United Arab Emirates : The World

Posted by Jakub

worldThe World is a man-made archipelago of 300 islands constructed in the shape of a world map and located 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The World is one of several artificial island projects being constructed in Dubai, others being the Palm Islands. Like the other artificial island projects, The World is built primarily using sand dredged from the sea. It was developed by Nakheel Properties and was originally conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.

Each island in the archipelago ranges from about 14,000 m² (150,000 square feet) to 42,000 m² (450,000 square feet). The distance between each island will be an average of 100 metres (328 feet). The entire development covers an area of 9 km in length and 6 km in width, surrounded by an oval breakwater. Roughly 232 km (144 miles) of shoreline has been created. The overall development cost of The World was estimated as 14 billion USD. As for the individual islands, prices range between 15 and 50 million USD. One island is still for sale at a price of 250 million USD.

The project was unveiled on 6 May 2003 by Sheikh Mohammed. Dredging began four months later in September 2003. By January 2008, 60% of the islands had been sold, 20 of which were bought in the first four months of 2007. On 10 January 2008, the final stone on the breakwater was laid, completing initial development. The next phase of the project is to hand over the individual islands to developers.

I just heard people we’re buying up countries that are represented by an island. The picture above is one of the island’s guest houses.

12 Comments Leave A Comment


Jakub says:

October 9, 2008 at 5:27 pm

Max –

i think if you look close the top half circle is some sort of wall protection, also i heard there’s alot of technique put into how the water flows inbetween each island.


Rachel says:

October 9, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Hrm, I watched a little feature about this on… I think it was the travel channel. They spent a lot of time planning out the water flow and how to avoid the surrounding waters from becoming muddy and eutrophic. As cool as it is that man was able to make this, I wonder what damage they did to that ecosystem.


Alex Cornell says:

October 10, 2008 at 2:16 am

If I owned one of those islands I would tether a giant hot air balloon to my land and refer to it as “The Moon”. I would charge people $2 million for each round trip visit. Given the apparent wealth of my world neighbors, I wouldn’t have any trouble making a profit. If anyone wants in at the ground floor let me know


ixley says:

October 14, 2008 at 1:09 pm

yeah, it’s kinda cool from an engineering standpoint, but other than that it seems to just reek of gross excess with a potentially massive and damaging footprint on our already fragile ecosystem.


JC says:

August 28, 2009 at 10:22 am

Just cause it CAN be done doesn’t mean it SHOULD be. This is an epic waste of money and exemplifies everything that is wrong with excessive wealth. The real shame is that it will all end up in the ocean.
And, no, I’m not some idealist hippy. That is just crap work.