Branson stakes claim on The World in Dubai

29th Mar 2006

Sir Richard Branson has planted the Union Jack and ceremoniously “staked his claim” to Great Britain on The World, at an event celebrating the debut of Virgin Atlantic Airways’ direct flights between the United Kingdom and Dubai. The island of Great Britain is one of 300 super luxury man-made island developments that collectively make up The World, a series of islands shaped to form the map of the world. 

The islands are being constructed by Nakheel, developer of more than $30 billion of real estate in Dubai.

Branson jumped out of a red London telephone box and surprised journalists today as they arrived for a private tour of the island.

The event coincided with an announcement that 90 percent of the islands of The World have been reclaimed, with only 10 percent remaining prior to completion.

“The World is one of the most innovative developments I have ever seen, and I admire the vision that is behind this project,” stated Branson. 


“The islands are truly spectacular, and who would have thought of owning your own piece of the world?”
Hamza Mustafa, GM of The World said, “Sir Richard Branson symbolizes the best of British and is the ideal person today to plant the Union Jack on Great Britain.”

The World consists of 300 man-made islands strategically positioned to form the shape of the world map, lying 4km off the coast of Dubai. 

Two years of intensive planning, research development and design took place before The World was announced. 

Measuring approximately nine kilometres in width by seven kilometres in length, the development covers over 593 million square feet and is visible to the naked eye from space. 

The World will include a collection of homes, apartments, resorts, restaurants and retail amidst beaches, boating and leisure opportunities.
Nakheel is the uniquely focused property development company behind a variety of new landmark developments in Dubai.

Nakheel aims to redefine the concept of property development whether residential, tourist, commercial or retail.

Nakheel’s portfolio currently includes The Palm, The World, Jumeirah Islands, The Gardens, Ibn Battuta Mall, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Jumeirah Golf Estates, The Lost City, International City, Discovery Gardens, Jumeirah Village and Dubai Waterfront.

Further information can be found at

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