When finished, Palm Jumeirah will number about 120,000 residents and workers spending their days on an island made of rock blasted from nearby mountains and sand dredged from the bottom of the Persian Gulf.
Each of the 100 mansions sits on a kilometre (half-mile) long palm frond, packed in among dozens or sometimes hundreds of others.
Sharing close quarters with his neighbours doesn't bother Dukes, formerly an executive with a London-based Internet company.
"Living in London you're absolutely on top of each other. So if you're English-European coming here, you think the plot size is more than adequate," he said.