In the clear-blue waters off the coast of Dubai lies a chain of islands known as “The Heart of Europe.” It’s a man-made reconstruction of actual European nations, just on a smaller scale — part of a larger archipelago known as “The World.”
Richard Branson, fittingly, owns the island representing Great Britain. In the coming weeks, The Heart of Europe will get its first floating home, the aptly named “Floating Seahorse.” It’ll be the first of many in a giant fleet.
Take a look at these renderings:
The $2.8 million Floating Seahorse is the product of more than 5,000 hours of research and 13,000 hours of design and engineering, according to design firm Kleindienst Group.
The first models went on sale last year, before any Seahorses were completed. Kleindienst says that it sold approximately 60 in 2015. More are still for sale.
The underwater portion, composed of a master bedroom and a bathroom, will make up approximately 270 square feet of the interior. Just outside the walls is a 500-square-foot coral garden.
From the home, residents will be able to see actual seahorses dance through the Arabian Gulf — the animals’ natural habitat.
Above the water’s surface, the luxury is more apparent.
Inhabitants will be able to stretch out on the massive floating bed or head up to the observation deck.
If you want to take a swim, a convenient stepladder offers safe entry and exit. Or you could just dive right in.
Since the structures are about 2 1/2 miles from Dubai’s shores, inhabitants can reach their Seahorse by boat or seaplane — not exactly the most accessible way to get to and from home. Once they’re out there, they can cross between the islands by using floating jetties.
The company says that it hopes the structure can set a new standard for what it means to live lavishly.
Kleindienst also hopes that it can make some headway in restoring the endangered seahorse population in the area.
“We will create an artificial coral reef beneath the luxury retreats, which will be a protected area in which seahorses can safely live and breed,” Kleindienst said at an unveiling event in May 2015.
But a Kleindienst representative says that the Seahorse needs to undergo several more tests on dry docks before it can reach the water.
The firm anticipates launching the first Floating Seahorse next week and completing its first phase of rollouts by October. Follow-up phases, including islands outside The Heart of Europe, will take place in 2017 and 2018.
With demand already high for the Floating Seahorses, Kleindienst says that it’s next stop is the St. Petersburg portion of The World.
The views look magnificent.
More than 200 designers, engineers, and architects from 25 countries have been working to make the underwater fantasy a reality.
Once it hits the water, it will be a sight to behold — for humans and marine life.