Since 2001, Dubai’s signature real estate development, Palm Jumeirah, has been buzzing with activity. Now its developer, Nakheel, is adding the finishing touches on what is the world’s biggest luxury man-made island.

Hundreds of shops and restaurants are set to open in the year ahead to support the emerging community of prestigious residents.

The new projects on the Palm are being delivered amid a glut of new development in Dubai which continues despite falling property prices. Even government attempts to curb rampant property speculation in Dubai using higher loan-to-mortgage ratios have failed as developers and investors found ways around it.

“The Palm Jumeirah has established itself as one of not only Dubai’s, but the world’s most prestigious addresses,” Taimur Khan, the Dubai-based research manager at Knight Frank told Mansion Global.

The Palm will retain its place in history as the wood that got the fire burning for Dubai’s property markets. The Palm Jumeirah was the tipping point for getting the message across to investors that the Dubai luxury property market was well on its way, ushering in a series of mega projects after it like the Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residences, Mall of the Emirates and the world’s tallest Burj Khalifa after it.

Work on the Palm began 20 years ago with the initial task being that of creating the man-made Palm-shaped island. This alone took five years of work but the nature of work on the Palm showed investors that Dubai was a place for serious business, and many global players jumped in.

The result has been a tourism hub that effectively added more than 70 kilometers of seafront development opportunity as well as its own distinct community. The Palm is basically composed of a two-kilometer trunk, 17 fronds and a surrounding crescent.

“Traditionally, the island has featured luxury apartments on its trunk and sprawling garden homes and villas on its numerous fronds, attracting young professionals and families respectively,” Mr, Khan said.

Intriguingly, development on the island has continued, defying major global downturns such as the 2008 financial crisis and the 2014 collape of oil prices whose effects have continued until now.

The island is already home to some of Dubai’s most luxurious hotel properties and residences.

“Over recent years, we have seen a broad range of developments come to the market, both along the trunk and on the crescent, which look to move past the initial offerings we have historically seen on the Palm,” said Mr. Khan.

According to Khan the island is set to attract even more affluent individuals, terming it a ‘super-prime’ development.