October 16, 2004 God made the world in seven days for an undisclosed cost, and now man has recreated it for a steal. Artificial reality has taken on a whole new slant with developments in habitat and ecosystem creation by the Dubai based Nakheel Corporation, which is creating their own customised islands for sale. Once the stuff of science fiction, terraforming is now an affordable reality as real estate can be designed and shaped to the most outrageous whim. Nakheel have gone so far as creating an artificial archipelago that replicates a scale model of the world with all major land masses, as well as replicas of lost cities from different parts of the ancient world that have to be seen to be believed.
Surrounded by the Arabian Gulf and year round sunshine, the climate of Dubai is drawing in a record number of visitors and residents and the real estate market is booming. There's some keen fiscal management behind all the real estate, as the Dubai government is keeping interest rates and property prices low to attract foreign investment and residency. With an 8% GDP growth rate Dubai can barely keep up with the demand for housing - which is why they are creating new real estate from scratch!
Two visionary artificial island environments have been created just off the coast of Dubai - the "Palm, Jebel Ali" and the "Palm Jumeirah", both palm tree shaped land masses surrounded by hemispherical reefs. Time lapse photography allows you to watch the fascinating growth of these man made island paradises as they rise from the sea like Atlantis in reverse, are customised and developed for luxury living, with five star hotels and exclusive retail outlets dotted along the trunk of the palm.
The third environment is "The World", which consists of 300 man made islands in the shape of continents - but unlike the overcrowded original, each island in this world is up for private sale.
This can be broken down into a collection of estate homes for a community of weekenders or year round residents, resorts, or the perfect island sanctuary for those who can afford it. Miniature replicas of England, Shanghai, even Tasmania are up for grabs as location is still everything - even on the small scale.
The imagination is let loose populating the World, with Nakheel encouraging micro versions of global environments on each of the World's islands, from full scale replicas of Caribbean ships to European castle resorts and even an African game preserve. Nakheel water patrol security will ensure the safety of residents while exclusive water taxis will ferry guests between islands day and night.
On the mainland, Nakheel has again stretched the boundaries of the imagination with it's "Lost City" development (Located in Jebel Ali, near Nakheel's other signature developments the Gardens Shopping Mall and Discovery Gardens, the Lost City is a recreation of history through architecture. Properties feature fresh water streams flowing near the homes in a recreation of ancient styles from the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East to places as far as the Orient and Mediterranean Africa, or totally transformed environments to your brief.
Greg Norman has even designed a world class golf course exclusive to the property. Nakheel has invested enormous detail in the project, sending engineers to archaeological sites to copy the layout, styles and building materials used by the Old World and combining them with 21st century comfort and convenience for modern needs.
It used to be said that 'no man is an island', but thanks to Nakheel, every man can now own and design one.View gallery - 9 images