Based on six islands that bring the best of Europe to Dubai, The Heart of Europe is located 2 miles from the coast of Dubai and will offer up a variety of European cultural, dining, and hospitality experiences across resorts, cafés, bars, boutiques, and entertainment. Kleindienst Group developed the $5 billion master-planned tourism island destination that came a long way since its original concept was launched in 2008.
The Covid-19 outbreak may have stopped business on the mainland, but the Heart of Europe islands continued work at an aggressive pace with a goal to open Phase 1 by the end of 2020.
The development will offer “world’s first” attractions such as; the First Underwater Hotel with Gym and Spa, the First Dedicated Wedding Hotel, the World’s First Artificial Rainy Street, the First Floating and Underwater Living Experience and the World’s First Outdoor Snow Plaza.
Phase One opening of The Heart of Europe consists of, Sweden Beach Palaces, Germany Villas, Honeymoon Island, Portofino Hotel, and Côte d’Azur Resort.
THE FLOATING SEAHORSE VILLAS
(3 level villas with underwater living, glass-bottom Jacuzzi, and private man-made coral reefs teeming with marine life)
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Connected to Honeymoon Island by jetties, the Floating Seahorse Villas were designed for investors and second home end users. Consisting of over 4,000 square feet with three levels, each will feature state-of-the-art technology and outdoor climate-controlled areas. The ultimate attraction will be the underwater level with exclusive views to the coral reefs.
(15 beachfront villas, 17 lagoon villas, offering four or five bedrooms in Bauhaus inspired style)
The horseshoe-shaped Germany Island will face onto an azure-blue lagoon with its own bar, lush gardens, white sandy beaches and bent palm trees.
There will be traditional German carnivals, Christmas markets, festivals, and the famous Oktoberfest. Famed international chefs will offer up the finest German-style menus as well as the largest selection of German beers and wines.
(10 four-story palaces, 7 bedroom waterfront homes, each ground floor has a gym, sauna and snow room, while on the rooftop there will be a glass-roofed party room)
Sweden Island was inspired by Swedish Viking Vessels and will offer up palaces furnished by Bentley Homes with glass roofs and private snow rooms. The $27 million beach palace was among the first properties to sell out on the island. Restaurants will incorporate Sweden’s famed cuisine, featuring items like sour herring, meatballs, Raggmunkar, toast Skagen, smörgåsbord, Snaps, and Glὃgg.
The unique heart-shaped Maldivian inspired island will be a couples retreat surrounded by Seahorse Floating Villas that will sell up to $5 million each. Next to the island, there is the islands Empress Elizabeth Hotel, the first dedicated seven-star wedding hotel, where couples can celebrate their union overlooking white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters.
(411 cabins, 180 underwater cabins, underwater lobby, gondola transportation, yacht club)
Inspired by the floating city, this will be the world’s first underwater resort with dining and accommodations located below the surface. Restaurants, bars, and shops will all be underwater with views of coral reefs and passing gondolas above. Entertainment will be offered from masked carnivals to opera performances.
The resort will have 12 restaurants and bars (three of which are underwater) and an underwater spa.
(Beachfront and lagoon villas, featuring master bedrooms, swimming pools and viewing decks)
Switzerland Island offers villas with water views and access to beaches, a seawater lagoon, and private swimming pools. The villa chalets utilize timber, stone, and glass design. A large blue water lagoon in the center of the island will be reminiscent of the large lakes in Switzerland.
MAIN EUROPE ISLAND / COTE D’AZUR RESORT
The Côte D’Azur Resort comprises of 4 boutique hotels all named after the famous and picturesque cities of Monaco, Nice, Cannes and St. Tropez which are located in the South of France. The 4 boutique hotels will have Suites and penthouses with large balconies offering panoramic sea views.
Monaco will feature French fine-dining with an upscale contemporary décor, high-end fashion boutiques, and a large white sandy beach. There will also be lagoon swimming pools and a replica of the famed Monaco Marina.
(489 Princess and Queen Suites, Rooftop penthouses, Marina and Lobby with 514 aquariums, 6 Italian restaurants & bars, Women’s only social lounge and spa, Olympic size pool with underwater performances and Kids Club)
Designed to look and feel like the Italian city of Portofino, with colorful terracotta buildings, the Portofino Hotel on the Main Europe Island is a family hotel that will feature Italian-style suites with kids rooms, a kids club operated by a leading kids club operator, restaurants and cafes serving Italian cuisine and organic food. The facade will host an extraordinary hanging garden with 31,000 plants.
There are five swimming pools at the resort and even a snow-play area where children can build snowmen. Add synchronized swimming shows for entertainment.
The island will have its own fully-serviced private Paraggi Bay marina where all guests will arrive by boat. The front of hotel employees will speak Italian and the hotel will even accept Euros as currency.
The Heart of Europe will oversee the development of more than 100,000 coral reefs and will also feature centenary Spanish olive trees that were sourced from Andalusia, Spain. The islands will also offer up the world’s first climate-controlled rainy street and snow plaza.
The development will also use sustainable landscaping that will be pesticide-free and fungicide-free, and all green areas will use recycled water. The island will be totally car-free, use clean energy, and will offer sustainable water transportation to the guests. Designed with a zero-discharge policy and zero micro-plastics policy, the developers hope to ensure the protection of the Arabian Gulf and species of marine life that reside around the six islands.
This article was written by Jim Dobson for Forbes.com