Dubai is the country of beautiful, extravagant and idealistic man-made creations that are built to attract flocks of tourists across the world to come and experience something truly unique and authentically ‘Dubai.’ In 2001, developers started creating three artificial islands on the coast of Dubai by the name of the palm islands, in the shape of a palm tree with beautiful villas and 5-star resorts and beaches. The project attracted a large number of investors and visitors, curious to get a taste of luxury. The same developers are now in the process of an even more elaborate project that once completed, will be sure to attract thousands of tourists looking for a chance to visit the world in one stop.
The World Islands project is the latest grandiose addition to Dubai’s growing list of unthinkable attractions. With some setbacks in 2008, it is now underway once again with ambitious goals. It is a series of 300 artificial islands, developed in the shape of the world map, and each island consisting of a specific region or country of the world. The islands will be scattered in the Persian Gulf and will be accessible from mainland Dubai, as they are only 4 km off the coast of Dubai. Take a look at some of the outrageous and unbelievable plans for this extravagant project.
20 Explore the Floating Venice Island
Las Vegas has the Venetian Hotel with its take on the classic Venice gondola ride. Dubai is taking it one step further with the development of a floating replica of the beautiful Italian city. While the island as a whole will be a replication of Venice, completing it with the twisting water canals and gondola rides, the main resort on the island will become one of the first ‘underwater’ resorts in the world. The hotel will be comprised of 4 decks, one of which will be completely underwater for guests to enjoy. No word yet on how authentic the pizza and gelato will be!
19 Sleep Underwater at the Floating SeaHorse Villas
Keeping in line with the underwater theme, the developers are offering Floating Seahorse Villas for investment purchases that will be found throughout the ‘Heart of Europe’ phase of the World Islands. The villas are stunning and offer a triple level floating home with the lower level being completely underwater. Guests will fall asleep in the bedroom located underwater and surrounded by the creatures of the sea. The main level has an extended deck, and the upper level has an outdoor bed as well. Phase one and two are completely sold out, so act fast if you want to invest in the future!
18 Explore the World in One Stop
If you are having trouble deciding where to go on your next vacation, the World Islands project can make your choice a bit easier. Dubai is a top destination spot for most tourists looking for an exotic locale to visit. The development of the World Islands will mean that in addition to enjoying the sights and thrills of Dubai, you are only 4km away from a proposed European island, Switzerland Island or Shanghai Island - allowing you to explore parts of the world in one stop. Each island will be customized to the country it replicates and will feature beaches, top restaurants and 5 star resorts.
17 Visit the Heart of Europe
The Heart of Europe is a series of six islands comprising of different European countries, each with its own unique attraction, and each attached through bridges. The Heart of Europe is currently scheduled to be completed by 2020. The largest island will be comprised of elements from Vienna, Rome, Andalusia and Cote d’Azur, and the other islands will be inspired by Switzerland, Germany and Sweden. The islands will not only have architecture and cuisine that replicates the cuisine from that country, but the climate will mimic the home country as well. If everything goes as planned, you can be in the middle of an ocean, experiencing rain or snow depending on which island you visit!
16 Experience Climate Controlled Islands
While most people flock to Dubai for its year round sunshine and warm temperatures, there is a certain allure to watching snow fall on cobble stone streets and a slightly cooler temperature of some European countries. The World Island’s Switzerland island is set to mimic the temperatures of the country with actual snow lined streets. The developers are planning to use ‘German technology’ to achieve actual snow falling from the skies onto the streets on the island below. So you can huddle with your loved ones while drinking hot chocolate while looking out to the surrounding waters around you. Similar technology is proposed to be used for the London island as well in order to mimic rain.
15 Stay in a Swedish Palace
The Sweden Island will have 10 beachfront palaces with 7 bedrooms each. 5 of them will be designed and furnished with Bentley interior décor. The architecture is ambitious- the roof of each palace will be in the shape of inverted Swedish Viking vessels and will be used as party rooms for guests. Each palace offers a view of Dubai’s skyline and some come with the usual saunas, and snow rooms to cool off in. The island is one of the more exclusive islands as it has only 10 properties, however events will be held throughout the year that are authentically ‘Swedish’ such as Midsummer and Walpurgis Eve.
