“We will start reclamation work on the Universe by the end of this year,” says Chris O’Donnell, chief executive officer of Nakheel. “It’s not been tendered yet.”

The project, located off Dubai coast between Palm Jumeirah and Palm Deira, will create a series of islands on which major residential, commercial and tourism projects will be built.

In total it will have 30 square kilometres of land and will take 15 to 20 years to develop.