Manufactured Beachfront Paradises
April 3, 2005 1:03 PM   Subscribe

The World Islands
A man-made island project from the folks that brought you the Palm Islands (mentioned in the blue here).
Think 250 to 300 small private artificial islands ranging in size from 250,000 to 900,000 square feet with the key cool factor of the islands being arranged into the shape of the world's continents. It is located four kilometres off the shore of Jumeirah, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (Also the subject of an FPP).
Starting at a mere $6.85 million, you can find your place in The World (QT video sales pitch and the WMV version), construction should be completed by the end of 2005. Thinking about relocating to Dubai? It is a cutting edge city with a strong economy, imagine Maine generating $57 billion a year from oil production primarily.
posted by fenriq (39 comments total)
I hate them for their freedom
posted by glider at 1:17 PM on April 3, 2005

No booze though, right? Think I'll hang on to my $6.85 mil.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:17 PM on April 3, 2005

This is indeed awesome, which is why it's been posted about in each of the last several "cool things from dubai" postings of the past six months.
posted by jonson at 1:27 PM on April 3, 2005

We have reached a new height of opulence. It's sad really. Then again, I just spent three days in NY NY, Las Vegas... how is that any different.
posted by damclean2 at 1:27 PM on April 3, 2005

Excellent. I take it this means we have ended world hunger already. A little behind schedule, but we got there in the end.
posted by Soulfather at 1:35 PM on April 3, 2005

Doesn't this seem like the perfect setting for some kind of human hunting experiment?
posted by Busithoth at 1:38 PM on April 3, 2005

Its different in that you were enjoying a mostly public space with others, instead of buying a private island for yourself. :) But there's definitely a horror movie in there somewhere; Party at remote islands, with no security, which are claustrophobically small and close together....
posted by uni verse at 1:40 PM on April 3, 2005

Busithoth... We thought the same thing...
posted by uni verse at 1:41 PM on April 3, 2005

Sure, it's opulent, but if you can afford to MAKE your own island, more power to you.

More over, the legal complications fascinate me. If you own your own island, are you an independent nation? Can you set your own tax code? Start your own bank? Get on the U.N. charter? Who's in charge out there? What if pirates attack? Is there private security?
posted by Parannoyed at 1:50 PM on April 3, 2005

No booze though, right?
Not quite. The Emirates is probably the most liberal country in the Middle East/Gulf region, and according to Iranian friends, is known as the "Little US" because everything's big, everything's new, and everything goes.

Public consumption is totally frowned upon, there aren't bars on every corner, but the expat life apparently revolves around alcohol. All hotels have liquor licenses and bars/night clubs, and there are some other levels of licenses that are available, but I don't know the details.

I hate them for their freedom
But yeah, excessive PDA is still not kosher, and you can get nasty looks for even walking with someone of the opposite gender. If you're obviously an ignorant westerner, it's a little more lax, but there's definitely a scale of "you should know better" assumptions that are made.

a new height of opulence
There's definitely a lot of oil money being spent there. Anything meant for Emiratis is in tip-top brand new shape. Keep in mind that this serves only 1 out of 5 in the population. 4 of 5 people living there are foreigners, and most of those are Indians/Pakistanis that do the labor for the other 1 of 5. Behind the glistening surface is a lot of scrambling to meet rent and hard labor, all for a little money to send back home. This isn't even about solving world hunger, there are still challenges to be met in the rural Emirates (80 percent of the country's money is from Abu Dhabi, 10 from Dubai, and there are five more rural Emirates that contribute the remaining 10 percent), and in serving such a huge imported population...

But, the weather's great and it's a really safe place. (I was there last week and am ready to go back now, please?)
posted by whatzit at 1:51 PM on April 3, 2005

Oh, and on the subject of the World, there's a great slogan that stretches across the airport terminal that says

The Palms put Dubai on the Map. The World puts The Map on Dubai.
posted by whatzit at 1:58 PM on April 3, 2005

jonson, thanks for the other links. I definitely believe this project is worth its own post, its a cool idea. Shame the buy-in is so, so far out of my reach.

And it is living in the Middle East. These 300 islands full of millionaires wouldn't be a terrorist target, would they? Oops.

