Exploring Dubai’s Empty $13 Billion Man-Made Islands

Publicerades den 15 nov 2020
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The World Islands. A collection of 300 man-made islands built off the coast of Dubai to resemble an outline of the EARTH FROM THE SKY… Yet, after $13 billion was spent to complete them they’ve mostly been sitting there empty... I couldn’t believe this place actually existed.
So as a first stop on my trip I flew to Dubai to understand what happened and what their future holds… What are your thoughts? Amazing or too crazy of an idea?
Thank you to @MyDubai and @VisitDubai for helping us get in touch with the creators of these islands and for letting us go out to see the restricted areas.
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Hosts: Thomas Brag, Ammar Kandil, Matt Dajer and Thomas Dajer
Editors: Thomas Dajer, Cam Peddle, Bryce Perry, Tristan Kevitch and Thomas Brag
Produced by Alex Sandstedt
Thank you to our amazing videographers that helped me shoot over the 2 separate trips we took!
Cory Martin on videography and drone: cory.s.martin
Bishoy on Drone: bikooig
Ali Amar on videography: r1se
More videos on the World Islands & Dubai
Why Dubai's Man-Made Islands Are Still Empty
Dubai Evolution from 1960 to 2021 Time-lapse


  • Hey there, thank you for watching :) I've really missed making videos consistently so I'm very happy to be back. I'm sure this year has had so many ups and downs for all of you as well so I hope to share some positivity through these stories I've captured. This is the first one out of my trip and I've got plenty more coming your way. Let me know what you think in the comments and I'll see you again soon

    • i hope one day i can visit that place! check out my reaction videos

    • very cool

    • how to get a password for the store?

    • I really enjoy watching your videos. Its always fun and makes you whish to travel the world. I only wish that sometimes you would also show the other side of some topics and be more critical about topics you are talking about, like the enviromental consequens of those manmade islands. I think seeking discomfort is also be able to adress critics, breaking taboos and to admit mistakes.

    • There where so many woman in this video🙄

  • Dubai, the best example of government with no corruption and people of dream to make the world with better living without any damage to environment..thats what i see in this video

  • 13:31 The Netherlands enters the chat

  • Awesome! This video is very helpful! You can visit my channel to see awesome stuff, too!

  • 17 minutes of pure discomfort

  • They are empty because they were speculated property. The economy had other plans.

  • so the islands are a jojo reference?

  • The chairman is one intelligent dude.

  • My new dream destination listed!

  • 10:39 that's all air pollution, people don't realise that

  • Banger

  • That’s so cool, I would love to see this in person. I love that helicopter you went on, awesome flight.

  • Him: “seek discomfort” Me: (puts pillow in an uncomfortable position)

  • Cant imagine how much money was used to make one of them islands

  • I came here for the Islands.... but I'm now subscribing for the Organic/Environmental friendly clothes.

  • I didn’t get my permission yet.

  • I think, after watching this video, we can all agree that Mother Nature is the best architect.

  • SO WHAT D OYOU GUYS DO? you guys just travel to experience things?

  • Thats the dream!

  • most useless use of 13bill that has ever happened. What an airhead

  • I do wonder how these kinds of places handle storms though.

    • @Rusty Kinks welcome

    • @Crazy Gang Ah nice, thanks for the input.

    • storms don't happen in these regions, that's why Dubai allows stuff like these to be built in the sea

  • It would be cool if each island had a different cultures from the real world

  • Stop flying. That will help the environment

  • Cause fake islands just aren’t the same as real islands

  • *Scrolls down to comment's* See's SEnewss commented *Nani?!*

  • I dont know who lied to you but those islands are NOT manmade...

  • Can you guys make a video on the Spartan race???

  • Just bought a hoodie, can't wait to get it!!! Much Love to all!!

  • The fact that the islands are man-made has me guessing they would have to constantly monitor issues such as erosion and other natural evolutions. That aside....what a beautiful country!

