Some years ago, when everyone was passing around photos of the newly built structures off the coast of Dubai, my first thought was, “If climate change is raising sea levels, why on Earth would anyone build such things, which will only be flooded eventually?” So, it is not surprising at all to me that these pretty structures are in fact becoming flooded, not necessarily yet by rising ocean levels but by the fact that Dubai’s islands are eroding and sinking.
The islands were intended as the ultimate luxury possession, even for Dubai.
But the World, the ambitiously-constructed archipelago of islands shaped like the countries of the globe, is sinking back into the sea, according to evidence cited before a property tribunal.
The islands were intended to be developed with tailor-made hotel complexes and luxury villas, and sold to millionaires. They are off the coast of Dubai and accessible by yacht or motor boat.
Now their sands are eroding and the navigational channels between them are silting up, the British lawyer for a company bringing a case against the state-run developer, Nakheel, has told judges.
“The islands are gradually falling back into the sea,” Richard Wilmot-Smith QC, for Penguin Marine, said. The evidence showed “erosion and deterioration of The World islands”, he added.
With all but one of the islands still uninhabited – Greenland – and that one a showpiece owned by the ruler of Dubai, most of the development plans have been brought to a crashing halt by the financial crisis….
What a shame! Not. Dubai was largely built on the backs of some 300,000 laborers who are basically SLAVES, and its fundamentalist Islamic governance fosters serious human rights abuses. Some of the money pouring into this sleazy city comes from greedy internationalist powermongers like Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Michael Bloomberg. Dubai is living on borrowed time because of its lack of fresh water and, environmentally speaking, was a really bad idea from the get-go. All in all, Dubai is a bad place with a terrible future.
Not so fast! This report came in 2007, but the BBC recently confirmed that nothing has changed, and the laborers remain in the same squalid conditions.