The World Islands Dubai Area Guide 2023

Dictricts The World Islands Dubai Area Guide 2023
~25 min


The World Islands, a remarkable man-made archipelago project located off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is a testament to the grandeur and ingenuity of Dubai's development. This extraordinary endeavor, completed in 2008, has transformed the coastal landscape into a collection of islands meticulously crafted in the shape of a world map. The World Islands hold immense importance and relevance within the context of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, symbolizing the visionary aspirations and innovative spirit that have come to define this vibrant city and country.

The creation of the World Islands showcases Dubai's unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries and redefining what is possible in urban development. As a city known for its remarkable architectural feats, the World Islands project is a testament to Dubai's ambition to create a unique and awe-inspiring destination. These man-made islands, situated off the coast of the vibrant city, have captured the attention and imagination of visitors and investors alike.

The significance of the World Islands extends beyond its sheer magnitude and visual splendor. This ambitious project has become an iconic representation of Dubai's relentless pursuit of excellence and its desire to position itself as a global leader in innovation and luxury. By transforming a stretch of coastal waters into a carefully crafted archipelago, Dubai has expanded its coastline and created an unparalleled destination that attracts tourists, investors, and global attention.

In the broader context of the United Arab Emirates, the World Islands project showcases the country's commitment to diversifying its economy and establishing itself as a global hub for tourism and business. It symbolizes the visionary thinking and strategic planning that underpin the UAE's development initiatives as it seeks to position itself as a world-class destination for leisure, hospitality, and commerce.

History of the World Islands

World Islands was conceived during the early 2000s as part of Dubai's ambitious vision to transform the city into a global hub for tourism and luxury. The project was initiated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who envisioned creating an unparalleled destination that would capture the world's attention. The ambitious plan involved constructing a series of artificial islands meticulously designed to resemble a world map, each representing a different country or region.

Construction of the 300 islands began in 2003, and it quickly became one of the most ambitious engineering projects of its time. The process involved extensive land reclamation, using millions of tons of sand and rock to shape the islands and create the desired land masses. The islands were carefully positioned to mimic the continents and countries they represented on the world map.

The archipelago consists of seven sets of islands, representing the continents of Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Antarctica, and Oceania. Each artificial island is named for its representative country, landmark, or region, such as France, California, Mount Everest, Australia, New Mexico, Upernavik, Buenos Aires, New York, Mexico, St. Petersburg, and India.

Over the years, the World Islands project has undergone various stages of development and evolution. The plan initially included a wide range of luxury villas, resorts, and entertainment facilities to attract high-end tourists and investors. However, the project faced significant challenges, including the global financial crisis of 2008, which resulted in a slowdown in construction and delays in completion.

In recent years, there have been efforts to revive and reimagine World Islands. The Dubai-based developer Kleindienst Group took over the project and introduced new elements to enhance its appeal. One notable addition is the Heart of Europe, a sub-project within the World Islands that aims to create a collection of European-inspired islands featuring luxury resorts, villas, and entertainment options. This development has brought renewed attention and excitement to the World Islands, further solidifying its status as a unique and sought-after destination.

The evolution of the World Islands has also involved introducing innovative features and concepts. For instance, floating villas and underwater accommodations have been proposed as part of ongoing development plans, showcasing Dubai's commitment to pushing boundaries and offering unparalleled luxury experiences.

As the World Islands continue to evolve, they have become an icon of Dubai's determination to create extraordinary and visionary projects that push the boundaries of architectural and engineering possibilities. This ongoing evolution reflects the city's commitment to adapt and innovate, ensuring that the World Islands remain a significant and desirable destination for visitors, investors, and residents.

Geography and Architecture of the World Islands

Geography and Architecture

Each island within the World Islands possesses its unique architectural elements and features. The development aims to provide a luxurious and exclusive experience for residents, tourists, and investors. The architecture reflects modern design and cultural influences, ensuring a blend of sophistication and regional charm.

One of the remarkable aspects of the World Islands is the scale of the project. The islands cover a vast area, and their distinct shapes and positions create an awe-inspiring sight from above. This ambitious undertaking required extensive land reclamation, using millions of tons of sand and rock to shape the islands and give them a solid foundation.

The architecture of the World Islands emphasizes luxury and exclusivity. The project features a range of high-end accommodations, including luxury villas, resorts, and floating villas. These structures showcase exquisite design and attention to detail, with luxurious amenities and breathtaking views of the surrounding waters.

Another unique feature of the World Islands is the Heart of Europe sub-project. This development within the World Islands aims to recreate the essence of European countries, featuring distinct architectural styles and cultural themes. It includes luxury resorts, villas, and entertainment options, allowing visitors to experience the charm and elegance of different European destinations within the confines of the World Islands.

In addition to the impressive architecture, the World Islands offer stunning natural surroundings. The azure waters of the Arabian Gulf surround the islands, providing a picturesque backdrop for the development. The sandy beaches, clear waters, and vibrant marine life make the World Islands an enticing destination for water sports enthusiasts, beach lovers, and those seeking relaxation amidst beautiful natural scenery.

Key Attractions

  1. Lebanon Island. One of the main attractions within the World Islands, Lebanon Island offers a luxurious and exclusive experience. Visitors can enjoy private beach access, indulge in gourmet dining at the island's restaurants, relax in stylish lounges, and even stay in lavish beachfront villas.

  2. Heart of Europe. A sub-project within the World Islands, the Heart of Europe aims to recreate the essence of Europe. It features attractions such as The Floating Venice, a Venice-inspired resort offering gondola rides and charming Italian architecture. Other islands within the Heart of Europe showcase elements inspired by countries like Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland.

  3. Beaches. The World Islands boast pristine sandy beaches ideal for relaxation and recreation. Visitors can soak up the sun, swim in crystal-clear waters, and enjoy various water sports activities such as snorkeling, jet skiing, and paddleboarding.

  4. Boat Tours. Exploring the World Islands by boat is a popular activity for visitors. Boat tours offer a unique perspective of the islands and provide opportunities for stunning photographs. Guided tours offer insightful commentary about the project's history and architectural highlights.

Consider these tips before visiting the World Islands:

  1. Best Time to Visit. The ideal time to visit the World Islands is during the winter months (November to April) when the weather is pleasant and comfortable for outdoor activities. The summer months (May to September) can be scorching, so planning indoor activities or visiting during cooler parts of the day is advisable.

  2. How to Reach. The World Islands are currently only accessible by sea or air, with resort guests taking a scenic 15-minute boat ride from Palm Jumeirah.

  3. Accommodation. Consider staying at one of the luxury resorts or villas within the World Islands for an immersive experience. Many accommodations offer private pools, stunning views, and exclusive amenities. Booking in advance is recommended, especially during peak seasons.

  4. Plan for a Day Trip. If you are short on time or prefer a day visit, plan your itinerary accordingly. Choose attractions you wish to explore, such as Lebanon Island or the Heart of Europe, and allocate time for boat transfers and leisure activities.

  5. Respect Local Customs. Remember to adhere to local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting cultural or religious sites within the World Islands.

Culture and Lifestyle of the World Islands

Culture and Lifestyle

The culture and lifestyle surrounding the World Islands blend local Emirati traditions and the international influences brought by visitors and residents worldwide. As a cosmopolitan city, Dubai embraces a diverse mix of cultures, which is reflected in the atmosphere of the World Islands.

The local Emirati culture emphasizes hospitality, respect, and generosity. Visitors to the World Islands can expect warm welcomes and a genuine desire to provide exceptional service and experiences. Traditional Arabic hospitality can be observed in luxurious resorts and villas, where guests are treated with utmost care and attention.

The lifestyle within the World Islands is one of luxury and relaxation. Residents and visitors can enjoy world-class amenities, exclusive access to pristine beaches, and a wide range of leisure activities. The islands offer a retreat from bustling city life, providing a serene environment to unwind and indulge in luxurious experiences.

While the World Islands is an international destination that welcomes visitors from all walks of life, respecting the local customs and practices rooted in Emirati culture is essential. Some noteworthy customs and practices include:

  1. Modesty. Dressing modestly is appreciated, especially when visiting public areas or cultural sites within the World Islands. Dressing conservatively, with shoulders and knees covered, is advisable to show respect for the local culture.

  2. Ramadan. During the holy month of Ramadan, which follows the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. It is essential to be aware of and respect this observance by refraining from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during fasting hours.

  3. Cultural Sensitivity. Emirati culture emphasizes respect for elders, traditional values, and modesty in behavior. Visitors should be mindful of cultural differences and avoid behavior that may be considered disrespectful or offensive.

  4. Etiquette. Politeness and courtesy are highly valued in Emirati culture. Greeting others with a smile, using respectful language, and observing social norms contribute to positive interaction and a pleasant experience within the World Islands.

Culinary Scene

The culinary scene within the World Islands and its surroundings reflects Emirati cuisine's rich and diverse flavors and a wide array of international culinary offerings. Dubai's cosmopolitan nature has attracted talented chefs and food enthusiasts worldwide, resulting in a vibrant and diverse dining scene.

Emirati cuisine is influenced by the region's Bedouin heritage, with an emphasis on simple yet flavorful dishes. Popular traditional dishes include Machbous (spiced rice with meat), Harees (a porridge-like dish made from wheat and meat), and Luqaimat (sweet dumplings). These dishes showcase the traditional flavors and cooking techniques of the UAE.

In addition to local cuisine, the World Islands offers various international dining options. Visitors can savor delectable dishes from around the world, including Italian, Mediterranean, Asian, and more. The culinary scene caters to diverse tastes, making it a paradise for food lovers seeking an exceptional dining experience.

Within the World Islands and its vicinity, several notable dining establishments offer a range of culinary delights. Some of these include:

  • Helios at Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort. Helios is a restaurant located at the Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort. This restaurant offers stunning views of the surrounding waters and a luxurious dining experience. The menu features a fusion of international cuisines focusing on fresh seafood and premium ingredients.
  • Don kamarón. Don kamarón is a seafood restaurant that specializes in delicious shrimp dishes. From shrimp ceviche to grilled shrimp skewers, the menu offers a variety of mouthwatering options. Guests can enjoy fresh and succulent shrimp prepared with flavorful seasonings and sauces.
  • Los Pollos Hermanos. Inspired by the popular TV series "Breaking Bad," Los Pollos Hermanos offers a unique dining experience. Known for its delicious fried chicken dishes, this restaurant pays homage to the fictional chain from the show. Guests can enjoy a variety of flavorful chicken preparations along with other tasty menu offerings.

Shopping Experience of the World Islands

Shopping Experience

The World Islands are home to luxury resorts and stunning natural beauty, so there are no shopping malls or traditional Arabian markets (souks), and shopping can be done in the neighboring areas of Dubai.

The closest shopping center to the World Islands is the world famous Dubai Mall, which offers an extensive selection of luxury brands, stores, restaurants and entertainment.

Dubai's traditional markets can be visited in the old city of Deira. Traditional markets offer a glimpse into the region's rich trading heritage and offer a wide range of goods. Dubai souks are famous for their traditional architecture and lively atmosphere. Here are some of them:

  1. Gold Souk. The Gold Souk is one of the largest gold markets in the Deira district. Visitors can browse through a dazzling array of gold jewelry, including intricate designs and craftsmanship. The market offers an excellent opportunity to admire and purchase gold items, from necklaces and bracelets to intricate wedding bands.

  2. Spice Souk. Adjacent to the Gold Souk, the Spice Souk is a sensory delight filled with aromatic spices, herbs, and fragrances. Visitors can explore various spices, dried fruits, traditional sweets, and fragrant incense. It's a perfect place to immerse oneself in the flavors and scents of the Middle East.

  3. Textile Souk. Located in the historic neighborhood of Bur Dubai, the Textile Souk is a haven for fabric enthusiasts. Visitors can find an extensive collection of fabrics, including silk, cotton, and beautiful embroidered textiles. Tailors are also available, providing the opportunity for custom-made clothing.

When visiting the souks in Dubai, haggling is a common practice. Here are some tips to enhance your haggling experience and navigate the markets effectively:

  1. Polite Negotiation. Approach haggling with a friendly and respectful attitude. Polite negotiation is key to reaching a mutually satisfactory price.

  2. Research and Compare. Before visiting the souks, research average prices for the items you want. This knowledge will help you assess fair prices and make informed negotiation decisions.

  3. Start with a Lower Price. Begin your negotiations with a price significantly lower than the original asking price. This allows room for negotiation and creates an opportunity for both parties to find a middle ground.

  4. Be Prepared to Walk Away. If the seller's price doesn't meet your expectations, be prepared to walk away. Sometimes, this can lead to a better offer or prompt the seller to reconsider their initial price.

  5. Cash is King. In the souks, cash is the preferred payment method. Ensure you have sufficient cash, as some vendors may not accept credit cards.

  6. Enjoy the Experience. Shopping in the souks is not just about making purchases; it's an experience. Take your time, soak in the vibrant atmosphere, and appreciate the cultural heritage surrounding you.

Accommodation Options

  1. Luxury Resorts. The World Islands feature luxurious resorts that offer world-class amenities, exquisite dining options, and stunning views of the surrounding waters. These resorts provide a high level of comfort, personalized service, and exclusive facilities such as private pools, spas, and private beach access.

  2. Villas. The islands offer a selection of luxurious villas, providing guests a private and intimate setting. These villas are designed with sophistication and offer spacious living areas, private pools, and direct access to the beach. They are perfect for those seeking privacy, tranquility, and a personalized experience.

