Dubai underwater villas project 'yet to be approved'

The World master developer Nakheel says still in talks with Kleindienst over plans to build submerged homes
By Staff writer
Thu 12 Feb 2015 02:12 PM

Plans to build underwater villas as part of Dubai's The World islands project are still to win approval from master developer Nakheel, it has been reported.

Although the sale of the partially submerged villas on the artificial islands off Dubai’s coast was announced last week, approval has yet to be granted, according to a report in The National newspaper.

The 1,700 sq ft villas, which will cost about AED5 million ($1.36 million), are being built on Monaco island, part of Kleindienst’s The Heart of Europe (THOE) project, which covers six islands.

THOE is the first permanent development at The World, a collection of manmade islands in the shape of the world, 4 kilometres off the coast of Dubai.

But according to the paper, Nakheel said it was still discussing the underwater villas proposal with Kleindienst.

“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,” it quoted Nakheel as saying.

Kleindienst has said that it has no plans for further sales until approvals are granted.

“Our underwater villas are on a boat and can be moved, therefore this arrangement requires maritime authority approval,” said Josef Kleindienst, chairman of Kleindienst Group, adding that his company had already sold some of the underwater villas to Privilege Dubai.

Monaco island will offer the only residences within THOE, which also includes Sweden, Germany, St Petersburg, Switzerland and Austria, which will represent mainland Europe with various features from across the continent.

It also will include an exclusive marina and pool, while guests are expected to arrive by private luxury yachts, sea planes or helicopters.

The entire THOE project includes various hotels and entertainment. Kleindienst CEO Josef Kleindienst told Arabian Business last year he intended for guests to be able to spend 14 days at THOE.

The 300 manmade islands that make up The World were built by Dubai developer Nakheel at the height of the emirate’s real estate boom but there has been almost no work on the islands since the economic crisis in 2008-09, when property values in Dubai plummeted as much as 60 percent.

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