Nakheel will celebrate the arrival of the first residents to The Palm Jumeirah at the end of this year by bringing one of the world’s largest airships to Dubai. Nakheel has agreed a deal with world leader in airship operations, Airship Management Services, Inc. (AMS), for the 197 feet long, 250,000 cubic feet ‘Skyship 600’ - there is currently only six of this size operating in the world.
The helium filled airship, which operates at around 1,500 to 3,000 feet and has a maximum speed of 70kph (faster with a tailwind), is operated by a crew of 22 personnel consisting of three pilots, three engineers and 16 groundcrew who are responsible for all aspects of the safe and effective operation of the airship. A ground convoy of support vehicles will also accompany the airship on its journey from London to Dubai.
Completion of the first phase of The Palm Jumeirah, which includes approximately 1,400 villas on 11 of the fronds of the island and around 2,500 shoreline apartments within the 20 buildings located on the east side of the trunk, is on schedule with the handover process to begin towards the end of this year.
Chris O’Donnell, Nakheel CEO, said, ‘We have some amazing plans for the Skyship’s journey to Dubai, which we’ll reveal more of soon, but needless to say this is an incredible coup for Nakheel and an amazing way to mark the arrival of our first residents to The Palm Jumeirah.’
The ‘Skyship 600’ series, which can stay aloft without refuelling for up to 24 hours, has been successfully operated all over the world for more than 25 years, and has been fully certified by the British, American, Japanese, Swiss, Australian and German aviation authorities to carry passengers. This level of safety makes the ‘Skyship 600’ one of the safest forms of transport in the world.
George A. Spyrou, President of Airship Management Services, Inc, said: ‘A modern Skyship, ‘rises above it all’, representing the ultimate form of leisurely aerial travel and promotion, always attracting favorable attention. Flying for The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai is a privilege and honour for our company.
‘Along the Skyship’s flight path, the ship will convey the idea that The Palm embodies world-class luxury living and once the Skyship arrives in this great city, in which Nakheel is playing a major role in constructing, passengers can enjoy the most magnificent of sights.
‘AMS (part of the Skycruiser Group) has operated airships around the world for more than 25 years. We have carried aloft the names of some of the world’s most prominent companies and we have delighted passengers on three continents with first-class sight-seeing tours. We look forward to a productive, enjoyable relationship with Nakheel.’
The AMS / Skycruiser group has an unblemished safety record, operating Skyships in challenging weather conditions all over the globe since 1980. Their experience is unprecedented, having been chosen to provide aerial coverage over the Olympics in L.A. 1984, Seoul 1988, Atlanta 1996 and more recently in 2004, the company provided two airships for the Athens Olympics, one for broadcasting and one for security, as well as over other major events such as various Super Bowls in America, the Royal Wedding in London and the America’s Cup off Perth.