It’s not especially fresh news that a business consortium in Dubai has been developing an archipelago of artificial, privately-owned islands shaped like the world to be a playground for the mega-loaded. The project was announced by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the monarch of Dubai, in 2003, and hit the US press in mid-decade.
It was a project so fantastically cyberpunk as to tweak one’s comprehension of precisely which pill you just scarfed. Half the goggle-wearing sci-fi nerds out there seemed to love this idea for its sheer audacity (the rest, reasonably, thought it was EFFING INSANE). But enough of the richest of the uber-rich went for it like bloggers for the last salmon cake at the catered press conference to keep the thing throbbing along in the Western press for nigh on five years now.