A Five-Star Ghost Town at the End of 'The World'

Psst. Wanna buy a continent? As the emirate's economy craters, its archipelago of man-made private islands sits empty. A property bust at the end of the World

Jorge Ferrari / EPA

A single model home sits amid the World's unfinished islands off the coast of Dubai

"I want to see the world," I told a boatman in Dubai Creek, and pulled out my map. He waved me on board his little wooden boat with no hesitation. I could have told him I wanted to sail up the river Styx, and he would have agreed. Times are tough in the Persian Gulf emirate, and my Bangladeshi boatman had spent hours chugging up and down the creek looking for a fare. It was his bad luck that his passenger appeared to be crazy.

"The World," I repeated. Again he nodded, this time rolling his eyes slightly. He tried distracting...

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