The project was unveiled on May 6, 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 January 10, 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.
Several celebrities have been linked to the purchase of different “countries”. Most reports have been unconfirmed, such as: Richard Branson, Rod Stewart, David Beckham, Tommy Lee (wants Greece for Pamela and the kids?). Brad Pitt and Angelina Joli have been rumored to have bought Ethiopia, but the couple has denied the statement.
Wiki List of Developments on The World: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_developments_of_The_World_(archipelago)
The World is Sinking: http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/international/4594274/The-World-is-sinking
The World, the ambitious archipelago of islands shaped like the countries of the globe, is sinking back into the sea, a property tribunal has been told.
Developed with hotels and villas, the islands are accessible by yacht or motor boat.
But the sands are eroding and the navigational channels between them are silting up, the British lawyer for a company bringing a case against the state-run developer, Nakheel, told the tribunal.
“The islands are gradually falling back into the sea,” said Richard Wilmot-Smith, QC, for Penguin Marine. The evidence showed “erosion and deterioration of The World islands”.
Nakheel says 70 per cent of 300 islands have been sold but most of the development plans have been brought to a crashing halt by the financial crisis.