The World (archipelago), Dubai

The World (archipelago)

The development’s logo

The World is an artificial archipelago of various small islands constructed in the rough shape of a map of the landmasses of the Earth, located 4 km (2.5 mi) off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.[1] 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.[1] The World’s developer is Nakheel Properties, and the project was originally conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.


View of The World in early 2009

Islands in the archipelago range from 14,000 to 42,000 square metres (150,000 to 450,000 sq ft) in area.[1] Distances between islands average 100 metres (330 ft).[1] The entire 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.[1] The World’s overall development costs were estimated at $14 billion USD in 2005.[1][2] When dredging has been completed, there will be 321 million cubic metres of sand and 31 million tons of rock on the Islands.


The project was unveiled in May 2003 by Sheikh Mohammed[2] and dredging began four months later in September 2003.[2] By January 2008, 60% of the islands were sold, 20 of which were bought in the first four months of 2007.[1][2] On 10 January 2008 the final stone on the breakwater was laid, completing development of the archipelago.[2].The Irish businessman John O’Dolan, who purchased the “Ireland” island, committed suicide in February 2009, after his consortium fell into financial difficulty.[3]

Project difficulties

The Times Online reports in September 2009 that work on The World had been suspended due to the effects of the global financial crisis.[4][5] And in February 2010 the Daily Mail reported that the Islands have started sinking back into sea.[6] This was later denied by Nakheel and independent technical reports as wholly inaccurate.[7]

As of April, 2010, commercial and residential properties are not currently being constructed on purchased islands, but it is hoped[who?] that the Dubai’s government announcement that it will provide $8 billion in support for Nakheel would enable completion of the project.[8]

Purchase and development plans

The World was serviced by four major transportation hubs linked by waterways. Land parcels are zoned for various uses: estate, mid density, high density, resorts and commercial.[9] A Dubai Infinity Holdings construction planner has stated that developers have been negotiating with Nakheel about temporary siting of a cement batching plant on one of the islands to supply subdivided construction.[10]

Utilities are routed underwater, with water plants at each of the hubs pumping fresh water to the islands. Power is supplied by the Dubai Grid and distributed through underwater cables. Waste water and refuse systems are an individual concern for each island.[9]

Nakheel Group is itself further developing a resort named Coral Island over 20 islands that make up the North American part of The World. The low-rise development will include a marina and hotel village.[11] The second largest confirmed development is the purchase of 14 islands that make up Australia and New Zealand by Investment Dar of Kuwait. The islands are being terraformed to be developed as a resort named OQYANA.[12] Irish business consortium Larionovo had plans to develop the Ireland island into an Irish-themed resort.[13] The plans include a large internal marina, apartments and villas, a gym, hotel, and an Irish-themed pub. In July 2007 it was announced that the Ireland Island would feature a recreation of Northern Ireland’s Giants Causeway. However on 25 November 2008 a provisional liquidator was appointed to Larionovo.[14]

In April 2008, Salya Corporation announced that it had acquired the islands of Finland and Brunei in The World and planned to develop them into fashion-themed resorts. Salya spent about Dh800 million ($218 million USD) to purchase the islands and plans to spend a further Dh2.4 billion ($654 million USD) on development. Brunei Island will be turned into a Fashion TV resort and Finland Island will be turned into a fashion community called FTV palace.[15]

The islands of Great Britain and Moscow on The World were acquired by Premier Real Estate Bureau in the Summer of 2008. The news was leaked in a Daily Mail article of January 2009, refuting claims that Great Britain was owned by Irish investor John Dolan, Richard Branson or Rod Stewart.[16] Safi Qurashi, the multi-millionaire entrepreneur at the head of Premier and his business partner Mustafa Nagri, paid an estimated $64 million USD for the 11 acre piece of land. Premier are planning to build a sustainable community on the island.

Timeline of Construction

Undeveloped islands on 1 May 2007
  • May 2003: The World development announced by Nakheel, total completion scheduled for 2008. Initially to have 200 islands and an area of 60 million square feet.[17]
  • February 2004: It was announced that The World will comprises 260 islands, and its area will be 6 km by 9 km, area of 250 – 900 thousand square feet for each island, with 50–100 meters of water between each island.[17]
  • August 2004: It was announced that land reclamation will cost at AED 7.3 billion ($2 billion).[17]
  • April 2005: Sand dredging 55 percent completed, 88 islands have been completed.[17]
  • 30 March 2006: Richard Branson appeared at a media conference on the Great Britain island. However, this was to announce direct London to Dubai flights by Virgin Atlantic, and was not related to his investing in the project.[18]
  • October 2006: Seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher was presented with one of the islands by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on the occasion of his final Grand Prix, in Brazil. Schumacher’s manager Willi Weber, suggested, “Perhaps he’ll build a kart racing track on [the island].[17]
  • December 2006: The World reclamation 90 percent completed.[17]
  • October 2007: Nakheel announced the sale of Ireland, and Shanghai in October 2007.[17]
  • 15 November 2007: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were reported to have purchased the island Ethiopia. This has since been denied by the couple.[17]
  • January 2008: The World breakwater is completed.[17]
  • 19 February 2008: Cinnovation Group has acquired a 37,000 square metres (400,000 sq ft) island as part of a project valued at $200 million USD. Guest and residential villas and a hospitality complex are planned.[19]
  • 25 February 2008: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre will establish a 6,000 square metres (65,000 sq ft) pearling and marine entertainment center in association with Paspaley Pearling Corporation. It will be located on an island in the Antarctic region of The World.[20]
  • 28 December 2008: Turkey island was bought by Turkey’s MNG Holdings in June 2008 for $19 million USD.[21]
  • 28 December 2008: China’s Zhongzhou International will be developing a hotel resort on Shanghai island.[21]
  • 28 December 2008: Nakheel says 70 percent of The World has been sold.[17]
  • September 2008:Dubai’s Limitless announced plans in September 2008 to develop a $161 million USD wellness resort on an island in “Siberia”. Pearl Dubai paid $27.2 million USD for a 1,600,000-square-foot (149,000 m2) island nearby.[21]
  • October 2009: An Emirates Business report on 13 October 2009 that 2 islands were sold in July and August 2009.[17]
  • December 2009: Dubai based Kleindienst Group say they will start construction of the Heart of Europe in early 2010 according to a press report of 17 December 2009. Islands include Austria, Germany, Netherlands, St Petersburg, Sweden and Switzerland.[17]
  • January 2010: On 28 January 2010 Emirates Business reported that Major Trade have started development of their projects on an island in the Greenland area, a villa and hotel resort.[17]
  • 23 February 2010: Dubai-based Kleindienst Group starts work on the Germany island of The World, according to a press release on 24 February 2010.[22]

List of Developments on The World Islands

The World Islands as seen from space

The World Islands

These are the developments which ares scheduled for construction on various islands of The World Islands. Islands in The World fall into several categories:

  • Low Density: Residential islands these islands includes Greenland, Northern Canada, and Siberia.
  • Medium and High Density: Residential areas.
  • Resorts: Mainly hotels and resorts will be built.
  • Commercial: Shopping, entertainment, restaurants, cafes, moonlight walks along the promenade.
  • Transportation: Hubs for transportation through boats to mainland Dubai.[1]
Islands Owners Cost Project Name Construction started Construction end (Expected)
1 Antarctica Dubai Multi Commodities Centre Pearls of Arabia[2] Feb 2008 2010
2 Asia, North VC Bank (developer World Development Co.) AED 1.5 Billion VC Bank resort[3] May 2008 2010
3 Australia Investment Dar, Kuwait (14 islands) USD 3.5 Billion OQYANA[4] Apr 2005
4 Austria Josef Kleindienst / Kleindienst Group, Austria Heart of Europe
5 Beijing Bin Hu, China
6 Brunei Salya Corporation AED 1.2 Billion FTV resort[5] Apr 2008 2011
7 Canada Nakheel Properties, (20 islands) Coral Island May 2007 2010
8 China Oasis Group Lynncoln World Island Resort Jul 2008 2010
9 Ecuador ACI Real Estate (Germany) AED 2 Billion Leisure Resort Feb 2008
10 Ethiopia
11 Finland Salya Corporation AED 1.2 Billion FTV Palace[6] Apr 2008 2011
12 France Select Group Select Property JV AED 5.5 billion Aquitainia[7] Jun 2008 2013
13 Germany Kleindienst Group Heart of Europe February 2010
14 Great Britain SafMus Holdings Britain The World[8] 2014
15 Greece Baron Jean van Gysel de Meise USD 260 Million V.Greece[9] Aug 2007 2010
16 Greenland Sheikh Mohammed / Nakheel Villas
17 Greenland Dubai Infinity Holdings (designer Karl Lagerfeld) Isla Moda (Fashion Island) Jan 2008 2012
18 Greenland Nakheel One & Only Hotel Resort
19 Hong Kong Bin Hu, China
20 Huainan Oasis Group Oasis resort Dubai Nov 2008
21 Ireland Larionovo, Ireland Ireland in the Sun
22 Kazakhstan tars Dome Realty Pangkor Laut 2007 2012
23 Macao Bin Hu, China
24 Malaysia Harshit Kantaria Isola di Portofino
25 Moscow SafMus Holdings Moscow The World 2007 2015
26 Nanjing Bin Hu, China
27 Netherlands Kleindienst Group Heart of Europe December 2009
28 New Zealand Investment Dar, Kuwait (14 islands) USD 3.5 Billion OQYANA Apr 2005
29 Novaya Zemlya Cinnovation Group, Singapore USD 200 Million Nova Island Resort & Spa Feb 2008
30 Orenburg Perseus Property Management Perseus Resort 2005 2010
31 Rostov Perseus Property Management Perseus Resort 2005 2010
32 Shanghai Mr Bin Hu, Zhongzhou International President Hotel resort & villas Oct 2007
33 Siberia Limitless USD 350 Million World Island Resort Sep 2008 2010
34 Siberia Pearl Dubai Archangel 2008
35 Somalia Opulence Holdings AED 1 Billion Jal Aashwa Nov 2007
36 Spain Select Group / Select Property JV AED 5.5 Billion Aquitania Jun 2008 2013
37 South America Seven Tides
38 St Petersburg Kleindienst Group Heart of Europe
39 Sumatra Harshit Kantaria Isola di Portifino
40 Sweden Kleindienst Group Heart of Europe
41 Switzerland Kleindienst Group Heart of Europe
42 Thailand Profile Real Estate, Dubai USD 110 Million Jasmine Gardens Sep 2006 2011
43 Turkey Günal Insaat / MNG Holding Turkey, The World Jun 2008

