BY Pavither Sidhu
Picture a secret floating ocean lair for the rich and famous or perhaps for a super villain in a James Bond flick. It is a fantasy that is poised to become a reality just off the coast of Dubai where lavish floating villas, nicknamed “Floating Seahorses”, are being constructed by real estate agency Kleindienst Group.
The villas are a part of the company’s “Heart of Europe” development, a group of artificial islands modelled after European design and heritage.
The villas have three levels — the main floor at sea-level, an upper deck, and a completely submerged lower level. The lower level comprises a master bedroom with floor-to-ceiling windows that will provide an unobstructed view of the ocean bed.
The Floating Seahorse is essentially a boat, not a villa, according to Kleindienst.
“It is a boat that doesn’t move, with a fully-fitted kitchen and a glass-bottomed Jacuzzi on its sun deck,” it said.
A Kleindienst spokesperson said the homes are currently selling for AED6.5 million (RM7.57 million). While only 42 units have been built, it has garnered much interest and 35 units have already been sold.
The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, and the first tenants will move into their giant floating seahorses by 2017.
The Heart of Europe is itself a section of “The World,” a man-made archipelago constructed in the shape of the global map 4km off the coast of Dubai.
The Floating Seahorse villas are not just good news for Dubai’s ultra-rich, it will also provide cushy accommodation for actual seahorses, which are now considered endangered species.
Kleindienst CEO, Josef Kleindienst, said the project will create an artificial coral reef beneath the luxury retreat, which will be a protected area where seahorses can safely live and breed.