  • They killed off the ocean where they built this 😫 Environmental Impacts The construction of the Palm Islands and The World, for all Nakheel's attempts to do otherwise, have had a clear and significant impact on the surrounding environment. It would be impossible to introduce a change of such magnitude to an established ecosystem and not anticipate any negative changes or reactions in the area's wildlife and natural processes. The construction of the various islands off the coast of Dubai has resulted in changes in area wildlife, coastal erosion and alongshore sediment transport, and wave patterns. Sediment stirred up by construction has suffocated and injured local marine fauna and reduced the amount of sunlight filtered down to seashore vegetation. Variations in alongshore sediment transport have resulted in changes in erosion patterns along the UAE coast, which has also been exacerbated by altered wave patterns as the waters of the Gulf attempt to move around the new obstruction of the islands.

  • They are also supposedly sinking back into sea 😂 hope they clean there mess up and don’t leave it in the ocean 🙏🏻

  • People haven’t tried before because environmentally imagine what he did to the ocean honestly it makes me sick watching this

  • Video idea, in Virginia go to the President Head Museum! Coolest and Most Strange place i have ever been to

  • Ayo is this that Snapchat thing of the world

  • It’s end of 2020 and robot can watch SEnewss video

  • I really would like to know the economics behind all this...

  • There isn't much mention of the people who toiled to build these islands.

  • Hi

  • The UAE!! The most environmentally unfriendly place on earth. Waste at its finest. Just look at what oil money gets you, rape the 🌎. Tragic

    • I can bet you have never even stepped into this country, our country strives to achieve environmental friendliness, every school, every house, every neighborhood, you're just jealous deep down inside. if you believe we are not environmentally friendly, you sure do know we don't have racist cops, school shooters and murderers.

  • when ur outside, "the floor" is called the ground

  • Is this where they held the fyre festival? 😂

  • If ur bored just go check this on snap map and you will be shocked 😳

  • Do you guys keep any of the clothing you get & wear as you travel?

  • When I see the bamboo I remember my country lol

  • Does the chairmen have any sons?

  • This seems like a terrible idea considering rising sea levels

  • nice

  • huh. he never answered what's happening with all the islands

  • Guy: talks about how they are trying to make the island as liveable as possible Thomas: There's a pool!

  • What will happen to these islands with the rising sea levels 🤔

  • i guess dubai is not concerned with global warming lol wasting so much energy building worthless sand islands

    • what should they do? refrigerate ice? smh

  • Can you imagine how rich that "chairman" dude must be to be the dude behind all of this?

    • The project was developed by thousands of private investors and hotel companies. He lead the project but yeah he is a multi billionaire

  • when 2 much comfort is actually discomfort ;o

  • wow man. great video :)

  • walmart version of the paul brothers

  • With today's sand erosion and sea levels rising is this a safe place to build a home?

  • 12:25 He is refering to Palm Deira, but the subtitles just say "there". Palm Deira has the same layout as Palm Jumeirah, but on a much larger scale.

  • Wear a fucking mask you see them wearing them so put one on just Bc you’re a SEnewss don’t mean you can’t get rona and spread it

  • Yep- looks like really seeking discomfort in that luxury hotel. Must be hell :-)

  • From celebrating in the streets of COVID infected LA without a mask to traveling to the other side of the world in the middle of a pandemic. This channel is about as environmentally friendly as the virus itself

  • How many wives does the developer have?

  • Why is he only wearing a mask 30% of the time.

  • dubai never fails to amaze us..

  • I remember seeing something about this years ago. I expected them all to be filled by now, crazy!

  • Song at 5:15?

  • Tell me I'm not the only one seeing Westworld at 6:55

  • Becoming more environmentally conscience while being based out of one of the cities with the worst pollution, traveling to a city that is known to abuse it's workers and quite literally has been fighting against the environment because of where it is located. Seriously, look up some of the challenges Dubai faces and will face. I don't doubt they will have to continue to pump more sand onto these "islands" to combat rising sea levels, or the massive dust storms they have might help with that. Honestly, what a disgrace. Pandering to the masses about being more eco-friendly and doing this honestly sounds like some satire channel.

  • This video should mention "INCLUDES PAID PRMOTION" banner at the beginning .

  • All the staff and even the chairman have a very "Indian" accent which is surprising.