The Dubai Waterfront (now known as Waterfront) is expected to become the largest waterfront and largest man-made development in the world.[1] The project is a conglomeration of canals and artificial islands; it will occupy the last remaining Persian Gulf coastline of Dubai, the most populous emirate of the United Arab Emirates. It will consist of a series of zones with mixed use including commercial, residential, resort, and amenity areas.[1] The vision of the project is “to create a world-class destination for residents, visitors and businesses in the world’s fastest growing city”.[1]

Run by the Dubai Waterfront Company, the project is open to foreign investment with its real estate developer, Nakheel, owning a 51% stake.[2]

Waterfront is being developed by Nakheel, one of the world’s largest privately held real estate developers. The artificial islands will be formed to resemble the most widely recognized symbol of Islam, the star and crescent. This will produce a shelter around the Palm Jebel Ali, one of the three Palm Islands, the largest artificial islands (shaped like palm trees) in the world also being constructed by Nakheel.[3]

Waterfront will add more than 70 kilometres to Dubai’s coastline.[3] It will encompass an area of 1.4 billion square feet of water and land developments. It is expected to house an estimated population of 1.5 million people.

Located near the new Al Maktoum International Airport, and with direct access to Sheikh Zayed Road, Jebel Ali Freezone and Abu Dhabi, the city will be fully accessible on a local and international scale.

The hub of the development will be along the shoreline, stretching in-land to offer a range of residences, commercial districts and industrial areas, with a number of major tourist attractions and leisure amenities. Extending from the coastline into the Persian Gulf will be a series of connected islands featuring villas and high-end accommodation.

It will consist of 10 key areas including Madinat Al Arab [1], which is expected to become the new downtown and central business district of Dubai.[3] Madinat Al Arab has been developed by an international consortium of architects, planners and urban developers. Madinat Al Arab will feature resorts, retail, commercial spaces, public spaces, a broad mix of residencies and an integrated transport system including light rail and a road network.

Major civil works and infrastructure has commenced on the first phase of Madinat Al Arab. Construction of the 8.0 kilometer Palm Cove Canal, which runs parallel to the coastline, began in February 2007 and is more than 65 per cent complete.

The first phase of Madinat Al Arab (30%) was unveiled to private property and investment institutions from the United Arab Emirates and Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf in July 2005. Within five days, it had been completely sold out, for over 13 billion AED.

Other key zones include Al Ras [2], Corniche [3], The Riviera [4], The Palm Boulevard [5], The Peninsula [6], Uptown, Downtown, Boulevard, and The Exchange [7].[4]


OQYANA is an archipelago of artificial islands which form the Australasian region of The World development off the coast of Dubai.

The islands are owned by The Investment Dar (a company based in Kuwait) and EFAD Holdings. The islands were purchased in 2005 and were to be developed as a “lifestyle destination” and community with approximately 2,000 apartments, 200 villas and luxury hotels. Features of the development include a cultural centre for performing arts, a conference centre, leisure facilities, restaurants, cafes and island lifestyle specific retail.[1]

OQYANA World First is located four kilometers from the coastline of Dubai and will occupy a total area of 1.87 million square meters (20 million square feet) with a total upland area of 417 thousand square meters (4.5 million square feet). There will be 17 kilometres (10.5 miles) of inter-linked walkways, 15,000 meters (50,000 ft) of shorefront and a marina with over 1,500 private yacht berths.[2]

The islands have been terraformed by the developers to the investors’ specification. The land was planned to be handed over in the third quarter of 2008 by the developer, Nakheel, with construction starting in late 2008 or early 2009.

