As your jet starts its descent, you are glued to your window. The scene below is astonishing: a 24-square-mile archipelago of coral-colored islands in the shape of an almost finished puzzle of the world. In the shallow green waters between continents, the sunken shapes of the Pyramids of Giza and the Roman Colosseum are clearly visible.
In the distance are three other large island groups configured as palm trees within crescents and planted with highrise resorts, amusement parks and a thousand mansions built on stilts over the water. “The Palms” are connected by causeways to a Miami-like beachfront chock-a-block with megahotels, residential highrises, and yacht-filled marinas... [+]