The World, an archipelago of 300 islands in Dubai, has sat largely vacant for around 10 years. But construction is underway once again. The Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright reported, “After a decade in limbo, The World is back – with more ambitious plans than ever before.”

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The World, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, island, islands

The World was dreamed up in 2003, with Nakheel as the master developer, and 320 million cubic meters of sand and 25 million metric tons of rock were put into place, according to The Guardian. Workers laid the last rock in the breakwater in January 2008. The development sprawls across over 5,000 hectares and stands, in the words of Wainwright, as a “mind-boggling monument to the spectacular hubris of a moment in time when anything seemed possible.”

Related: Dubai’s World of Islands is Sinking Into the Sea

The World, Dubai, Jumeirah, United Arab Emirates, island, islands

But construction is beginning again. Josef Kleindienst, of real estate company Kleindienst, talked to The Guardian about his plans for The Heart of Europe, saying he wants to make it snow there throughout the entire year. The Kleindienst website describes The Heart of Europe as “a first of its kind, breathtaking hospitality development, spanning six of the islands on The World in Dubai, with each island taking inspiration from some of Europe’s most captivating locations.” Swiss chalets, Austrian castles, and Russian palaces are among the plans. Kleindienst told The Guardian the development will be finished in time for Expo 2020 in Dubai.

The World, The Heart of Europe, Dubai,

Other island owners seem to have been inspired by Kleindienst, according to The Guardian. Emirati developer Seven Tides aims to finish a 100-villa resort on one of the 10 islands they own in the South America portion by the end of this year. And actress Lindsay Lohan said she’s designing an island in The World. It remains to be seen whether or not the projects will ultimately come to life.

Via The Guardian

Images via Wikimedia Commons (1,2) and The Heart of Europe