    • staff are Indian, chairman's accent is heavily influenced by arabic, not Indian, arabic and Indian is very very different

  • i remembered one vid from a girl on tiktok who was on her snap map amd ignorant about these islands claiming that dubai "owns the world" like foh. you're a child who knows nothing yet. a quick google search isnt that hard but meh she was a child so who cares lol

  • Why did you guys add subtitles for the chairman??? he can be understood clearly LOL

  • Thank you for this perspective of a man visiting Dubai. As a woman I won't be able to go there without a husband and won't be able to have such normal conversations with arabic man at eye level than you had. I am happy that I could somehow be a part of those conversations and gain an insight of the behaviour of arabic man to other man. It's a whole different story if you are a woman. Thank you.

    • that's not true at all, my mother deals with so many Arabs in Dubai and they have no problems at all, stop generalizing ideas and believing the media

  • UAE have more money than sense

    • USA has more injustice than sense

  • 1:17 Why Ammar looks so depressed here?

  • The real discomfort in this video is how ridiculous its to see that much money is wasted because of one person Ego, instead of spending it to fix the planet...

    • the planet cannot be fixed, its much out of our hands, kiss goodbye, the earth is near its end

  • How many bodies of dead slave workers do you think this guy was walking around on out there? Amazing experience....

  • Eco friendly man-made island that costed billion to make and will most likely be flooded in a few year because of climate change... Should we stop encouraging these billionaire to do these kind of thing instead of actually spending money on fixing the planet... These fake island are just another example of how ridiculously disconnected the top 1% rich is from the rest of the world... All about their Ego...

  • Flying long haul business class is really getting out of your comfort zone and being environmentally conscious eh?

  • He’s using a helicopter from rust

  • Thank you for sharing beautiful and amazing video! ❤

  • He should make the rocks higher because we have been on the Antarctica island and shipwrecks happen because of the low rocks

  • They’re like: “Boy come from America“ Oh, ok!! Send him some “Hamburger & Pizza” 😝

    • U just word for word copied someone’s comment

  • 12:32 every dutch person be like: Flevoland Nah but for real tho that guy is talking bullshit, in the Netherlands we build an entire province out of nothing

  • Real life tomorrow land

  • You and Drew have nice experiences because y’all are guys. Do you think ladies would be as welcomed(alone)? P.S. Still love y’all and can’t wait for your future adventures!! Hopefully ladies can travel alone soon in the future 😊

  • This place could be home to the Flat Earth Society.

  • i love how so many people are angry of someone success , and jealous

  • Me in dubai only seeing this video after one week: 👁👄👁

  • Just the view of the city makes me want to pack up and explore the world :(

  • The Chairman is the literal definition of : )

  • Man I love my country my only wish is to meet you in dubai sometime

  • The hypocrisy by Yes Theory in this video is stunning. How can you say that you want to be environmentally friendly then fly all the way to Dubai for an advertisement for these islands? At the same time preaching to "seek discomfort". Did staying at a luxury resort make you uncomfortable Yes Theory? The only discomfort you should be feeling is from the choice of making this video...

  • Wow awesome, I had wondered what was going on with these. Had no idea

  • The music is so annoying asking away from everything!

  • Still Dubai though, you can say you’ve done what other didn’t even try and we know how much you like to brag but let’s not forget it’s built by slave labors. How about you build a better country that doesn’t go out of its way to kill innocent people in Yemen and other countries. I’m sure a lot will not like my comment but if you really claim to spread positivity you can’t ignore the fact that this tiny country is ruled by a family that their kids and wives ran away from all the shit they do. Wives and daughters of ruler of Dubai ran away because they were prisoners basically, imagine how many slave labors are oppressed. More than 100,000 killed in Yemen since UAE and Saudi Arabia started bombing innocent civilians in 2015 until this day.

  • Stupid people with stupid ideas lol 😂

  • Yo bro's!! Yes Theory is the best!!! . I appreciate your hard works just to make people find comfort or discomfort or whatever it is.. It's such an amazing idea.. But please man.. You should try to my country Philippines.. There's a lot of crazy adventures here that awaits you.. Please bro.. But I know also that this will never happen soon, because of this pandemic. But I hope this ends very soon.. I am hoping to be noticed guys.. This will be crazy.. Thank you.

  • Wow

  • Chairman says : i built the PALM Jumeirah, oh ! these are just peanuts to him then, he can afford and build so many beautiful islands , he has the capacity and the expertise to maintain them. Very talented people and a place like heaven they built. loved this video.

  • *Yes theory:* Were becoming more environmentally conscious *steps off of 15 hour flight