Next Destination Hot Spot: Palm Islands, Dubai

Since 1993, the United Arab Emirates have been stirring up new ways to make a profit after coming to terms with the fact that their once profitable oil supply has slowly been deteriorating.

In hopes of maximizing the abundance of their beach front property and attract major tourism, Dubai has not only created a series of beachfront mansions, but several islands of them — in the shape of a palm tree. Hence why this mind-blowing project has been named Palm Islands.

Though there are not any actual palm trees on the islands, each palm frond stretches about one mile into the ocean, with property on both sides of the land, as shown in this panorama.

There are three different islands recognized in the development: Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Deira and Palm Jumeirah, which is the only one currently open to the public.

Packed with restaurants, health spas, residential villas and movie theaters, Palm Jumeirah has captured the attention of business developers and tourists alike, including celebrities like David Beckham.

Using an innovative process known as vibro-compaction, sand is sucked up from the ocean floor, blastedwith water jets and rapidly vibrated to create extremely compact sand, which is firm enough to build upon.

After the sand has been spread into the desired shape, tractors and other heavy machinery are airlifted onto the island to create multi-million dollar mansions and hotels.

As ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has welcomed the extraordinary and the bizarre with these islands. Though many would describe Palm Islands as a seemingly ridiculous idea, Rashid knew he could take advantage of the laid back laws and the casual religious enforcement of Dubai to allure international folks in search of bold and daring business ventures.