The World or World Islands is an artificial archipelago of various small islands constructed in the rough shape of a world map, located 4.0 kilometres (2.5 mi) off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates.The World islands are composed mainly of sand dredged from Dubai's shallow coastal waters, and are one of several artificial island developments in Dubai. The World's developer is Nakheel Properties, and the project was originally conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.While the developer and Dubai government deny it, a participant in a related law suit has alleged that the islands are also sinking back into the sea.
Islands in the archipelago range from 14,000 to 42,000 square metres (150,000 to 450,000 sq ft) in area. Distances between islands average 100 metres (330 ft); they are constructed from 321 million cubic metres of sand and 31 million tons of rock. The entire development is an area that covers 6 by 9 kilometres (3.7 by 5.6 mi) and is surrounded by an oval-shaped breakwater island. Roughly 232 km (144 mi) of shoreline was created. The World's overall development costs were estimated at $14 billion USD in 2005.