14 Trust in Established Developers
The World Islands was a concept conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. The developers bringing the idea to life are Nakheel Properties who have an extensive portfolio of projects in and around Dubai, so you can be rest assured that once complete, the World Islands will not disappoint. Nakheel Properties are the brains behind the Palm Islands in Dubai, the beautiful Jumeirah Islands, and several of the grand malls throughout Dubai. The World Islands project commenced in 2003 but was stalled due to the financial crisis of 2008, however the majority of the islands have been sold off to private contractors and are now underway. With previous success with the creation of artificial islands on the Palm, the World Islands is sure to be equally as impressive.
13 Party at the already Operating Lebanon Island
Known as ‘the Island’ the Island is the first island to welcome guests as a part of the World Islands. It is much smaller than the anticipated islands and offers two beaches, swimming pools, fine dining and activities. The island is currently mostly used as an event venue as it can accommodate up to 500 guests and is a beautiful location to rent out for wedding events or corporate events. Guests can visit the Island for the day and purchase a day pass to enjoy their time a secluded island away from the activity of Dubai.
12 Celebrate Oktoberfest in Dubai at Germany Island
Thousands of tourists flock to Germany each year to participate in the renowned Oktoberfest, While the numbers may not necessarily change, the World Islands’ Germany Island will celebrate Oktoberfest as well, along with other themed events throughout the year that celebrate German culture and history. The island will be shaped like a horseshoe and will be home to 15 beach villas available for rent, and 17 properties if you are interested in island living with a twist. All the properties will be energy efficient and utilize green energy and solar power, for the environmentally conscious.
11 Plam your Wedding at Empress Elizabeth Hotel
While many refer to Dubai’s Burj al-Arab as the world’s first 7 star hotel, the hotel was actually never accredited as a 7-star hotel by an authorized body. The Empress of Elisabeth Hotel, which will be located in the Heart of Europe as one of the 13 hotels on the islands, is slotted to be a stunning 7 star hotel that is completely dedicated to wedding events. It is a ‘one key’ hotel meaning that the property is exclusively yours when rented out. It may be on the world’s first hotels that specializes and focuses solely on weddings, with a stunning backdrop and view of Dubai’s mainland.
10 Enjoy a Family Vacation at Portofino Hotel
If you are looking to travel in luxury with your family in tow, the Portofino hotel is a 5-star hotel family hotel that will specialize in accommodating families with children of all ages. Exclusive clubs will be made available for children of all ages so that families can enjoy a unique vacation without having to worry about activities for the children. The hotel is set to be built on the main Europe Island and will offer luxury accommodation with suits with private plunge pools. The resort will offer guests a Mediterranean feel with its own marina, cafes and beachfront restaurants.
9 Feel the Love at St. Petersburg Island
Move over palm islands, there is a new artificial island that is set to take over with its breathtaking views from above. St. Petersburg island will be in the shape of a heart, and will be surrounding by the floating seahorse villas, making it the ultimate in luxury vacationing. The island will take its inspiration from the Maldives and will be situated close to the main Europe Island, which offers more dining and activities if you get tired of lying around on a resort island surrounding by crystal clear water. On the island itself you can enjoy an exclusive restaurant and bar, as well as infinity pools and of course the beach.
8 Explore Main Europe on an Island
The Main Europe area is the hub of the Heart of Europe Island. It is the largest island in the Heart of Europe and will have many hotels, restaurants, cafes, beaches and shopping options for tourists. Main Europe will replicate many cities and sights within Europe and will have cobble stone streets, snow covered plazas and themed cafes. Where else can you get a taste of France, Spain, Germany, Austria and more, all in one place? Or all on one island? The World Islands project will make sure that you never have to choose one country or city again and can explore them all at once.
