When you think of islands, you imagine remote paradisiac places, untouched by civilization, where you can bathe in clear turquoise waters and stroll on virgin sands while the cool sea breeze caresses your hair. It seems divine, but, nowadays, islands can be much more than this. Humans have created their own artificial islands where they have built luxurious hotels, multi-million dollar skyscrapers, cities and even floating airports. Let’s check out the most awesome of them all!
10. Willingdon Island, India
Built in 1936 and named after the first Earl of Willingdon, the man-made island is part of Kochi and gives home to the best trading centers and hotels in the city, as well as the Kochi Naval Base and the Port Trust. It is a calm and quiet area with limited activities for tourists, but close to the main attractions of the city. it’s a great place to stay for those looking to avoid the busy town center.
9. Hong Kong International Airport
Wylkie Chan /wikicommons
Built on the artificial island Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong’s main airport is one of the largest enclosed public spaces on Earth. Since it was opened in 1998, the airport has become an important passenger hub and the busiest cargo gateway in the world.
8. Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
Located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the artificial island can easily be reached by boat, plane or even car. It is a popular tourist destination for family vacations offering a plethora of attractions and entertainment opportunities, from water sports, concerts, and racing events to luxury hotels, spas and top-notch restaurants. The island is home to the Ferrari World Park, Yas Waterworld, the Yas Marina Circuit and the award-winning Yas Links golf court.
7. The World, Dubai
Located 2.5 miles off the coast of Dubai, The World is a man-made archipelago comprising multiple small islands that roughly form the structure of a world map. The islands are made mainly of sand pulled out of the shallow coastal waters around the city, and the ambitious project was first envisioned by Sheikh Mohamed Al Maktoum, Emir of Dubai. The total development costs of the project are estimated at around 14 billion dollars.
6. Amwaj Islands, Bahrain
Juzur Amwaj is an outstanding waterside development in the Persian Gulf, comprising 9 artificial islands and covering around 30,000,000 square feet. The islands contain commercial, residential and retail buildings, as well as theme parks, a hospital, a university and a lagoonside dining precinct. One of the highlights is the Floating City, located on the main island, with houses surrounded by water channels, ideal for keeping boats.
5. The Venetian Islands, Florida
The Venetian Islands are part of the artificial islands comprising Miami Beach. There are 6 inhabited islands – San Marco, Biscayne, San Marino, Di Lido, Rivo Alto, and Belle Isle – and an uninhabited one, mainly used by day-trippers for picnics. They are all connected by bridges from Miami Beach to the mainland and are traversed by the Venetian Causeway.
4. The Pearl, Qatar
Steven Byles /flikcr
Covering nearly 4 million square meters, The Pearl is an artificial island located a few hundred meters off Doha’s shoreline, raised on one of Qatar’s most important pearl diving sites – hence the name. The development has a marina, hotels, residential accommodation and high-end retail areas, as well as a variety of restaurants and cafés.
3. Kansai International Airport, Japan
Designed by architect Renzo Piano and opened in 1994, Japan’s Kansai International Airport is located on a man-made island in Osaka Bay, off the Honshu shore. Built to relieve overcrowded Osaka Airport, Kansai has now become an international hub, with almost 800 flights to Asia and Australasia every week, and 59 to Europe and 80 to North America.
2. Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
Alexander Heilner / wikicommons
Richard Schneider /flickr
Dubai’s world-famous Palm Jumeirah is the largest artificial island in the world and comprises 1.2 mile (2 km) long trunk and a large crown with 17 fronds surrounded by a crescent. Since 2006, when the first residences on the island – four thousand luxury apartments and villas – were handed over, over 20 hotels and leisure facilities have been developed, turning Palm Jumeirah in one of the hottest tourist destinations.
1. Flevoland, Netherlands
Flevoland is the youngest province of Netherlands, formed in 1986 almost completely through land reclamation. A place of interest for those into nature and urban planning, the area is home to various attractions, including a replica of the Batavia merchant ship, two natural reserves, quiet lakes, unique restaurants, amusement parks and more.