United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates lies along the inside of the Arabian Peninsulas southern curve, between Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the Persian Gulf. Though comprised mostly of desert, the UAE also has the spectacular Trucial Coast. In order to increase its appeal to tourists and diversify its economic base, a number of projects are occurring, including a massive land-formation project visible in this image. Palm Island, which is located on the upper eastern coast, is entirely constructed, using sand dredged from the approach channel to the Jebel Ali Airport. This island is one of two to be completed by 2006, and will form a resort that will provide approximately 1200 single-family residences with private beach-fronts, 600 multi-family residences, an aquatic theme park, shopping centers, cinemas, and more. This is a closer image of the resort from early March 2003, taken by an astronaut.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC