Monday, May 20, 2024


UAE: Underwater Villas Planned for Dubai’s Artificial Island Complex “The World”

A series of futuristic underwater villas in Dubai’s “The World” are about to be launched for sale, just weeks after Private Island News revealed that work on the artificial island project has restarted.

(Aerial View from Wikipedia)

(Aerial View from Wikipedia)

A community of futuristic, underwater villas has this week been unveiled to a select group of investors in Dubai as plans to breathe new life into the United Arab Emirates’ controversial artificial island project, The World get firmly underway. Project developer The Kleindienst Group previewed the proposed development to a rapturous group of Dubai’s movers and shakers at a VIP pre-launch event on February 7th 2015.

As revealed at the ultra-exclusive launch party, the villas will be sold for an eye-watering DHS 5 million (roughly equivalent to USD 1.36 million) and will form the only residential spaces within The World’s hotly-anticipated The Heart of Europe Project. Spread across a sprawling surface area of 1,700 square feet, each of the 42 villas will consist of two spacious overwater floors and a further underwater level designed to “offer magnificent views of the spectacular sea world.”

And whilst the project is still very much in the design phase, project director Udhay Lall, predicted that the underwater villas – which will be located on The Heart of Europe’s “Monaco” island – could be completed by 2017, with the first villa making its debut one year sooner in 2016. Discussing the construction plans with, Lall explained: “They’re not going to be constructed on land. They’re going to be fabricated on dry docks and will be shipped out and positioned in the water where they belong.  The first one should be out in the water by 2016.”

Yet although The Kleindienst Group’s seem confident of meeting the aforementioned construction deadline, there has been increasing speculation that the ground-breaking underwater development could yet fall at the first hurdle. Indeed, latest gossip from the United Arab Emirates appears to suggest that the underwater villa project is yet to win the necessary approvals and permissions from Nakheel, the World Islands project’s master developer.

A spokesman explained to United Arab Emirates newspaper The National that Nakheel was still in discussions with representatives of The Kleindienst Group regarding their proposal for an underwater villa community, explaining that “all developers are required to submit the development proposals for their respective islands to Nakheel and the appropriate authorities for approval before any construction can take place.”

Kleindienst has since confirmed that they have no plans for further sales until the necessary approvals are granted. According to Emirates 27/7, five of the villas had been sold via real estate consultancy before the planning permission headache came to light. Two of the investors are said to be from Europe, whereas the remaining three are thought to include GCC state members and an Indian with a UAE residency permit. How the situation will affect them is so far unclear.

(Image of The World by J. Patrick Fisher)

(Image of The World by J. Patrick Fisher)

The World Dubai

Built using sand dredged from Dubai’s shallow coastal waters, The World Dubai artificial island complex lies four kilometers off the shore of Jumeirah. Unveiled by Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum back in 2003, the 300 island strong complex formed a huge statement of intent and was held up as an incredible feat of engineering and innovation. Investors clamored to secure their own slice of this ground-breaking development, with up to 60% of the available lots snapped up before even a day’s development work had taken place.

The project was besieged with problems in 2008 however, as the Global Financial Crisis took its toll on the United Arab Emirates’ economy.     Amidst a backdrop of a hard-hitting financial crisis and accusations of island erosion, The World was in danger of becoming a something of a white elephant, as international investors disappeared from the Emirates just as fast as they had arrived. So far, just 2 of the 300 islands have been successfully developed.

The tide looks to be turning however. As well as Kleindienst’s Heart of Europe project, in which 6 islands will transformed to create an incredible homage to Europe, work is also set to restart elsewhere in the The World, with Kuwait-owned OQYANA Real Estate and Holland’s floating island experts Dutch Dockland recently signing an agreement to develop the Australasian section of the project.

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