The World is a man-made archipelago of 300 islands constructed in the shape of a world map and located 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The World is built primarily using sand dredged from the sea. It was developed by Nakheel Properties and was originally conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.
Each island in the archipelago ranges from about 14,000 m² (150,000 square feet) to 42,000 m² (450,000 square feet). The distance between each island will be an average of 100 metres (328 feet).The entire development covers an area of 9 km in length and 6 km in width, surrounded by an oval breakwater. Roughly 232 km (144 miles) of shoreline has been created. The overall development cost of The World was estimated as 14 billion USD. As for the individual islands, prices range between 15 and 50 million USD. One island is still for sale at a price of 250 million USD.
The project was unveiled on 6 May 2003 by Sheikh Mohammed. Dredging began four months later in September 2003. By January 2008, 60% of the islands had been sold, 20 of which were bought in the first four months of 2007. On 10 January 2008, the final stone on the breakwater was laid, completing initial development. The next phase of the project is to hand over the individual islands to developers.