"DUBAI (AFP) – A cluster of 300 artificial islands off Dubai's coast in the shape of a global map is stable, its developer Nakheel insists, despite a court claim alleging that 'The World' was neglected and eroding away.
'There is no issue with the stability of The World islands that are approximately 70 percent sold and handed over,' a Nakheel spokesman said when asked about the allegations.
'The island purchasers (have) the responsibility to proceed with their developments in due course,' he added.
The islands, many of which represent individual countries and which can only be accessed by boat or helicopter, were meant to be one of the Gulf city-state's crowning developments.
Builders have announced plans for a few of the islands, but development has yet to begin on most of them.
A company contracted to provide logistics support to the islands filed a claim with a tribunal that handles cases related to the emirate's troubled Dubai World conglomerate, alleging that third-party developers had not been encouraged to develop the islands, and said they were being hit by erosion.
Nakheel subsidiary The World LLC 'did not develop the project as anticipated at the time of the agreement and the project has lain largely undeveloped,' according to the claim filed by Penguin Marine Boats Services LLC.
Penguin is contracted to pay 'a licence fee of 5 million dirhams ($1.36 million dollars) per annum' to conduct operations, but the lack of development on the islands means it has 'been unable to develop its business opportunities,' the claim said.
In Dubai, the state of The World is in dispute - Yahoo! News: