Dubai’s Island Version of the World, As Seen from Space

by Nancy Atkinson on April 11, 2012

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The Palm and The World Islands, Dubai. Credit: NASA/ESA

Usually astronauts have to go much farther away than low Earth orbit to see the entire world in one view, but The World Islands resorts in Dubai provides a unique — if not manufactured — view of Earth’s continents from space. The World Islands are a collection of man-made islands shaped into the continents of the world, and ultimately will consist of 300 small private artificial islands divided into four categories – private homes, estate homes, dream resorts, and community islands.

To the east is another man-made archipelago named The Palm, for obvious reasons, and another island chain is due to be built between these reclaimed lands which will be called The Universe.

ESA astronaut André Kuipers took this image on April 10, 2012 during his long duration mission on the International Space Station. See more of his images at the ESA FLickr page.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Derek Ferguson April 11, 2012 at 7:44 PM

No matter how much you shell out to make something, sometimes it still looks like garbage.

Efreet April 11, 2012 at 9:24 PM

i like it.

DarkGnat April 12, 2012 at 2:48 AM

So that’s what they’re doing with the oil money.

Marc Brandsma April 12, 2012 at 9:03 AM

@DarkGnat they have no oil, it’s all speculative

Slugsie April 12, 2012 at 1:58 PM

I was under the impression that construction on ‘The World’ had stopped because no one wanted any of the islands. Flipping stupid idea if you ask me.

JonHanford April 12, 2012 at 5:14 PM

The wiki entry for The World notes that all projects on the islands have either been cancelled or suspended due to the 2008 global financial crises and that as of early 2011 only one building (a show home) has been constructed on the islands: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_Islands

The economic downturn has also stalled all work on the other archipelagos planned, including The Universe, which was to represent the solar system and the Milky Way: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Universe_%28Dubai%29

A map of the completed archipelagos indicates the enormity of the construction contemplated (rather foolishly, I agree) off the coast of Dubai: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sztuczne_wyspy_w_Dubaju.png

zkank April 14, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Google Earth gives a much higher resolution viewing opportunity than this!

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