Four kilometers off the Dubai coastline lies Europe. Or a version of it, at least.

Comprising six man-made islands styled after a mix of European countries and cities, when completed this $5 billion megaproject will be able to accommodate 16,000 tourists in the height of travel luxury.

In this Europe the sun nearly always shines, the ocean’s warm and white sands are never far away. There’s Venice and St Petersburg, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland and more. And, if you have the money, it could be yours for a vacation or a lifetime.

Called The Heart of Europe and currently under construction, it’s the latest chapter in one of Dubai’s grandest—and most eyebrow-raising—enterprises: The World.

Construction of The World began in 2003. A huge archipelago of 300 artificial islands in the shape of a world map, it was pitched as a playground for the rich and famous.

The project has been labeled a “spectacular white elephant().” But against all odds, one corner—The Heart of Europe—is readying itself for guests.

Kleindienst, the developers behind The Heart of Europe, seek to capitalize on this.

The Heart of Europe covers 13 hotels and resorts and more than 4,000 holiday homes. Featuring climate-controlled streets and underwater bedrooms, the complex spans six million square feet and will be able to accommodate up to 16,000 people at any one time when completed, say Kleindienst.

The first phase of construction includes 10 waterfront “palaces” on Sweden Island, 32 villas on Germany Island and 78 floating homes dubbed “Floating Seahorses” surrounding St Petersburg Island. More


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