Satellite photo of Dubai's artificial islands, The World and the Palms
October 24, 2006
NASA released new images showing artificial islands being constructed in Dubai, a city-state in the United Arab Emirates.
From south to north, the artificial island sites in this image are Palm Jebel Ali, Palm Jumeirah, The World, and Palm Deira. Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Jumeirah appear largely complete in this image, looking like giant palm trees enclosed in huge arcs. Palm Deira, intended to be an even bigger palm tree when complete, is in the earliest stages of construction. In between Palm Jumeirah and the site for Palm Deira is the site for The World, which, when complete, will resemble a world map. NASA images courtesy of the NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.
These islands, which will house luxury residences, villas, and hotels, are of some concern for environmentalists due to their impact on the local marine ecology. Future inhabitants may well too be worried about the long-term viability of the plan -- rising sea levels from global climate change could spell trouble for their ostentatious investments. As Earth Island Journal puts it, "How ironic that the very people who drive rising sea levels through their businesses, which emit much of the world's greenhouse gases, will undoubtedly be some of the first to experience the devastating effects of climate change."
The Price of "The World": Dubai's Artificial Future
While there have been numerous articles written recently about the proliferation of artificial island projects, the astounding "The World" venture among them, few have addressed or assessed the environmental impact of such massive undertakings and the transformation of both the sea and landscape. Until recently, Nakheel, the government-controlled corporation developing these ambitious projects, has been able to focus predominantly on promoting rather than defending the islands, but new evidence of environmental detriment is bringing the company and its projects under fire from certain groups.
Divers to monitor health of coral reefs in the UAE
According to an article in Gulf News, The Emirates Diving Association is training its members and staff to monitor the health of the coral reefs and marine life in the UAE. Environmental groups are increasingly concerned over the health of the region's marine ecosystems due to pollution, anchoring by ships and boats, and the construction of a number of artificial islands off the coast of Dubai. The loss of coral is not only detrimental to the Gulf's biodiversity but also has economic consequences as well.
More images / photos
NASA satellite image showing Palm Jebel Ali in Dubai on September 18, 2006. NASA images courtesy of the NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.
NASA satellite image showing Palm Jumeirah in Dubai on September 18, 2006. NASA images courtesy of the NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.
NASA satellite image showing The World in Dubai on September 18, 2006. NASA images courtesy of the NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.