Buy an island, or a country, or at least a replica of one

Off the coast of Dubai, Al Nakheel Properties is building a chain of 300 islands in the shape of the world. Learn more about the project by watching their video.

The growing artificiality and commercialization of Dubai concerns some people, however.

Locals joke that Dubai's call to prayer is "Attention shoppers!"

The naysayers can cluck their tongues all they want. That won't prevent the construction of an indoor ski slope. (Warning: Link has loud, annoying music.)

Comments (17)
  1. Gabe says:

    I don’t understand the people who want to build on man-made islands. Won’t the land slowly settle nonuniformly? I would expect that it would be difficult to the foundations evenly supported, or even keep them above sea-level.

  2. Rob says:

    Gabe: it depends on how deep the bedrock is, but one solution to supporting the foundations is to place them on pilings.  My parent’s neighborhood is mostly landfill over Lake Washington and most of the houses there are on pilings.  One that didn’t sank.

  3. Bramster says:

    There used be an expression. . .  "Buy Land. They’re not making anymore of it. . .  unless you’re a dutchman".

    It seems the definition of a dutchman is being expanded.

  4. I watched an hour long special about this on Discovery or Science Channel or one of them. It actually is extremely disruptive to the ecosystem and the way it changed the tides almost destroyed the beach on the main land. There have been plenty of architectural problems that they discovered after the fact. Like in the original island project, the one where Trump is building a tower, the water inside the crest started stagnating because it wasn’t flowing right.

    Anyway, shaping the land this much is sure to cause long term problems. But it’s absolutely fascinating what we’re able to do as humans.

  5. Gabest says:

    I think this was on tv many years ago, they also built two more islands south-west to it.,55.17437&spn=0.068173,0.110207&z=13

  6. .M.G says:

    Have they considered the possibility of the sea levels rising (due to polar icecaps melting)?  Won’t that put their islands under water?  If that does happen, it probably won’t be any time soon, so it won’t be their problem – it will be their grandchildren’s problem.  Nice.  

  7. Borlock says:


    For an oil producer to admit that there is such a thing as global warming, is about as difficult as for a tobacco company to admit there is such a thing as addiction.

    I guess they’re making a ‘statement’.

  8. brian says:

    Best game of Risk ever?

  9. James Schend says:

    MGA: If you can afford the millions of dollars it takes to live there, I think you’ll be able to find some way of coping with global warming when/if it occurs.

  10. paully says:

    What a disgusting waste of money. Another reason to hope oil runs out as quickly as possible.

  11. Anony Moose says:

    Dubai is a brutal and repressive theocracy, and the joke about "attention shoppers" is merely evidence that they’ve mastered the fine art of distracting people from the truth with shiny things.

    Yes, they have tall fancy buildings and lots of money – apparantly that’s all that people really care about.

  12. Name required says:

    If you buy the "USA island" do you get to wander into everyone else’s island, beat up the owners and nick all their stuff?

  13. will says:

    It is not locals who are buying theses places.  There already have another set of artificial islands built like a palm most of the people purchasing them are europians for investment and tourism so the streets are dead most of the time.

  14. Michiel says:

    "It seems the definition of a dutchman is being expanded."

    Well, guess who’s building these islands.

    (I’ve worked for Delft Hydraulics, who did the hydro engineering for at least Palm Islands.)

  15. Yes indeed says:

    Name required: phew! I’m safe I’d just bought the  Israeli island  :|

  16. MikeWasson says:

    Didn’t Ringworld have something like this?

  17. I wonder did they leave out Israel in the end?

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