The World or World Islands is an artificial archipelago of various small islands constructed in the rough shape of aworld map, located in the waters of the Persian Gulf, 4.0 kilometres (2.5 mi) off the coast of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The World islands are composed mainly of sand dredged from Dubai's shallow coastal waters, and are one of several artificial island developments in Dubai. The World's developer is Nakheel Properties, and the project was originally conceived by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai.
Construction of the 300 islands began in 2003, only to halt due to the 2008 financial crisis. Though 60 percent of the islands had been sold off to private contractors back in 2008, development on most of these islands has failed to initiate. As of late 2013, only two of the islands had been developed. In January, 2014, Kleindienst Group announced the launch of "The Heart of Europe" project by February, 2014, one of Kleindienst Group's brands - JK Properties' announced in their monthly newsletter that the project was "well underway". The first of these series of islands will be Germany, with development led by Kleindienst Group, the Developer for The Heart of Europe project.