The World, the artificial islands of Dubai

The World

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Have you heard of « The World » ? Dubai is a city known around the world for having virtually no limits when it comes to innovation and the launching of pharaonic projects. This emirate stands out from all others by constructing buildings and places that could not be built anywhere else.

The World, the artificial archipelago in the shape of a world map, is one of the best examples of this excess. Even if this project has had some problems and has not yet managed to deliver all its promises, The World is a unique place in the world. I'll tell you more in this article 🙂


the world from the sky

Screenshot - Explore Dubai Euronews report

The artificial archipelago "The World" is located offshore from Dubai, in the Persian Gulf, between Palm Jumeirah and Palm Deira. This group of islands extends over 5 miles (9 km) long and 4miles (7 km) wide, and will eventually gather about 300 private islands. The artificial islands of The World are for the most part used for tourism or planned for housing, but a few more isolated islands belong to famous people.

Construction of this massive project began in September 2003, and is still in progress. Originally, one of the primary goals of The World was to significantly increase Dubai's waterfront. Dubai naturally has only 41 miles (67km) of coastline, and this figure is expected to rise to 248 miles (400 km) when The World is completed. In total, more than 10 billion cubic feets of sand (300 million cubic meters) were used to create the archipelago, which covers an area of over 2224 acres (900 hectares).

All around the archipelago, the largest dike in the world was built to contain the currents. It is 16 miles (27 km) long and required the use of 34 million tons of stones. The artificial archipelago is one of the few human constructions that can be seen from the space station, which orbits at about 248 miles (400 km) from the earth.

THE WORLD from the sky

helicopter dubai the world

The best way to fully admire The World, but also the Jumeirah coast and the city, is undoubtedly to take a helicopter flight over Dubai. During your flight, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the azure water and all the wonders of Dubai.

A few minutes of helicopter flight will be enough to contemplate the islands of The World, but also a good part of the emblematic places of the city, like the Wind Towers and the Burj Khalifa. From the air, you will be able to appreciate the contrast of this city, where traditional buildings and souks stand only a few steps away from the Skyline, buildings, golf courses and sandy beaches.
A seaplane flight will also be a great way to discover the islands of The World, and much more.
From Dubai Creek, between Deira and Bur Dubai, you can take off towards Abu Dhabi.

On this flight, you'll enjoy a breathtaking view of the Burj Khalifa and the  Burj Al Arab, the famous sailboat-shaped palace. You will then fly over the artificial archipelagos of The World and Palm Jumeirah, and reach the capital of the United Arab Emirates in record time.
It is also important to note that as soon as you arrive at the Dubai International Airport, if you are seated at the left-side window, you will be able to enjoy a beautiful view of The World. On your return, you'll have to sit on the right side of the plane to enjoy the view.

I had the chance to do a helicopter flight and I keep a very good memory of it, especially since the sky was completely clear the day of my flight. Excellent for admiring the scenery and skyscrapers! 🙂

If you have the opportunity to do such a flight during your stay, I highly recommend it! This is a way to discover the city of Dubai from a whole new angle.

A seaplane flight is probably also very nice, but there are fewer offers on this type of aircraft.


crazy dream islands world dubai

Due to the economic crisis, the progress of the work could not continue as planned.

All the islands were originally planned to measure between 25,000 and 85,000 square meters, and be separated by 164(50m) to 328 (100m) feet of water. These artificial islands must be constantly maintained so that they do not disappear in just one decade due to the effect of tides and surf.

For the moment, only one island has really been completed and is fully accessible to the public: Lebanon Island. In the heart of the archipelago, this island hosts a very luxurious complex with all the necessary facilities to relax and sunbathe while enjoying an unparalleled view of the city of Dubai.

The World's islands continue to expand, and in 2020, the area representing the European part of The World, « Heart of Europe » began its first phase of opening. Many extremely luxurious facilities are already present on these islands.


heart of europe

The Heart of Europe aims to offer visitors access to a wide variety of European-themed facilities. The themed islands offer restaurants, resorts, shopping and entertainment venues for a variety of European cultural and culinary experiences.

Here too, innovation is at the heart of the project, and these islands will soon be home to the world's first underwater hotel, as well as the « Raining Street », a little less than 1  miles (1km) long street that is supposed to reproduce the European climate, and where it will rain as soon as the temperature exceeds 80,6 °F (27°C).

For the first phase of opening, The Heart of Europe is composed of:

  • The Côte d’Azur Resort, located on the main island. It consists of 4 hotels named after cities in the south of France: Cannes, Monaco, Nice and Saint-Tropez.
  • The island of Sweden, with its 10 waterfront palaces with architecture inspired by Viking dwellings.
  • The German Island, shaped like a horseshoe, which encircles a lagoon and includes 15 luxurious villas.
  • The Portofino Hotel,  designed to recall the Italian city of the same name, and comprising nearly 500 suites, 6 restaurants, 5 pools and a magnificent hanging garden.
  • The honeymoon island, shaped like a heart and surrounded by floating villas. On the Empress Islands, located right next to it, is the Elizabeth Hotel, the very first 7-star hotel dedicated to weddings.
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auteurs blog dubaï
A first trip to Dubai 8 years ago – and a first love. I created this blog about Dubai to share with you my good deals and my recommendations about visiting this emirate. Ever since my first trip, I try to go back to Dubai at least twice a year, alone or with family!


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