"The plan was money. The architect was money. The designer was money and the builder was money. And if you ever wondered what money would look like if it were left to its own devices, it's Dubai."
"The World", an ambitious real estate project conceived at the height of the real estate boom, is sinking back into the sea.
The once shining beacon of capitalism in the Persian Gulf has lost a lot of its luster since the global financial crisis in 2008. But is it too soon to declare Dubai dead? [more inside]
The pitch was extravagent: a man-made archipelago of 300 islands constructed to approximate the land masses of Earth, located 4 kilometers off the coast of Dubai. Claim part of The World for your own, or as an investment. Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt bought Ethiopia, Tommy Lee bought Greece for ex-wife Pamela Anderson, David Beckham and Rod Stewart were each rumored to have bought an island, joining other celebrities who had purchased part of The World. The environmental impact of World-creation was raised, and Sir Richard Branson warned that the islands would be submerged in 50 years if global governments did not address climate change. The warning in 2007 did not dissuade the developers, and the final rock was placed in the breakwater in January 2008. The end of The World has not been brought about by rising tides, but financial woes have put the development on long-term hold, potentially ending the project. [more inside]