Islands are always imagined as a place far from civilization – a place where if you would be stuck, you’d be using sticks and stones. These are usually getaway destinations where you can enjoy the cool sea breeze while drinking coconut water. Today, there are manmade that are built with hotels, skyscrapers, airports, cities and empires, and more. These are some of the top artificial islands in the world:
1. Venetian Islands (Florida, United States of America)
A chain of artificial islands, the Venetian islands are made up of six islands in the cities of Miami and Miami Beach. From west to east, these islands are Biscayne, San Marco, Di Lido, Rivo Alto and Belle Isle. The islands are connected by the Venetian Causeway, a private toll road that crosses Biscayne Bay between mainland Miami and Miami Beach. All the six Venetian Islands contain waterfront and dry lot homes in an array of different architectural styles. The Biscayne Island contains is home to residential neighborhoods, apartment buildings and a toll plaza portion of the Venetian Causeway. And there’s the Flagler Monument Island, an uninhabited picnic island built in 1920.
2. Palm Jumeirah (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
The Palm Jumeirah is a man-made archipelago which used land reclamation. As part of the planned Palm Islands, the Palm Jumeirah is designed in the shape of a palm tree. It consists of a trunk, a crown with 16 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11-kilometer-long breakwater. The Palm Islands itself is five kilometers by five kilometers, and is created using 7 million tons of rock. Launched in 2001 with reclamation starting the same year, the island added 40 miles to Dubai’s coastline.
The Palm Islands is supposed to be composed of three islands: the Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and Deira Island, but as of 2014, only Palm Jumeirah has been completed.
3. Ile aux Cygnes (Paris, France)
Also known as the Isle of the Swans, the Ile aux Cygnes (“Isles of Swans”) is a small, narrow strip of a man-made island on the river Seine that was built in 1872 to protect the port of Grenelle. The island is 850 meters long and 11 meters at its widest point, making it the third largest island in Paris. It consists of a tree-lined walkway and a replica of the Statue of Liberty, which faces in the direction of the original statue in New York. The monument was granted to France by the American community of Paris.
4. The World Islands (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
The World Islands is another artificial archipelago in the city of Dubai, UAE, but this time it is supposed to resemble the map of the world. It is originally conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. Located 2.5 miles off the coast of Dubai, the man-made island is composed of sand dredged from the shallow coastal waters in Dubai. Construction of its 300 islands started in 2003, but the project was delayed in 2008 due to the global financial crisis. As of 2013, only the “Lebanon” and “Greenland” islands were developed. In 2010, the photos taken from space by the NASA’s Earth Observatory suggest that the islands were sinking and merging, highlighting fears that the underdeveloped islands would be ultimately eroded.
5. The Pearl-Qatar (Doha, Qatar)
The first land in Qatar available for freehold ownership by foreign nationals, the Pearl-Qatar is an artificial island covering 4 million square meters of reclaimed land. This project has residential accommodation, luxury hotels, high-end retail areas and a marina filled with international restaurants and cafes. The island is increasing in population, from 3,000 residents in 2011 to 12,000 in 2015. Once it is fully completed, the Pearl will create over 32 kilometers of new coastline, which will be used as a residential estate with an expected 18,831 homes and 45,000 residents by 2018.
6. Islands of the Uros (Peru)
Located at around 4,000 meters above sea level, the Islands of Uros are made from reed that grow along the edges of Lake Titicaca just off the city of Puno. The indigenous people of Uros harvested the reeds, bundled them together tightly and built 42 floating island platforms. Each island has a collection of simple houses also made of reeds, and the biggest island has a watchtower. Larger islands can house about 10 families while the smaller ones can accommodate around two to three.
7. Peberholm Island (Denmark)
The construction of the Øresund Bridge that connects Denmark and Sweden included the creation of the Peberholm, an artificial island in the Danish part of the Øresund strait. The island is small and was built for ecological preservation. Only biologists are allowed annually here. Scientists predicted that nature would colonize the island without any human interaction. As of 2007, 454 species of plants, are already registered by the scientists from the Biological Society of Lund. The island also houses around 20 species of spiders and around 12 breeding species of birds.
8. Amwaj Islands (Bahrain)
A group of artificial islands in the Persian Gulf northeast of Bahrain, the Amwaj Islands covers roughly 30 million square feet. It was reclaimed from the shallow seas to the northeast of Muharraq Island. It is home to residential, commercial and retail buildings, as well as a circular marina. The Amwaj Islands is the first project to offer full freehold ownership to expatriates living in Bahrain. The island also introduced new technologies to the region including vacuum sewerage, geotubes for the reclamation phase and fibre optic technology, among others.