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The World Islands

Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The World Archipelago, Persian Gulf. The image shows the project on February 5, 2009. All the continents are represented (the “map” is tilted toward the left). A breakwater surrounds the archipelago, and its role is obvious: outside the perimeter, especially to the northwest, the waters of the Gulf ripple with waves that would wear the artificial islands away.
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The World Archipelago, Persian Gulf. The image shows the project on February 5, 2009. All the continents are represented (the “map” is tilted toward the left). A breakwater surrounds the archipelago, and its role is obvious: outside the perimeter, especially to the northwest, the waters of the Gulf ripple with waves that would wear the artificial islands away.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen

The World Islands (جزر العالم) is an artificial archipelago of various small islands constructed in the rough shape of a world map, located in the waters of the Persian Gulf, 4.0 kilometres off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Development

The World islands are composed mainly of sand dredged from Dubai's shallow coastal waters, and are one of several artificial island developments in Dubai. The World's developer is Nakheel Properties, and the project was originally conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. The actual construction was done by two Dutch (joint venture) specialist companies, Van Oord and Boskalis. The same companies also created the Palm Jumeirah.

Financial Crisis

Construction of the 300 islands began in 2003, only to halt due to the 2008 financial crisis. Though 60 percent of the islands had been sold off to private contractors back in 2008, development on most of these islands has failed to initiate. As of July 2012, the Lebanon Island was developed and was the only island that had so far been developed commercially, being used for private corporate events and public parties. As of late 2013, only two of the islands had been developed.