Abu Dhabi may be getting its own branch of the Louvre Museum, but Dubai plans to go one better with a floating replica of Venice.
The $685m resort will be located in the World Islands, 4km offshore, and will hold traditional Venetian celebrations such as the carnival, the arts biennale and firework display of the Festa del Redentore.
Described by Dubai real estate developer Kleindienst Group as an "authentic Venetian experience in the Middle East", the project will contain three decks above water and one underneath.
Josef Kleindienst, the chairman of the company, said: "Our vision supports and aligns with Dubai’s ambition to be a leading global destination and the world’s most forward-thinking city. Floating Venice is the epitome of this innovation and spirit, the world’s first luxury underwater vessel resort."
The resort will contain 24 swimming pools, some of which will have transparent bases allowing swimmers to see the 37,000 sq m of coral that will be planted beneath them. It will also house multiple "floating beaches" and 12 restaurants and bars, three of which will be underwater.
Visitors can arrive by boat, helicopter or seaplane and will be able to travel around the resort using gondolas imported from Venice.
Floating Venice is designed to have a 100-year lifespan and will be able to accommodate 3,000 visitors each day.
The project will have concrete foundations and will be made from lightweight marine materials above water. Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2018 and be complete by the end of 2020.
Images courtesy of Kleindienst Group