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HomeMiddle EastAncient olive trees find new home at The Heart of Europe on Dubai’s The World islands

Ancient olive trees find new home at The Heart of Europe on Dubai’s The World islands

DUBAI // Two Mediterranean olive trees each more than a millennium old have found a new home on The World islands.

The trees, dated between 1,300 and 1,400 years old, are being planted on the Heart of Europe chain of man-made islands off the Dubai coast by the UAE-based real estate developer Kleindienst Group.

In all, 58 trees comprised of more than 10 varieties native to the Mediterranean will be planted. The developer hopes they will form the centrepiece of the islands and become one of the oldest attractions in the UAE.

“The olive tree is a symbol of timeless European tradition and agriculture, and including the trees as part of this project is a demonstration of our commitment to bringing the best of Europe to The Heart of Europe,” said Josef Kleindienst, chief executive of Kleindienst Group.

The trees also highlight the lengths the developer will go to create a unique experience on the islands, he said.

“We have ensured the best experts in the field of arboriculture are monitoring the development of the trees, which can live for centuries in hot climates if given the right care.”

The trees were specifically selected because they thrive in hot conditions in the Mediterranean, making it easier for them to survive in Dubai. A team of arboriculturalists from Europe will monitor their progress as they get used to their new surroundings.

The aged trees arrived in the emirate a week ago from the Alicante/Elche and Andalusia regions of Spain.

“The trees’ growing conditions in the Mediterranean mean they can easily adapt to Dubai’s climate and are happy in hot regions, with the correct assistance and care by specialists,” said Peter Kiekebos, horticultural specialist and chief executive of Mediterranean Landscape Solutions, which helped transport the trees.

“We are working closely with Kleindienst Group on new techniques in irrigation, fertilisation and cleaning, which form the basic elements for every tree and plant.

“We are already testing existing as well as new varieties in Spain under extreme conditions, which we hope to introduce to the region.”

The Heart of Europe is a group of six islands, which the developer said would capture the different aspects and character of the continent for visitors.

“The Heart of Europe aims to bring together the very best of European design, architecture, heritage and culture to the Middle East, and I am confident that, once complete, it will bring a unique holiday experience to Dubai,” said Mr Kleindienst.

Building work on the islands began in January.

Once complete the Heart of Europe will feature villas, hotels and marketplaces inspired by the architecture and lifestyles of Europe.

The ambitious development will also be the first climate-controlled area in the world allowing for rain, snow-lined streets, floating villas, the world’s largest open aquarium and a five-star Mont Royal hotel.

The project will include Mainland Europe, the largest of the islands and inspired by Austrian, Italian, Spanish, German and French architecture and heritage.

The other islands will take inspiration from Monaco, Sweden, Switzerland, and Russia’s Saint Petersburg.

The 58 trees being planted on the Heart of Europe are made up of the following varieties; Olea europea trees (Olive trees); Ceratonia siliqua; Ficus nitida and Ficus australis; Dracaena Drago; Ficus carica; Yucca elephantipes; Punica granatum; Chamaerops humilis multi trunk; Schinus molle; Tipuana tipu; and Chorisia speciosa.

In October last year, the owner of Lebanon island, which covers an area of 39,000 square metres, submitted plans to master developer Nakheel to build a Maldives-style resort, complete with villas built over water and a spa.

The complex is planned to be up and running by October.

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(via The National)