7 Get two Vacations at One Time
For most avid travelers, Dubai is a must see destination on its own. Once the World Islands project is completed or even partially completed, tourists will be able to visit the beautiful emirate of Dubai and enjoy their time there, while opting to tour the World Islands with a short boat ride to the main islands. While the details are still unclear on the pricing for day visits, the World Islands will quickly become a must-see attraction among the other strong contenders in Dubai. Located only 4km off the coast of Dubai, you won't need to incur any extra flight fees to see Dubai's take on the rest of the world - just charter the next boat and explore!
6 Tell your Friends you partied at Lindsay Lohan's Island
Since the announcement of the World Islands project there has been a number of celebrity names floating around linked to various islands. Some reports suggested that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had invested in a Cambodia island, while others claimed Richard Branson had purchased the British Island. Turns out that those reports were false. However, Lindsay Lohan herself has seemed to confirm that she is in the process of designing her own island as a part of the World Islands project- aptly named Lohan Island. It is unclear which country the island will be modeled after, but where else can you attend an entire island named after a former child star?
5 Stay in an eco-friendly Villa
Revolution Precrafted, a Philippines based developer has entered into a 3.2 billion agreement to build eco-friendly pre-fab apartments and hotel villas for the South American islands as a part of Dubai’s World Islands. The details about the South American Island have not yet been released, but they are the islands that are closest to the Dubai shoreline, making them a safe bet for large tourist activity. The villas will be manufactured in the Philippines and shipped to Dubai to be reassembled on 9 of the islands. The developers are known for their sleek and modern designs and will be environmentally friendly, most likely drawing on solar power- so you can lap in luxury without feeling guilty.
4 What is an artificial island without an artificial reef?
300 artificial islands replicated in the shape of the world map is no small feat. However, what use is an artificial island with snorkeling and underwater hotels and villas without marine life to observe and take in? To accompany the floating seahorse villas, almost 500 spotted seahorses have been born under an initial project geared towards creating marine systems around artificial reefs in and around Dubai’s World Islands project. A number of seahorses are being held in aquariums to ultimately be released around the sea and the resorts. The spotted seahorses are endangered and marine biologists working on developing the marine life are hoping to help the population through this project.
3 View Homes that wont Sink
Floating resorts and seahorses all sound great. Artificial islands also may sound appealing, but with rising sea levels, even the most adventurous tourist might question the stability of the ambitious project. To alleviate some of these concerns, Waterstudio, a Dutch architecture firm will be creating 33 private villas on the artificial islands in Dubai World Islands. The homes are expected to float with the sea levels, so that if sea levels rise, the homes will float and rise as well. The floating homes have been tested out in Amsterdam, and are said to be safe to reside in for over 100 years. While you may get a chance to visit them, you will have to cough up around 23 million to purchase one, complete with its own floating island.
2 Visit the Cote d'Azur Hotel
This beautiful hotel is set to be built on the Heart of Europe, closest to the entrance and right on the beach. Drawing Mediterranean influences, the resort will feature fine dining options, luxurious accommodations, and high-end shopping facilities. While all the hotels in this project boast mostly the same amenities, this hotel is slotted to be the largest and most accessible to the public given its prime location and number of rooms available. It may be one of the more budget friendly hotels, offering access to the plazas and courtyards built on the islands, while still providing the island feel by offering sea views in almost every room. You can’t seem to go wrong with any of the accommodation options- the difficulty will be in choosing which one!
1 Because there is nothing like this in the world!
Quite simply Dubai World Islands will likely be on everyone's bucket list, and rightfully so. The concept is completely unique and as ambitious as it may seem, will likely provide a once in a lifetime opportunity for many travelers. While some may think it is cheesy to replicate the entire world on fake islands, the short boat ride from Dubai for the chance to experience snow on an island, should be enough to get over the initial cheesy factor. While it is unclear when the entire project will be complete, it is only a matter of time before Dubai outdoes itself with its next project!