You might be just a short boat ride off the coast of Dubai, but at one upcoming hotel, guests will feel a world away from the UAE.
Marbella Hotel will feature Spanish-speaking staff, have clocks set to Spanish time and accept Euros as its main currency, in an experience designed to transport visitors to the Costa del Sol coast.
The luxury resort will form part of The Heart of Europe project, located on the World Islands, with developers this week revealing work is underway on the 191-room hotel.
Kleindienst Group, master developer of the emirate's World Islands, added that Marbella Hotel will offer apartments, suites and "caves" where guests can bed down, as well as six bars and restaurants, including one that features a live flamenco show.
Marbella Hotel, inspired by the popular holiday destination in Spain's Andalusia region, will also house a number of swimming pools, including one just for suite guests, a private beach and on-site water sports.
The resort plans to immerse visitors in the culture and colour of the Mediterranean country, with language, dance and cooking classes on offer.
A signature spa, meanwhile, will be inspired by Spain's Moorish heritage, with a hammam, sauna treatment rooms, temperature-regulated pools, scented showers and a relaxation room.
“The development of Marbella Hotel adheres to our unparalleled vision to bring the best of European experiences to visitors, right here in Dubai,” said Josef Kleindienst, chairman of Kleindienst Group.
“Marbella Hotel will deliver a dynamic combination accompanied by the unmistakable music and dance that make Spain an indelible country from which we’ve drawn the greatest elements for our destination vision.”
Development on The World Islands has repeatedly stalled in the years following its construction in 2003 and handover to developers in 2008.
Kleindienst Group, however, revealed work on Marbella Hotel is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, though no opening date for the resort was given.
Located four kilometres off the coast of Dubai, The Heart of Europe consists of seven islands and is planned to have 15 hotels and resorts in total, plus 4,000 holiday homes and a snow plaza.
Located on Main Europe, the largest of the project's islands, Marbella Hotel will be within walking distance of the Rainy Street, a boulevard announced last year that can create year-round rainfall on demand.
The island will also be home to two more resorts inspired by southern Europe: the family-friendly Portofino and the upmarket Cote d'Azur hotels.