SkySat-2 (0.9m) Satellite Image of The World (The Worlds) Dubai, UAE
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(Image credit SkyBox Imaging)
The World Dubai, UAE 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. 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.
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 late 2013, only two of the islands had been developed. In January, 2014, Kleindienst Group announced the launch of “The Heart of Europe” project; by February, 2014, one of Kleindienst Group’s brands – JK Properties’ announced in their monthly newsletter that the project was “well underway”. The first of these series of islands will be Germany, with development led by Kleindienst Group, the Developer for The Heart of Europe project.
Islands in the archipelago range from 14,000 to 42,000 square metres (150,000 to 450,000 sq ft) in area. Distances between islands average 100 metres (330 ft); they are constructed from 321 million cubic metres of sand and 386 million tons of rock. Design by Creative Kingdom Dubai, The development is an area that covers 6 by 9 kilometres (3.7 by 5.6 mi) and is surrounded by an oval-shaped breakwater island. Roughly 232 km (144 mi) of shoreline was created. The World’s overall development costs were estimated at $14 billion USD in 2005.
The project was unveiled in May 2003 by Sheikh Mohammed and dredging began four months later in September 2003. By January 2008, 60% of the islands were 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 development of the archipelago. As of July 2012, a second island, the Lebanon Island was developed and was ‘the only island that has so far been developed commercially, is used for private corporate events and public parties.