Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dubai World Islands: landmarks of ingenuity

Following another great article from my favorite urban culturist about Islands and their roles in cultures and literature I was dragged to dig a bit further into the subject of the Dubai World Islands. Watching the accompanied 3D simulation movie I was first under the impression this megalomaniac project is yet in design stages and that nothing is really there. I was very wrong. This thing is already there. The first island is already there owned by Formula 1 race car driver Michael Schumacher.

According to Mark Amherst from, probably the most popular blog on the internet dedicated to private islands, the $7 million dollar island seen below was given to Schumacher by Dubai’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Moktoum. Other celebrities who have purchased property there include Rod Stewart who spent $3 3 million to buy the island of Great Britain. The entire project is scheduled for completion in 2008.

Thanks to Google Earth and we can keep an eye on this project ourselves (get the kml file here). Yet, there is also an official project website at where the company behind it named Nakheel (Arabic: نخيل palms or palm trees) Properties offers some official movie clips that just showed up on YouTube for us to watch.

Nakheel describe themselves as "Dubai’s premier development company" that "has changed the very texture of the city with landmarks of ingenuity, distinctive residential communities, unique retail offerings and unprecedented investment opportunities." Regardless of what you we think of the environmental and sociological aspects of this project, I think the later statement is pretty much accurate. Judging based on the buzz around this and the fact its really happening, I think they are also doing a pretty good marketing job. More about Nakheel Properties in this Wikipedia page. Official website at


  1. I recently saw an extensive documentary on this project. While it is certainly innovative, I can't help but wonder over the tremendous waste of resources. It's not like there isn't enough developable land on this planet! This is literally THROWING AWAY money for the sake of luxury.

  2. I tend to agree Jon, but isn't that is how capitalism works? Any major Hollywood movie is also throwing away money for luxury. the only difference is how may people are enjoying it at the end of the day. This luxury is for very few but as always, where these is development there are others who enjoy it too. think about all the people that worked in building this. I think that's how most of development project work.

  3. I have no words!!
    Pictures are breathtaking!!
    I cannot imagine how human beings could build such world islands,such masterpieces!!
    Arabs are really fine fellows.
    They want to be the first, and they will be, definitely!
    So many fantastic projects are rising day by day, people from all over the world are interested in investing in Dubai property.
    Government and UAE's people really aim at high successes.


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