The world is not sinking

The islands are not sinking any more than planned, say Nakheel

The manmade islands that comprise The World development in Dubai are not sinking anymore than was intended, an official statement from master developer Nakheel said on Wednesday.

"Speculative reports suggesting that The World islands are sinking are wholly inaccurate," the statement said, adding that a technique called vibro-compaction was to blame for any loss of altitude.

"The islands were finished some years ago and there has been no subsidence since. A system known as vibro-compaction was used to increase the load bearing capacity of the reclaimed land mass.

"This process causes the soil to vibrate vigorously, mimimising the air gaps between the sand particles and locking the sand particles and edges together, which in turn lead to very deliberate and calculated compaction and settlement."

The statement also added that the islands, which are visible from space, are not adrift in the Arabian Gulf.

"A suggestion also that some of the isands have slipped and spread into each other is also completely incorrect," the statement said.

Nakheel parent company Dubai World staved off a $4.1bn Islamic bond, or sukuk, default by Nakheel at the end of 2009 after Abu Dhabi issued a $10bn bond.

"We have currently sold around 70 percent of the islands and development has begun by a number of owners - further testament to the fact that the islands are as solid as the rock they were built upon," the statement said.

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