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While it’s been in the press most recently for some troubled accounts and outstanding debt, there's no doubting that Dubai has seen some incredible development in the last decade. As oil thins out in the Emirates, the government has decided to diversify from an oil centered economy to one that is service and tourism orientated. Various mega projects have got the go ahead to garner more international recognition and investment. Here are four of Dubai's mega structures.

Burj Dubai

Searing above the skyline at a colossal height of 818m, the Burj Dubai is now the tallest man made structure ever built, surpassing the Warsaw radio mast by over 150 meters. The building will be the center piece of a flagship development called Downtown Burj Dubai. While the building alone will cost around $4.1 billion US, the entire cost of the Downtown project will be $20 billion US. The skyscraper is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy on 4th January 2010.

The World

This man made archipelago comprises of 300 man-made islands in the rough shape of the landmasses of the world. They sit 4km off the shore of Dubai, and were largely made through dredging sand from the bottom of the shallow sea waters, with the whole area measuring 9km in length and 6km in width. The project was unveiled by Sheikh Mohammed in May 2003, and dredging commenced four months later. In early 2008, the final breakwater stone was laid and the archipelago was complete, but due to the financial crisis, building development on the islands has ceased, and it is uncertain when it will resume.

The Palm Islands

Another of Dubai's man made islands, the Palm Islands were first announced in 2001 and were first thought to take around 10-15 years to construct. There are currently three under construction – the Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali and the Palm Deira. Both the Palm Jebel Ali and the Palm Deira are hoped to house over one million people by 2020. Because each of the colossal developments are in the shape of a palm tree, with a trunk and multiple throngs, the combined coastline will add 520 km of beaches to the city of Dubai.

Burj al-Arab

This luxury hotel, located on an artificial island 280m from the Jumeirah Beach, the Burj al-Arab has garnered a reputation for being one of the world's finest, and has taken the accolade for being the world's only 'seven starred' hotel. The sail like structure is 321m in height, making it the second tallest hotel in the world, and contains 202 rooms. Any trip to Dubai isn't complete without a visit to the hotel, although you might not be able to stay here; the cost of a room starts at $2,000 US a night, and the most expensive suite will rack up a $28,000 a night bill!