The World Islands will soon be home to a floating ‘luxury vessel’ resort inspired by Venice, as well as a snowy Switzerland…

Cityscape Global is on in Dubai this week, and it’s always the time of year when we find out about the grand, enormous and new developments that will eventually pop up in Dubai.

This year is no exception – it’s just been announced that a Dhs2.5 billion floating resort will be built near the World Islands (as well as a temperature-controlled resort on the Switzerland Island where it’s always snowing, more on that later). The vessel hotel will be called The Floating Venice.

The main entrance of the floating resort will be themed on Venice’s Piazza San Marco (and yes, this is essentially a ‘ship’ that’s also a resort).

The floating resort will be able to hold 3,000 guests daily, and will be split over four levels (or decks), one of which is underwater.

The developer is calling The Floating Venice a “world first”. How will it be so? They say it will be the “the world’s first luxury underwater vessel resort”. We didn’t know that was a thing, but we’re intrigued…

Here’s a video that shows how the resort is inspired by Venice (but still has a very Arabesque look):

Guests will arrive by boat, seaplane or helicopter (depending on how ballin’ they are) and will then check into the hotel at an underwater lobby.

Gondolas that have actually been imported from Venice will take guests to their cabins, via the canals (kind of like the Madinat, but just a bit more extra?). There will be 414 cabins, a bunch of restaurants and traditional Venetian-style shops selling artisanal products too.

There will be 414 rooms or cabins in the floating resort.

The resort will have 24 pools (no baggsing loungers with towels pre-breakfast-buffet then), and some of the pools will have see-through bases that will give swimmers a view of the coral life planted below (there are plans to plant 400,000 square feet of coral below the development).

There will be, of course, 12 floating beaches to sunbathe from, a total of 12 restaurants and bars (three of which are underwater) and two beach clubs. Oh, and there will be an underwater spa.

It’s themed on Venice – gondolas and all – but will still have a very Dubai look about it architecture-wise.

Keeping with the development’s inspiration there will be ‘intimate rooftop’ Bacari bars dotted around the resort too, serving traditional Venetian snacks and wine, as well as Venetian festivals hosted on the island, including the Carnivale di Venezia, Binnale di Venezia and Festa del Rendentore.

The Floating Venice is built using concrete for the underwater sections and then lightweight marine materials for the upper decks (so that the whole thing can float). It is being built to have a lifespan of at least 100 years.

There will be underwater rooms and restaurants (and coral will be planted to enhance the marine life).

When will it all be finished? It’s scheduled to be open for visitors by the end of 2020. Just in time for Expo!

What about that snowing island?

The Venetian-style development will be right next to the Heart of Europe, which will include the Switzerland island that will be temperature controlled so that it is always snowing. Yes, actually. It’s being dubbed “the world’s first temperature-controlled resort”.

We don’t know much more about how that will work yet (giant dome?) but developers the Kleindienst group do say on their website that there will be: “the world’s first ‘rain and snow’ lined streets, made possible through pioneering German engineering and technology.” (Well, we imagine they’re not the world’s first rain and snow lined streets, but they will definitely be the world’s first manmade snow lined streets in the desert).

What is The Heart of Europe?

The floating Venice city will be next to the Dhs2.5 billion Heart of Europe project, which is spread over six of the World Islands. The ‘countries’ that make up the development are Germany, Monaco, Switzerland, St Petersburg and Sweden.

The development will be 4km from the coast of Dubai, which will take about 20 minutes by boat.

There will be 12 hotels in the development in total, including a ‘six-star’ hotel on Monaco Island.

The first island to be finished as part of the project will be the St Petersburg island, which will have the already-built floating seahorse villas attached to them (don’t know what those are? You can check them out here).

The Seahorse Villas

Sweden Island will be home to 10 ‘palaces’ with rooftop clubs/lounges (these are all sold out), while Germany Island will have beach and manmade lagoon-facing villas.

On the ‘mainland Europe’ island you’ll find a pet friendly hotel (although this will be built after Germany).

The developer behind the Heart of Europe, the Kleindheist Group, have also said that there will be an ‘underwater world surrounded by a beautiful lagoon’, ‘Europe’s most talented street performers’ as well as a hotel purpose built only for weddings called the Empress Elisabeth. We’ll bring you more on all of those when we know more.

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