Remember those World Islands off the coast of Dubai?

Heart of Europe 1

Quick recap – The World Islands is a chain of 300 islands, laid out in the shape of the Earth’s continents, four kilometres off the coast of Dubai.

Words: Miles Buckeridge

Developer Kleindienst owns six of them and is planning to turn them in to ‘The Heart of Europe’; an archipelago of luxury resorts, each representing a different part of Europe.

The ambitious development was first announced in 2009 and here’s where it is right now.

The Heart of Europe beats a little faster  – Kleindienst was back at Cityscape 2017 to announce that the majority of islands are now scheduled to be ready by 2019 – and from what we already know, they promise to offer some genuinely ‘exploding head emoji’ features. To the point where after having read a list of them, we were absolutely expecting one of the islands to be levitating. We can however confirm, at the time of writing, none do.

We’ve already met the semi-submersed seahorse villas with spectacular underwater views, a dedicated coral nursery, a circus, an arboretum of ancient Mediterranean trees and a temperature-control system that will attempt to maintain ambient outdoor temperatures of about 27 degrees Celsius (even in the Dubai summer where temperatures are consistently over 40 degrees) through a measure of science that is frankly bordering on a conjuring trick.

These feats of engineering are going to be joined by a seven-star hotel that pays homage to London’s own Tower Bridge (one of two seven-star hotels in the island chain) and snow – yes SNOW – lined streets on Switzerland Island.


So if you’re looking for a temperate climate a mere 20 minute commute from Dubai, or if you’re an aspiring super villain looking for your next themed palatial lair and moon real estate is proving too volatile. We may have just found the ideal spot for your new pad.

Dubai is never short of engineering world firsts, and will rarely let convention stand in the way of constructive imagination. But in some respects, this particular project goes further than most would ever dare consider.

Cost? If you have to ask…

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