Limitless plans wellness resort on 'tropical Siberia'

The resort will be built on The World development off the coast of Dubai by the property arm of the Dubai Government.

September 22, 2008: US$350 million World Island Resort, hotel entrance.  Artist Rendering *** Local Caption ***  World Island Resort entrance lr.jpg

Siberia may have a reputation as one of the most unwelcoming places on earth, but that has not stopped Limitless, the property development arm of the Dubai World group of companies, from picking it as the site for a US$350 million (Dh1.29 billion) health resort. In a move that will see it join the growing worldwide trend for health resorts, Limitless says it will create, own and operate the luxury retreat on Siberia, a man-made island located on the north-east perimeter of The World development, 14km off the coast of Dubai.

The resort is the 10th project for Limitless and the latest addition to its growing global portfolio, which is worth more than US$100bn. It also marks the first project that the company will manage. The resort will include 53 villas and water homes, of which 23 privately owned villas ranging from 650 to 820 square metres will be offered for sale by invitation.

"The resort will focus on health and wellness, as every villa will have its own spa treatment room," said a spokesman for Limitless, who declined to disclose the price ranges of the properties.

Each villa will have a beachfront location or sea frontage with a private jetty, summerhouse and mooring facilities, and will come with its own swimming pool, rooftop garden with outdoor kitchen, landscaped ground-level garden overlooking the sea and an internal lift. The villas will be serviced by the hotel and can be leased back to the resort when they are not being used by their owners.

The company said the resort would include a 2,000 square metre spa, an amenity building with speciality restaurants, art galleries, auction rooms, conference facilities and libraries, and luxurious accommodation in 30 villas or water homes. At its heart will be a lagoon with water features and a social clubhouse. There will also be a reception suite on the Dubai mainland, where residents will be ferried to the island by private boat.

Saeed Ahmed Saeed, the chief executive of Limitless, said the project would be the "flagship" of the company's waterfront hospitality developments, "and the launch pad for a range of high-end hotels we are planning in other waterfront and city locations".

Construction of the project will begin towards the end of this year, with completion expected in about two years. The project's design will be showcased at Cityscape Dubai next month.

A year ago, Limitless announced it would build a $220m hospitality complex in Vietnam. The Halong Star development will be built on a 125-hectare site at Halong Bay on Vietnam's north-east coast. The area, which is one of Vietnam's main tourist attractions, is a Unesco World Heritage site. Designed to boost the country's tourism industry, Halong Star will include a 250-room, five-star hotel, a 100-room luxury boutique hotel, 226 villas, 85 luxury townhouses, 114 apartments, and retail and commercial space. The project is expected to be completed by 2012.