What would you do if you ruled The World? No, not the world as in the one we live in, but The World – you know, that collection of 300 manmade islands just off the Dubai coastline. Any day now members of the public will be able to make their first visit to the mega-development, as the Royal Island Beach Club opens on Lebanon Island. But, right now, aside from a privately owned regal development somewhere in The World's northern hemisphere (again, not the real world), this is the only inhabited island to date. This leaves, by our calculation, 298 prime spots of land ripe for the taking. Nakheel are yet to reveal what is planned for all of them, but as one of the first few people to have stepped on the islands (well, aside from the hundreds of people who built it, have bought bits of it, or have thought about buying bits of it) I think I’m well-placed to make some suggestions. So, donning my best evil dictator hat and beard (I’m thinking in the style of Sacha Baron Cohen at the Oscars) these are my plans for World Domination.
First up, let’s put 18 islands aside for the best crazy golf course ever. Many islands are less than 100 metres apart, so attempting to chip the ball from one to the next would be a challenge worthy of Dubai's golf-mad residents. While we’re talking sport, we need an island each for beach volleyball and beach football – although losing balls to the Gulf will become an occupational hazard of scoring a goal.
Light pollution is going to be at a minimum out there, so I’d set up a telescope to rival the Hubble, say in Africa, and we definitely need some wildlife – I’m thinking a tropical haze of swinging monkeys, leaping dolphins and grizzly geckos. How about a mighty multi-island zoo themed in the spirit of The Galápagos Islands, naturally, taking up much of Latin America?
If cinema has taught us anything it’s that every good remote island needs an imposing gothic asylum, which, invariably, those with disturbed minds can break free from to cause a bit of chaos. We need a big brash spot for this, so, inspired by Hollywood, let’s stick it in the USA.
As I write this, I’ve noticed that my co-workers are giving me odd looks. This might have something to do with me slamming my fists on the table and laughing manically. I fear all this power is going to my head, so perhaps it's best to sign off and get back to the important business of ruling Time Out Dubai's Music and Nightlife section.
Rob Garratt is our music and nightlife editor. And Bond villain in waiting.