water out. The entire project is expected to be completed in May 2007.

While I’m impressed by the engineering involved in this project — and I have no doubt getting to the island just got a lot more fun — I’m guessing pumping out the seawater and dredging the area devastated the local environment.

[Via Luxist]