Inside Dubai’s eerie mostly empty 300 manmade islands built for the super rich
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Featured Image Credit: MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP via Getty Images
It's common knowledge that some of the richest celebrities have their own private islands to show off their wealth, but did you know that just off Dubai's coast there's hundreds of man-made islands waiting for billionaires to take advantage of them?
These futuristic and, quite frankly eerie man-made islands, have been created using large amounts of sand from the Persian Gulf. Millions of tons of rocks have been used to keep them all in place.
Designed to look like miniature versions of the seven continents from an aerial view, there's roughly 300 islands that represent each country in the world.
Known as the 'World Islands project', this incredibly expensive and vast project hasn't really taken off - as it would've hoped to.
The development spans five miles long and each island ranges from 250,000 to 900,000 square foot each.
Global icons with big wallets like Richard Branson and the late Karl Lagerfeld have taken visits to some of the islands. F1 driver, Michael Schumacher, was gifted one of the islands for his record-breaking career.
However, back in 2008, the United Arab Emirates economy was in trouble and the real estate sector was brought down with it.
An estimated $300billion worth of projects were scaled down or cancelled all together.
During the 2008 financial crisis, only one of the islands was completed and open for tourists to visit. Then, in 2021, Anantara World Islands Resort opened its doors on the South American section of the islands.
The 'Heart of Europe project' is the next phase of the World Islands development, where each island was meant to have luxury hotels, private mansions and floating villas.
The aim is to bring tourists to Dubai and have them experience different European destinations as they hop from island to island.
The Heart of Europe website says: “We combine the best of European culture, architecture, and hospitality with the luxury and innovation of the Emirates and the white, sandy beaches of tropical islands.
“The Heart of Europe offers novel experiences, from underwater living to the climate controlled Raining Street.”
It's said to be completed in 2026 and will be valued at $5 billion. Only 30 per cent of the remaining islands are still for sale, with the other 70 per cent likely to be worked on shortly.
So, if you've ever considered owning your own private island, and have a few billion pounds going spare, you'll want to act quickly before they're all snapped up.