Clearly, the title is a paradox. How can something have fake natural beauty? More importantly, if something is fake, then it cannot be natural, right? I’d say yes, but apparently, Nahkeel, the real estate giant that developed the Palm Islands in Dubai, is set on proving that statement wrong.
Nahkeel’s The World Islands can be seen on Google maps, which is where I came across them, after randomly deciding to zoom in on Dubai. Then I saw this curious formation of islands that looked a little too perfect to be real.
They were called The World Islands (how majestic), and a simple Google search brought be to their website. And for about $28 million, you, like Mr. Bin Hu, can own a world island too! (Er, at least in 2007 you could.) In 2009, the project attempting to “perfect paradise” came to halt due to financial issues (and reports that islands were sinking). If you look at the website, which hasn’t been updated since 2007, a tutorial video explains how you can purchase a cluster of islands and mold the land to whatever shape you choose. Basically, Nahkeel is/was selling a literal fantasy island, made custom for your every need. Of course, they’re marketing to developers as well as individuals, and of course, the price makes it only accessible to the richest of the rich, but still, it’s more than a possibility.
In fact, residences are for sale on the nearby man-made Palm Islands, and I have to say, the pictures are little creepy looking. Think Pleasantville (i.e. perfect suburbia) meets the most over the top luxury resort in a tropical setting (i.e. Atlantis). Atlantis literally has been built at Palm Jumeirah, one of the Palm Islands. You can stay in a “super suite” that has underwater views of lagoon, or another one that is larger than the average person’s house, fit for a king, which is probably who can afford to stay there. Unfortunately, the Ambassador Lagoon is man-made as well–the sharks and sting rays were imported from the surrounding Arabian Gulf, or elsewhere, along with 11.5 million gallons of water to house them. I mean, who doesn’t want to see a shark swim by your window while your brushing your teeth before bed? So has Nahkeel really perfected paradise? Have they created something more stunning than mother nature?
If you’re into the whole airbrushed, flawless, Frankenstein kind of perfection, then maybe.
But I’d take the Grand Canyon over fake natural beauty any day. And so would Kathryn Knight, who ventured to the resort and lived to write this article. She best explains what I’ve been trying to say.