Dubai's World Is Sinking, One Island Nation at a Time

Jan 25, 2011· 0 MIN READ
Salvatore Cardoni holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.
What man builds, the sea taketh away...apparently. (Photo: Marwan Naamani/Getty Images)

That didn’t take long.

In 2003, Dubai unveiled an archipelago of man-made islands that are shaped like nations of the world. The aftificial environment is sinking into the sea, according to The Telegraph.

With a pricetag of $14 billion, The World Islands were intended to be a watery escape off the coast of Dubai for the world’s millionaires. Now, as the development's sands erode and its channels break apart, the question is: What went wrong?

After all, Venice, Italy—constructed by a far-less technologically advanced society in 452 A.D.—is still above sea level, for the most part.

Who knew a new world would be so empty so soon? (Photo: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters)

A British company is bringing a legal case against the state-run developer, Nakheel.

"The islands are gradually falling back into the sea," the company's lawyer, Richard Wilmot-Smith said. Evidence showed "erosion and deterioration of The World islands", he added.

To date, according to Inhabitat, 70 percent of the project’s 300 islands have been sold, and all of the continents are inhabited save for Greenland, which is owned by the ruler of Dubai.