A technologically advanced marine-style wonderland is taking shape off the coast of Dubai in the Arabian Gulf with the construction of The Heart of Europe. Floating Seahorse villas and six car-free themed-islands—Germany, Sweden, Main Europe, St. Petersburg, Switzerland and Monaco—located on The World, a man-made archipelago, will offer groups as large as 10,000 an authentic experience of some of Europe’s most iconic features. All islands will be connected by bridges and accessible by boat and helicopter, while luxury hotels, authentic European cafes and restaurants, boutiques and entertainment fan out across 6 million-sf of partially man-made wonder.
When it comes to the details, Josef Kleindienst, CEO of developers the Kleindienst Group, has left no stone unturned—from climate controlled areas with rain and snow-covered streets to 10 different varieties of ancient Mediterranean olive trees dating back 1,400 years. Still much of the buzz surrounding The Heart of Europe centers on Floating Seahorses, contemporary floating marine-style retreats that possess, among other things, a glass-enveloped underwater level, where master bedrooms and bathrooms reveal behind-the-scenes views of a wraparound coral garden reef and marine life—a truly VIP experience.
Kleindienst envisions the coral gardens to act as protected havens for the elegant Arabian horse of the ocean, the endangered seahorse.
“Many months of research, design and planning have gone into The Floating Seahorse,” Kleindienst says, “and we are excited to be able to officially launch and build it in Dubai. We’re confident that it will set a new benchmark in the luxury lifestyle market worldwide for outstanding innovation, contemporary design and underwater living at its best.”
The first Floating Seahorse launched in 2015 to rave reviews and much curiosity from the hospitality industry. There will be 131 Floating Seahorse villas in total, each with three levels—deck, sea level and submerged. The villas are being rolled out as they roll in. All are sure to be floating about The Heart of Europe when the entire island project rounds completion by 2020.