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Sun 24 Feb 2008 06:45 PM

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The World gets $170m resort for 'Greece'

Island on Nakheel's The World archipelago to be launched under 'V...' boutique hotel brand.

The island of Greece on Nakheel's manmade archipelago The World is to be turned into a luxury boutique resort, the island's owner announced on Sunday.

European hotelier Jean van Gysel said the 624 million-dirham ($170 million) island complex would be launched under his 'V...' brand and include a 65-room boutique hotel, residential development, shops, restaurants and other amenities.

Van Gysel said 'V…Greece on The World' would be "inspired by light and water" and offer "a vision of pure and simplistic comfort and ultimate luxury".

The hotel will be designed by Italy-based Architetti Associatti, he added.

Construction is expected to begin later this year.

Van Gysel also said he had plans to launch five hotels in the Middle East under the V… brand over the next five years.

Singapore-based Cinnovation Group said last week it had purchased Nova Island on The World, representing the northern Russian archipelago Novaya Zemlya, and plans to build a $200 million resort and spa on the development.

The World archipelago is located four kilometres offshore from Dubai, in between two of three palm-shaped islands also being developed by Nakheel, part of state-owned conglomerate Dubai World.

The average price for an island ranges from $15 million to $50 million, but the total cost of developing an island is much higher as owners are expected to provide all necessary infrastructure. The most expensive island costs $263 million.

Around 50% of the 300 islands that make up The World have been sold so far. Some of The World islands represent countries, while others represent cities.

Other buyers include Kuwait-based Investment Dar, which has purchased 20 islands that make up Australia and New Zealand to turn into a resort called Oqyana, Irish business consortium Larionovo and prominent Chinese businessman Bin Hu.

Each year Nakheel invites 50 people to come and view The World, and then if they are interested buy into the project.

Nakheel last month finished work on the project after five years of construction. The islands are now ready to hand over to owners for development.

To mark its completion never-before seen photography and video footage of The World has been released to ArabianBusiness.com as part of our The World Exclusive special report.

The footage has been made available to the public for the very first time, showing stunning underwater, ground and aerial shots of the $3 billion development.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

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