Dubai's dubious building boom has spawned a new architecture of unparalleled excess - one needn't look further than the desert region's ski slope, refrigerated beach and proposed ice cube lodge to find proof. However as of late the emirate's blustery building pace has lost its muster, and the latest megaproject to go south is The World, an archipelago of manmade islands modeled after the seven continents that seems to have sprung a leak. We first covered the world-shaped chain of islands several years ago, and now the crumbling series of ill-fated isles is sinking like Atlantis into the sea.
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.
According to Queen’s Counsel Richard Wilmot-Smith, speaking on behalf of Penguin Marine, “The islands are gradually falling back into the sea”. He went on to say that the World Islands show signs of “erosion and deterioration”. So far 70% of the world’s 300 islands have been sold, but all of the continents are uninhabited save for Greenland, which is owned by the ruler of Dubai.
Although the developer, Nakheel, claims that the project will eventually be completed and that it hasn’t observed any substantial signs of erosion, the project’s mounting costs and stalled construction may very well signify the end of The World as we know it.
Via The Telegraph
All photos © Nakheel