  3. Hotels. In addition to resorts and villas, hotels on the World Islands, such as Anantara World Islands Dubai Resort and Côte d'Azur Resort, offer accommodations suitable for different budgets and preferences.

Suggestions for Different Budgets and Preferences:

  1. High-End Luxury. For travelers seeking the ultimate luxury experience, consider staying at the renowned resorts on the World Islands. These resorts offer opulent accommodations, impeccable service, and a range of exclusive amenities. Some recommended options include the Anantara World Islands and Côte d'Azur Resort.

  2. Mid-Range Comfort. If you're looking for comfortable accommodations that offer excellent value for money, consider staying at the mid-range resorts or hotels located in the World Islands. These options like Monaco Hotel provide comfortable rooms and quality amenities.

  3. Budget-Friendly. For budget-conscious travelers, exploring accommodation options in Dubai's city center or other nearby areas is recommended. These options provide affordable rates without compromising on comfort and quality. Consider looking for budget hotels or serviced apartments that offer competitive rates and easy access to the World Islands.

  4. Alternative Accommodations. Consider booking floating villas or houseboat accommodations if you prefer a unique and unconventional experience. These options allow you to stay near the World Islands while enjoying the serenity of the water. This can be a memorable and adventurous choice for those seeking something out of the ordinary.

Getting Around

When it comes to getting around the World Islands and its surroundings, several transportation options are available to ensure convenient and efficient travel:

  1. Private Boat Transfer. As the World Islands are a collection of man-made islands, private boat transfer services are a popular mode of transportation to access the islands. These services allow visitors to easily travel between the islands and the mainland or other destinations in Dubai. Private boat transfers provide a personalized and exclusive experience.

  2. Shared Boat Transfer. Shared boat transfer services are also available for those who prefer a more cost-effective option. These services operate scheduled routes, allowing multiple passengers to share the boat transfer and split costs. Shared boat transfers provide a convenient way to access the World Islands while enjoying the scenic views during the journey.

  3. Helicopter Transfer. Another exciting option for reaching the World Islands is by helicopter. Helicopter transfers provide a luxurious and swift mode of transportation, allowing you to enjoy breathtaking aerial views of Dubai's coastline and the islands. Helicopter transfers offer a memorable and exclusive experience.

Consider these tips for navigating:

  1. Plan Ahead. Before visiting the World Islands, it is advisable to plan your itinerary and transportation options in advance. Familiarize yourself with the boat transfer schedules and routes to ensure you can travel to and from the islands at your desired times.

  2. Check Availability. Private boat transfer services may require prior booking, especially during peak seasons. It is recommended to check availability and make reservations to secure your preferred transfer times.

  3. Arrive Early. To ensure a smooth travel experience, arriving at the boat transfer point early is advisable. This allows sufficient time for check-in, boarding, and any necessary procedures.

  4. Be Mindful of Weather Conditions. The boat transfer services may be affected by weather conditions, especially during rough seas or strong winds. Stay informed about weather forecasts and be prepared for any delays or changes in the boat transfer schedules.

  5. Follow Instructions. When using boat transfer services, it is essential to follow the instructions provided by the operators or staff. This includes boarding procedures, safety guidelines, and any specific regulations related to the boat transfer.

  6. Consider Additional Transportation. While the World Islands do not have public transportation options, once you are on the mainland, Dubai offers an extensive public transportation network. Consider utilizing taxis, metro, or buses to explore other areas of Dubai or reach nearby attractions.

Special Events

While the World Islands themselves do not host specific local events, the city of Dubai offers a vibrant calendar of events, festivals, and celebrations throughout the year. These events showcase Dubai's diverse culture, entertainment, and traditions, providing visitors with unique experiences. Here is an overview of some notable events in Dubai:

  1. Dubai Shopping Festival. The Dubai Shopping Festival is a shopper's paradise, held annually from December to January. This month-long extravaganza offers incredible discounts, promotions, and entertainment across various shopping destinations in Dubai. Visitors can enjoy live performances, fireworks, and cultural events while indulging in retail therapy.

  2. Dubai Food Festival. In February, the Dubai Food Festival is a culinary extravaganza celebrating the city's diverse gastronomic scene. The festival features a range of food-related activities, including food tastings, celebrity chef demonstrations, food-themed events, and special dining experiences. It offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the culinary delights of Dubai.

  3. Dubai International Film Festival. The Dubai International Film Festival, usually held in December, brings together filmmakers, industry professionals, and movie enthusiasts worldwide. The festival showcases a diverse selection of international films, premieres, panel discussions, and red-carpet events, providing a platform to celebrate the art of cinema.

