Artificial islands refer to offshore structures which are constructed by human beings in the territorial sea of nation-states, exclusive economic zones or even the high seas. The right to construct artificial islands has been recognized by international bodies and organizations. In this relation, several legal provisions including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, Articles 11, 58, 60 and 82 have clearly provided states with practical guidelines on the construction of such islands. During the past decades, numerous states have expressed interest in construction of such islands and have started building them. In the Persian Gulf region, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been constructing artificial islands since 2001, the first phase of which included three artificial islands in the shape of a palm. The second phase includes the ‘World’ project, which consists of 300 islands in the shape of the Earth’s landmass. Exploring the legal implications of the construction of artificial islands, this research seeks to illuminate the loopholes and possible misuse by states of the existing rules of international law. Then it will analyze the political and legal consequences of the UAE’s construction of artificial islands for the Islamic Republic of Iran.

 Keywords: Artificial Islands, Convention on the Law of the Sea, Territorial Sea, United Arab Emirates, Political and Legal Consequences