Parannoyed, the video talks about a Nakheel Security Patrols that will keep the islands safe but doesn't elaborate.
posted by fenriq at 2:01 PM on April 3, 2005

Earth graffiti is so 2 years ago.
posted by uni verse at 2:04 PM on April 3, 2005

Does Slartibartfast get metaroyalties?
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:07 PM on April 3, 2005

Parannoyd: The islands are only 4 kilometers off the coast, lying well withing UAE territorial waters. Oh and if you want to build your own new island, the big boys will either ignore or righteously smite you. However, your fear of pirates is also justified.
posted by lazy-ville at 2:15 PM on April 3, 2005

But no man is a...nevermind.
posted by fungible at 2:16 PM on April 3, 2005

This reminds me of nothing more than Second Life, the online MMRPG. It has many of the same elements of unreality, lack of social obligation, disconnectedness with the rest of the world. Utterly weird...
posted by at 2:32 PM on April 3, 2005

Dovetailing nicely with an earlier post, Dubai is also bidding on a futuristic automated taxi system!
posted by Popular Ethics at 2:36 PM on April 3, 2005, what is second life?
posted by uni verse at 2:42 PM on April 3, 2005

Location, location, location.
posted by nofundy at 2:57 PM on April 3, 2005

They've almost outdone the Dutch in land reclaimation
posted by Doof at 2:58 PM on April 3, 2005

Dibs on mini-Australia.
posted by NickDouglas at 3:05 PM on April 3, 2005, what is second life?

Take a look here. Lotsa screenshots.
posted by at 3:09 PM on April 3, 2005

Too bad that global warming is such a bitch.
posted by piskycritter at 3:12 PM on April 3, 2005

I think many ambitious organizations will welcome a convenient centralisation of many of the world's idle rich within a small, well-mapped geographical region.
posted by meehawl at 3:40 PM on April 3, 2005

You could have a fun game of Diplomacy or Risk using the islands as the board. Just like the human chess games in Imperial China.

Of course, the dice in Risk would have to be oversized aswell.
posted by Maxwell at 3:41 PM on April 3, 2005

true, piskycritter, true. All of these projects in dubai (well, with the exception of the burj al-arab) seem to be the first things to go in the event of a rising coastline. Still, as a native Los Angeleno, in the event of a rising coastline I won't be around to point my fingers and laugh at the drowning millionaires.
posted by jonson at 3:42 PM on April 3, 2005

I want mini-UAE. And in my garden, I will make a world-like playground for my children. And near the middle of this mini-mini-world, right at mini-mini-UAE, they will build a lego-mini-mini-mini world. And on this mini-mini-mini world... *head explodes*
posted by blendor at 3:55 PM on April 3, 2005

I immediately thought, "Yay! My own Michigan! I love Michigan. We could finally declare war on those Ohio fuckers!"
But then I realized that most of these little countries are classified according to their major cities. You aren't in mini-France, you're in Paris.

"Honey, don't forget the casserole, we're headed over to Rio tonight to visit the Chestertons."
"But dear, I've got the half-a-mill poker game at Balrog's tonight!"
"In DETROIT?! I don't think so, dear. We're not....that kind of people..."

Plus, no great lakes. WTF? I would build a big, frigid swimming pool in the shape of Lake Michigan and fill it with lampreys and poisonous salmon.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 4:13 PM on April 3, 2005

I think once we finally pave the earth and can drive our SUV's over there then I might want to go. Until then I guess I'll have to stick with Florida if I want to have the crunchy coral reef experience. For people who might like to experience living things while vacationing on the ocean there is an organization that is trying to regulate what developers, companies, etc. around the world are allowed to do to reefs like the one in Dubai - interesting.
posted by Guerilla at 5:03 PM on April 3, 2005

I think this is about as far as my patience goes for people to do whatever they want with their own money. If I were ever that rich, I would hope someone would remind me of how many people without basic food and medical care one could save.
posted by ontic at 6:38 PM on April 3, 2005

Interesting political statements, as you can see from the (flash) map. There is a Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon island but no Israel (or, for that matter, Palestine) island. Also, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Illionois, but no Wisconsin. And Alaska has a lot of opportunities, Nome, Fairbanks, Juneau, Barrow, and Anchorage. Perhaps they should have used a different projection technique, or is this equal area?
posted by blahblahblah at 7:06 PM on April 3, 2005

Dubai or not Dubai--that is the question.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:00 PM on April 3, 2005

I hate you, weapons-grade pandemonium.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:37 PM on April 3, 2005

No Wisconsin! What good is a luxurious private island in the shape of Illinois without a luxurious private island in the shape of Wisco to make snarky jokes about?
posted by maryh at 11:21 PM on April 3, 2005

I'm looking forward to the headlines, "Bono buys Ireland"...
posted by runkelfinker at 6:01 AM on April 4, 2005

For those wanting to get boozed up in the UAE (not that this is an issue if you're just staying at a hotel), here's a link to some liquor license information for Dubai residents
posted by lowlife at 6:08 AM on April 4, 2005

"Bono buys Ireland"

He did that last year. Next he's going to buy Scotland from Paul McCartney.
posted by meehawl at 10:59 AM on April 4, 2005

Just don't eat the cornflakes.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:42 AM on April 4, 2005

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