About 5 million tourists visit Dubai every year and they have plenty to see and do. To attract tourists, Dubai developed the world’s fastest roller coaster, the world’s tallest building, and the world’s largest shopping mall. It also built fancy hotels, beaches, and even a huge indoor ski resort.
In the first image of this series, desert fills much of the image. As Dubai expands, roads, buildings, and irrigated fields spread out over the desert. But the most prominent project in Dubai, and an impressive engineering feat, is the artificial islands built off its coast. The islands were built from sand dredged from the sea floor. Rock breakwaters protect them from erosion. These Landsat images show the rapid and impressive development of these islands.