Dubai's 'World' Is Sinking
Sea reclaiming troubled artificial island project
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2011 2:04 AM CST
Updated Jan 23, 2011 8:12 AM CST
Some of the hundreds of undeveloped islands in the archipelago.   (WikiMedia/Imre Solt)
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(Newser) – The end of the World is looming in Dubai. The "World" project—an artificial archipelago of 300 small islands arranged in the shape of a world map—is sinking back into the sea, according to evidence presented to a property tribunal in the emirate, the Telegraph reports. Only one of the islands is inhabited, and the financial crisis has halted work on the project.

The islands' sands are eroding, navigational channels are silting up, and they are "gradually falling back into the sea," said a lawyer for a company suing the state-run development company behind the troubled project. He described the World as "dead." A lawyer for the development company disagreed, disputing the evidence of erosion and deterioration, and characterized the project as merely being "in a coma."