Dubai’s World of Islands is Sinking Into the Sea

by , 01/25/11
filed under: Architecture

the world islands, nakheel, man-made islands, dubai, uae, united arab emirates, dubai's sinking islands, dubai building boom, the universe

Granted Dubai’s stratospheric rise over the past few years, it may come as no surprise that several of its projects have flown too close to the sun. The World was envisioned as the ultimate luxury retreat: for an exorbitant price you could lay claim to your own private island – a corner of the globe to call your own. The islands were created from displaced sand dredged up from the depths of the sea, however a property tribunal recently cited evidence that the islands have begun to erode and the waterways that separate them are dissolving due to the influx of sand.

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  1. Jax Blaze August 22, 2015 at 10:39 am

    It should sink. All unnatural islands are only adding to the destabilisation of nature, which ever way it can. Dubai, Chinese and Japanese island sinks, no one will possibly create these unnatural dams in the sea.

    And a feedback to inhabitat. The layout is not easy on eyes. So whenever I have been redirected to the site, I closed it without reading. This is the first time, i read an article in your site.

  2. Mohamed Amir August 22, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Greeting from the Maldives.
    Maldives islands in the arabian sea is natural.
    artifical eco systems inferior than natural eco systems.

  3. Ferj Osio July 12, 2015 at 12:20 am

    So dear writer, I would like very much to believe what you say and join the sinkbaby!bandwagon trollers here…but where is your proof? How can you say it is sinking and by how much? DO you not know that most of the world is indeed sinking? So what is so special about these islands sinking (aside from the fact that you obviously hate it).

    So please give me some facts before I can take this article to my friends in Dubai!

  4. Patricia Brown April 15, 2015 at 12:40 am

    Good. IT’s only hubris.

  5. Michael Krijnen March 26, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    This is what the Greeks called hubris.

  6. Craig Schaffer March 26, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    creation of these ranks with fracking……short sighted!

  7. Marcel Thonen December 7, 2014 at 1:26 am

    I hope that there is nothing left of it, all those islands. Everything that happens in Dubai, is wasteful and is run by money and power-hungry people. Every intelligent person can nevertheless consider that what happens over there is total destruction of nature and environmentally. But that is irrelevant because, for money, that’s what counts. Not realizing that we are now 7.3 billion people live dangerously busy on this beautiful planet, of which several thousand people in control, they think. People have brains …………… then use that to survive and conscious bility, not to destroy, but we are much better. Time will tell and that is exactly the main problem, because the man has less and less. Unfortunately, he’ll soon find out what happens when you disrespectful deal with your own home!

  8. Jerold Farver November 17, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Interesting site.

  9. Geno Yachte November 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Doesn\\\’t take any brains to see Dubai\\\’s Problem these Islands need walls and vegetation to hold the sand from shifting and filling in Channels LOL Private beaches after break- walls//Corrugated metal and railroad ties would work as dams// // Need a Good Engineer // Call Geno //

  10. Marcus Aurelius November 9, 2014 at 2:36 am

    human endeavour is not easy, we learn from past mistakes, for the future generations, so lest we forget that we should continue to create and innovate and push the boundaries. put religion out of discussion. religion is personal, putting it in public will cause tension, because you cannot convert a non-believer or unconvert a believer by merely your own words, but we have the power to find commonalities to unite all diversities with mere words.

  11. jd1935 November 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Some people show just how ignorant they are by what they say. Those words reflect the mentality of the person writing them!

  12. BillSmith November 8, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I will tell you why we dont ‘just pray to god…..etc. etc’ Coz all yr praying isnt going to stp these islands from sinking.
    1 god doesnt exists
    2 if he did exist he obviously wants them to sink
    3 if praying would help to avoid disaster then god is kinda fickle now is he? “I will let that kid day because no one prayed for him and ok I will let that one live, just because many people prayed”

    If God is willing to help but not able… he is not omnipotent.
    If he is able to help but not willing, he is malevolent
    If he is neither able or willing to help… then why is he god.

    The fact that the islands would sink was already known during the planning phase and therefore maintenance was calculated to be necessary… after the boom went bust, there just wasnt any money, especially since not all has been sold yet

  13. Raven Sqarr November 8, 2014 at 6:13 am

    I see the catchy title devoluted some commentator remarks. The “sinking” only means the contract is running out of money. As for the substructure of the islands, it is pile driven concrete. Erosion? Go look at any beach a week apart and see the change. Tsunami? Breakwall. It baffles when comments are invalid due to ignorance. The engineers working on these projects are some of the smartest individuals our species have yet born. Thy have the problems. The worst thing that might happen is that these islands become white elephants. But even that is doubtful as the idea behind Dubai’s growth is to establish itself as the centre of the world in regards to travel. As more people will be drawn to this hub, so will the money.

  14. Charles Ostman November 7, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Well . . . it’s a self evolving (albeit, unintended), geostructural artform.

  15. diana_16 October 17, 2013 at 10:39 am

    this has nothing to do with power or greed… it is sth beautiful that man has created, it is dangerous but this shows how creative and what man is capable of doing… instead of constantly saying that it will sink or that it is stupid why don\’t we just pray to God that nothing bad happens to it. i have been there and it is simply amazing and hope to God that it lasts for many years

  16. gutty August 13, 2011 at 9:12 am

    As human we are digging our own grave by the name of creativity, technology and development.

    What to say

  17. doe-chee August 7, 2011 at 11:27 am

    We as human beings do some stupid things in the name of power and greed. Sometimes that comes back to haunt us – big time!

  18. zaxman August 7, 2011 at 10:56 am

    When this project began, I knew it was not going to suceed for two reasons.

    1 – Sand islands which have no supporting foundations like rocks or coral reefs are doomed to erode, I could not understand why the engineers did not mimic a real island by creating better artificial foundations to stop the eventual erosion.

    2 – Tsunami… It would wipe them out in a flash and any body not thinking about that possibility would be trowing there money away for a harsh reality.

  19. schaskins August 7, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I will add another simple proverb to the mix “A fool and his money are soon parted”.

  20. Jayna May 31, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Home run! Great slugigng with that answer!

  21. mwatterud February 14, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!

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