Plans for the islands include luxury apartments, harbor vistas, secluded homes, and a number of mansions. Also included in the development of OQYANA are a retail hub, a luxury hotel, a spa resort, restaurants and cafes. Each island is connected by private corridors (no public access) with water bridges between islands. [3]

The progress of reclamation for the OQYANA islands is complete. The completed land reclamation consists of 20 islands which are embedded into four separate land masses that will serve as construction platforms. Once building is complete these sand platforms will be dredged out and used to enhance the beaches. This land formation plan was created by OQYANA to speed up development during the construction phase. OQYANA planned to begin infrastructure works from the second quarter of 2008. [4] As of 2010, it is not believed that any further work has progressed and doubts remain about the future of the development. [5]

Dubai Marina

—— United Arab Emirates community ——
Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers on 28 November 2007.jpg

Dubai Marina

Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg
Country United Arab Emirates
Emirate Dubai
City Dubai
Established 2003
Community number 392
Community statistics
Area 4.9 million m² (50 million ft²)[1]
Neighbouring communities Al Sufouh, Emirates Hills, Palm Jumeirah
Dubai Metro station Dubai Marina
Coordinates 25°4′52.86″N 55°8′38.67″E / 25.08135°N 55.144075°E / 25.08135; 55.144075Coordinates: 25°4′52.86″N 55°8′38.67″E / 25.08135°N 55.144075°E / 25.08135; 55.144075
The development of Dubai Marina is currently in progess.

Dubai Marina (Arabic: مرسى دبي‎, also called Dubai Marina Arabic: دبي مرينا‎) is a district in the heart of what has become known as ‘new Dubai’, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dubai Marina is a canal city in the Venetian tradition, carved along a two mile stretch of Persian Gulf shoreline. When the entire development is complete it will accommodate more than 120,000 people in residential towers and villas.[2] It is located at 25°4′52.86″N 55°8′38.67″E / 25.08135°N 55.144075°E / 25.08135; 55.144075 on Interchange 5 between Jebel Ali Port and the area which hosts Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and the American University in Dubai. The first phase of this project has been completed. Dubai Marina was inspired by and designed to model the highly successful Concord Pacific Place development along False Creek in Vancouver, BC, Canada. [3]


In order to create the man made marina the developers brought the waters of the Gulf into the site of Dubai marina, creating a new waterfront. Another key factor in the design of Dubai Marina is a large central waterway, excavated from the desert and running the length of the 3km site.[4] More than 12% of the total land area on the site has been given over to this central public space.[5] Although much of this area is occupied by the marina water surface, it also includes almost 8km of landscaped public walkways.[6]

The marina is entirely man-made and has been developed by the real estate development firm Emaar Properties of the United Arab Emirates and designed by HOK Canada.[7] Upon completion, it is claimed to be the world’s largest man-made marina. The current largest man-made marina in the world is Marina del Rey in California, USA. Unlike other parts of Dubai there is a publicly accessible foreshoreway around the marina and some sections of public oceanway along the beach with views to Palm Jumeriah.

Phase I

The first phase of Dubai Marina covers 25 acres, which includes six freehold apartment buildings (Dubai Marina Towers). The phase I of dubai marina cost more than AED 1.2 Billion.[8] Three of the towers are named after precious stones, Al Mass, Fairooz and Murjan, and the other three are named after Arabic scents, Mesk, Anbar and Al Yass.

Phase II

The Phase II of Dubai Marina will consist of high rise buildings. The highrise skyscrapers of phase II of Dubai Marina include, supertall skyscrapers, Pentominium, Ocean Heights, Damac Heights, Princess Tower, Marina 101, Marina 106, E Tower, and 23 Marina and the Al Majara Towers and Al Sahab towers by Emaar.


Dubai Marina has been connected through the Dubai Metro’s red line to the other places of Dubai. Al Sufouh Tramway being constructed along Dubai Marina will serve the residences of Dubai Marina upon its completion in 2011.[9]The Al Sufouh Tram System will service between 180,000 and 220,000 commuters living in or near the Al Sufouh area of Dubai. The route runs between Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Marina.[10]


Courtyard and restaurant area at a building in the Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina on 16 February 2007 Pict 1.jpg
Boats and Skyscrapers
Dubai Marina at Night
Dubai Marina as seen from Almas Tower
Dubai marina.jpg
Dubai Marina by Night


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