Dozens of luxury floating villas located in Dubai’s The World Islands will be ready for handover by the end of the year, UAE developer Kleindienst Group has said.
The half-submerged homes, which carry a price tag of more than 20 million UAE dirhams ($5 million) each, are part of a cluster of seven islands named “The Heart of Europe,” the small reconstructions of actual European destinations.
The 78 units were previously scheduled for handover in 2019.
According to Josef Kleindienst, chairman of Kleindienst Group, they can now “confidently” say the units will be delivered in time for the World Expo 2020 in Dubai, with 1,500 construction personnel and other staff beefing up work to meet the new deadline.
“We have substantially scaled up construction activities on all the seven islands in order to deliver the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai - to be able to host more than 20 million guests in Dubai’s hotels a year by the end of 2020,” Kleindienst said in a statement.
The Heart of Europe is a $5 billion (18.3 billion UAE dirhams) master-planned leisure tourism development on The World, consisting of seven man-made islands. It was envisioned to host 4,000 holiday homes including the “Floating Seahorse” villas, as well as more than 3,500 hotel rooms.
A prototype of the floating villa was earlier put to a test when it tipped over amid rough waters off the coast of Dubai. The structure was temporarily moved away from the project site and used as a platform during the 2018 New Year’s Eve festivities near Burj Al Arab. Just after the revelry, when no one was on board, the weather turned bad and the floating home keeled over.
The incident raised questions as to which government authority the Floating Seahorse should be placed under, the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) or the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). Subsequently, the developer claimed it was able to secure approvals from both the Dubai Land Department (DLD) and RERA to register the structures as villas, suggesting that owners will be the first to own ocean plots in the world.
So far, only nine out of the promised 131 villas have been floated into position in the sea. The villas are being hoisted into place by construction cranes and anchored into place on the seabed.
“The final ballast will be set up, once the fit-out has been completed. Cleaning and maintenance below the waterline will be carried out by a specialist diving team in the next few weeks,” the developer said in a statement.
Part of Phase 1 of the mega project, the 78 villas that will be delivered before the end of the year will be anchored next to the man-made island of Germany; the heart-shaped, Maldivian-inspired Honeymoon Island, as well as the Portofino Hotel on the main Europe Island.
The developer also promised to complete 10 “palaces” on another island called Sweden; 15 contemporary style beachfront villas and 17 lagoons on Germany Island, as well as 489 Princess Suites at the Portofino Hotel before the end of the year.
(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)
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