There has been much discussion over the possible damage that the offshore projects will cause to the region's coastline. One concern is that water may stagnate if circulation around the islands is not maintained.
This led to developer Nakheel altering the design of Palm Jumeirah so that its encircling crescent incorporates breaks to allow water flow from the palm to the sea and vice versa.
Another worry is that the space between the palm fronds where they meet at the trunk will also create stagnant areas. To help counter this, engineers have added boulder water features at these heads to encourage flow. Whether they will have the desired effect in the longer term remains to be seen.