A moon-shaped mega-resort has made headlines this week following speculation it is coming to Dubai.
Plans reveal Moon World Resorts could be a luxury lunar complex, standing 200 metres tall with a 600-metre circumference.
The emirate is known for its supersized buildings and love of luxury resorts — and with the new concept having capacity to handle 10 million annual visitors, it’s easy to see why the two might be a good match.
However, there are currently no concrete plans for the resort to open in Dubai, according to Michael Henderson, one of two Canadian entrepreneurs behind the project.
Instead, the company is looking to license four Moon destination resorts in North America, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and Asia.
“Within the Mena region we could see Moon being developed in either the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain or Kuwait,” Henderson tells The National.
Designed to bring an affordable and authentic space tourism experience to enthusiasts around the globe, Moon will cost a staggering $5 billion to construct, with an annual revenue projection of $1.8 billion.
10 million annual visitors, $1.8 billion revenue
With the capacity to handle millions of annual visitors, no matter where it finally lands in the region, Moon could be the most visited attraction in the Mena region.
Dubai is a possible location with the company producing artwork depicting it in the site of the city's unfinished Dubai Pearl project. A similar one has also been produced for Downtown Dubai, but other cities in the Middle East could also be where the Moon finds its home.
“For many compelling reasons the UAE would be logical with perhaps Dubai being the front-runner,” said Henderson.
“Abu Dhabi would also be another perfect location for Moon within the UAE.”
The corporations that take on each regional licence will determine the precise location for the Moon resorts which can act as stand-alone destination resorts, or as a central focal point surrounded by a mixed use community “similar to the relationship between the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai” said Henderson.
Once a licence has been approved and location selected, space enthusiasts will have to wait another five years before the resorts will be ready to welcome guests.
Operating under the tagline “because you’ve been everywhere else,” Moon resorts will offer travellers an authentic lunar surface to explore, without having to travel outside the stratosphere.
Hyper-speed shuttles, water-filled lagoons and luxury villas
A hyper-speed shuttle will whizz guests around the sprawling destination and a working "lunar colony" will allow visitors to feel as if they are standing on the moon's surface, reveals the project brochure.
Plans include incorporating restaurants, nightclubs, bars, a spa, a convention centre and a 10,000 seat arena inside and there will also be five-star hotel suites. The upper terrace will be home to a beach club-style area, water-filled lagoons and endless greenspaces.
For those who want to shoot for the moon, Sky Villas are the destination's take on private residences.
Each of these 300 luxury apartments will be located inside the disc of the main building, and all residence owners will be enrolled in an exclusive Moon private members club.
“Potential regional licensees for Moon will be major global forward-thinking corporations capable of funding its $5 billion build, and moreover operating Moon to the highest standards,” said Henderson.