For those who deem impressive Dubai skyline or fake palm-shaped islands not quite exotic enough, there is a new Emirati holiday home experience in town. A veritable village of 4’000 sq ft underwater villas is set to lay anchor in man made World Islands, promising panoramic views of Persian Gulf under the sea. First Floating Seahorse villas were unveiled last year, but these new £2,5 million Signature Edition water mansions are an upgrade for those who wish to bring the whole family.
Larger than its predecessors, The Signature Edition of Floating Seahorse has 3 levels and 4 sleeping areas which can be altered to the wishes and whims of prospective owners. One level is completely submerged under water and features master bedroom and entertainment room with a view of a ‘coral reef garden’. The living areas in underwater level alone will span 861 sq ft and the coral garden will exceed 600 sq ft in size. Floating Seahorse villas will cost between £2,15m and £2,5m and are anchored at heart shaped St Petersburg island. By time of completion, estimated to 2018, there will be more than 125 floating villas.
Floating Seahorse villas are a part of a grand project which has been 15 years in the making. Construction of The World, an artificial archipelago in shape of a world map some 2,5 miles off coast, began in 2003. The 300 ‘fake’ islands range from 150’000 to 450’000 sq ft and were intended to boost Dubai’s property market with wealthy foreign investors. Following the global financial crisis in 2008, project stalled and all but a handful of the islands remain undeveloped.
In 2009, Heart of Europe project was announced, an ambitious development to turn six of the islands into a luxury tourist resort inspired by European countries, including Sweden, Germany and Italy. Heart of Europe will be home to world’s first climate controlled streets, with technology that will drop artificial rain or snow on streets and plazas. Connected by bridges, car free islands will be able to accommodate as many as 16’000 people at once.