Nakheel unveils secrets of the World

Nakheel has explained how it foresees The World will function as a project, revealing plans for infrastructure, transportation and the different types of islands that are available to developers.Land reclamation of The World, a series of more than 300 man-made islands shaped to form the map of the world, is currently 90% complete with developers currently working to complete their plans for estate islands, residential and resort communities.

Hamza Mustafa, General Manager, The World, said, “This is a big step forward in the evolution of The World. The project has played an enormous role in raising awareness of Dubai on a global scale; many people know about Dubai because of this incredible project, but I think few people understand how The World will actually work in reality.

“With reclamation at such an advanced stage, The World is truly turning from an incredible vision into a reality and is quickly evolving into a one-of-a-kind destination and investment opportunity. Engineered to be flexible and designed to be unforgettable - The World is a blank canvas in the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf with endless possibilities.”


Developers on The World will be able to create their own environment within the project through a process known as Terraforming - literally meaning earth-shaping. Islands are sold as continuous plots with both land and water areas; the developer can then reshape the islands to create unique features such as private beaches, coves, harbors, and marinas by moving the sand within designated setbacks and regulations.


Four different types of island are available to developers at The World. Low Density islands are located at the perimeter of the masterplan to ensure maximum privacy with open vistas to the large water bodies allowing for convenient access for mega yachts and other large vessels. Resort islands are dedicated to hotel and resort developments and may also include residential and limited commercial uses; land parcels are conveniently located near marinas, providing the ideal location for intimate boutique hotels, spa sanctuaries or world class resorts.

Mid-High Density islands are low-rise, mixed-use communities complete with commercial offerings to meet the needs of residents whether a full-time or vacation home. Commercial islands are strategically located adjacent to major transportation centres or navigation channels and will offer an array of retail venues, including fine dining, canal seaside cafes, and leisure options which are available to residents and guests.


The World masterplan incorporates an intricate network of canals which allow access to every island and defines the overall traffic order. The canals represent the ‘streets’ or ‘waterways’ and have a draught of four to five metres allowing ships up to 200 feet to navigate the interior areas of The World. The network of canals provides a comprehensive system of access ways to the islands that will service customers, visitors and services, while not intruding on island privacy.

Water taxis and ferries will handle a large portion of the transportation; however, it is also anticipated that a majority of property owners on The World will own or operate a boat. There are four distinct strategies to meet marina demand on The World: Island Marinas will service estate or customers of resort islands; Commercial Marinas are situated along the open water or major waterways and have the capability to integrate larger marinas; Public Transportation Hub Marinas comprise the space to accommodate public marinas with a percentage of berths designated for island owners; Mainland Hub Marinas will accommodate various requirements of The World such as vehicle parking with a designated number of slips available to customers who require a permanent mainland dock.


Hubs are critical to the operation of The World, providing the major transportation and logistics centres; commercial focus for convenience shopping and amenities; accommodation of the major commercial marinas; and locations of the islands’ critical public services such as security, emergency services and health care facilities.

The location of the Hubs are strategic in the transportation needs of The World and designated based on detailed time and travel studies with their location limiting travel time to 15 minutes to any island. Each of the four Hubs will be connected to the mainland through the varying modes of public and private vehicles. The approximate travel time from the mainland to the Hubs is between four and 15 minutes.


Utility services will be provided to each island from central and regional plants. A centralized system will provide basic services to residents of The World by way of utility plants located at service hubs. However, each island may be responsible for their individual connection to the distribution and collection mains. This system comprises two central plan sites for water and power located on opposite ends of The World. Combined sewage system and reuse systems will also be located strategically where re-use demand will be high.