THERE are fears the ambitious World Islands project in Dubai will sink into the ocean after photographs from space appear to show the globe is washing away and neglected.
Construction of the man-made cluster of islands began in 2003 about 4km off the coast of the wealthy United Arab Emirates city.
While the foundations, which required 11 billion cubic feet of sand and 47 million tonnes of rock, were finished in 2008, the project has been shut down since last year as financer Dubai World battles $26 billion debt, the Daily Mail reports.
In the snapshot taken by an astronaut on the International Space Station, the lagoon’s islands appear to be merging together since being abandoned by workers in November.
Other islands appear to be sinking into the water as reports claim the spectacular project may never be completed.
The luxurious Palm Jumeirah (pictured to the globe’s left) opened in 2008 at an estimated cost of $1.44 billion.
Dubai World, the owner of the island, has asked for extra time to repay its astronomical debt, as the extravagant tourist destination battles a financial crisis sparked by heavy borrowing to finance massive property projects.
The emirate narrowly escaped financial catastrophe in December after Dubai World was thrown a last-minute $11 billion lifeline by neighbouring Abu Dhabi.