Dubai's incredible World Archipelago, a vast man-made paradise Featured

Take a trip through the world's largest man-made archipelago. Where else, but in Dubai?
by 07 October 2009

A record-breaking achievement
Dubai is renowned for its iconic architecture and groundbreaking developments. One of the most hotly anticipated is The World archipelago, a man-made island paradise so vast that it can be seen from space.

With a design based on the Mercator map of the world, the land for each island was reclaimed from the seabed and set to resemble individual countries, protected by a elliptical breakwater.

Development has been particularly mindful of the marine environment. Masterplanners Nakheel have invested significantly to ensure that sea life will thrive in its new lagoon-like habitat.

The last of the 300 islands was completed in October of 2008. Located around 4 km off the city’s coastline, The World covers an area of 9km in length and 6 km in width.

When fully developed, transportation to and from the islands will be by boat or helicopter, while on the islands guests and residents will be able to explore their islands by electric buggy.

A world away from home
Within this exclusive collection of island hideaways, one of the most prestigious and most publicized is Great Britain. While rumours flourished that British icon Richard Branson had purchased the island in 2006, the real owner was only recently revealed.

Asian entrepreneur Safi Qurashi, originally from South London, together with his business partner Mustafa Nagri, bought the island for US$ 63.3 million in 2008. They plan to create a home away from home for the ‘best of British’, one that embodies the same principles of sustainable development as that of the entire project.

Other projects that have already begun construction include the island of Greece, owned by Belgian aristocrat Baron Jean van Gysel de Meise, which is destined to become a luxury residential resort. Nakheel’s own development, Coral Island will be a low-rise development with a marina and hotel village that is spread over the 20 islands that make up North America.

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