  4. Dubai Jazz Festival. Music lovers can delight in the Dubai Jazz Festival, which usually takes place in February. The festival attracts renowned jazz, blues, and pop artists, who grace the stage with captivating performances. Visitors can enjoy a mix of genres and experience the vibrant atmosphere of live music.

  5. Eid Al-Fitr. Eid Al-Fitr is a significant religious celebration in Dubai and the UAE, marking the end of Ramadan. It is a time of joy and festivities, with families celebrating with feasts, fireworks, and cultural activities. The exact dates of Eid Al-Fitr vary each year based on the Islamic lunar calendar.

The specific dates of these events may vary each year, so it is recommended to check the official Dubai events calendar or local tourism websites for the most up-to-date information. Dubai's events calendar is packed throughout the year, offering something for everyone, including art festivals, music concerts, sports events, and more.

Practical Information

  1. Currency. The official currency of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates is the UAE Dirham (AED). You should exchange your currency for Dirhams at authorized exchange centers or banks. Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants, and larger establishments, but carrying some cash for smaller businesses or street markets is always helpful.

  2. Language. The official language of Dubai is Arabic. However, English is widely spoken and understood, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and major attractions. Communicating in English should not pose a significant challenge during your visit.

  3. Electricity. The standard electrical voltage in Dubai is 220-240 volts AC, 50 Hz. The power plugs and sockets commonly used in Dubai are of the three-pin type (Type G), so it's advisable to bring a travel adapter if your devices use a different plug type.

  4. Time Zone. Dubai operates on Gulf Standard Time (GST), four hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+4). However, Dubai observes daylight saving time, so there may be a one-hour difference during that period.

Dubai is generally considered a safe city for travelers, with a low crime rate. However, it's always important to take general safety precautions. Here are some safety considerations and emergency contact information.

  • Health and Medical Services. Dubai has a well-established healthcare system with modern medical facilities. In case of any medical emergency, dial 999 for an ambulance. It is also advisable to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses.
  • Emergency Contacts. In case of emergencies, dial 999 for police assistance, 998 for fire emergencies, and 997 for coastguard emergencies.
  • Personal Safety. While Dubai is considered safe, taking basic safety precautions is always prudent. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas, and secure your belongings. Avoid displaying excessive wealth or valuables and be cautious when dealing with strangers.
  • Travel Advisory. Before your trip, you should check the travel advisories provided by your home country's government for any updated information or specific precautions to be taken while visiting Dubai.


The World Islands in Dubai is an awe-inspiring destination showcasing this vibrant city's ingenuity and grandeur. Its world-class resorts, stunning architecture, and breathtaking views offer a unique experience for travelers seeking a luxurious and unforgettable getaway. The World Islands project has transformed the coastal landscape of Dubai, creating a collection of islands that exemplify innovation and imagination.

Exploring the World Islands allows visitors to immerse themselves in a world of luxury and natural beauty. Whether you choose a private villa with a private pool or a resort with top-notch amenities, every accommodation option caters to the desire for exclusivity and relaxation. The attention to detail and the commitment to providing exceptional experiences make the World Islands a remarkable destination.

The World Islands is a destination of unparalleled beauty and a gateway to explore other continents and cultures. The Europe Project, with its distinctive architecture and design, provides a glimpse into the rich heritage of Europe. 

The World Islands is not just a collection of islands; it is a testament to the vision and ambition of the developers and companies involved in its creation. It is a unique destination that offers an extraordinary experience for those who seek something extraordinary. So, take the opportunity to spend time in this remarkable place, immerse yourself in its beauty, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


  • 1.

    Are the World Islands open?

    The World Islands are a private development, and access to the islands may be restricted to resort guests and authorized personnel. Visitors can check with specific resorts on the World Islands for access and availability.

  • 2.

    How many islands are there in Dubai?

    The World Islands in Dubai consist of approximately 300 artificial islands shaped like a world map.

  • 3.

    Are the World Islands in Dubai finished?

    Two completed projects on the World Islands have been completed, while one remains under development. Among them, Lebanon Island is the sole completed island from the project's inception in 2008. Lebanon Island offers a range of amenities, including a swimming pool, beach club, restaurants, and pristine beaches, providing visitors with a delightful experience in this unique setting.

  • 4.

    How to visit World Islands Dubai?

    To visit the World Islands, it is usually necessary to book a hotel and transfers. Private transfers by boat or helicopter can be arranged from certain points on the mainland. It is advisable to contact the resorts or tour operators for more information and plan your trip accordingly. Possibility of one day visits and island tours should also be checked with tour operators.

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Update date: 06/16/2024