A new hotel preparing to open its doors in Dubai's Heart of Europe development will provide an international feel for visitors – even those on a UAE staycation.
The Marbella Hotel, which is expected to be completed in time for Expo 2020 Dubai, aims to transport guests to another world, or at least another continent.
Staff at the hotel, which is expected to open fully in 2022/2023, will be Spanish speakers and euros will be used as the main currency.
The vast resort will have a Spanish language and cooking school, while guests can learn the art of flamenco dancing.
Developers said hotel apartment units were not yet for sale and the sales launch is planned to take place during the Expo event.
Earlier this year, The National was told that the first phase of the Heart of Europe would be open to the public in time for Expo 2020.
That was despite several delays on the project, not least because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Kleindienst Group, who are the developers behind The Heart of Europe, said the Spanish-themed hotel is now 50 per cent complete.
“Construction at The Heart of Europe has been happening at a tangible pace, despite the pandemic,” said said Josef Kleindienst, chairman of The Kleindienst Group.
“The 50 per cent completion of the Marbella project structure marks the strong development of Phase 2 at The Heart of Europe.
“As construction of the Marbella Hotel powers ahead within The Heart of Europe – the $5 billion prime hospitality and paradise second home destination amid The World islands is one step closer to its worldwide debut.”
The Heart of Europe is a six-island cluster, four kilometres off the Dubai coast, which is part of the World Islands – a project that was first announced in 2003.
The cluster is also home to a beach palace known as Sweden Island, which sold for Dh100 million ($27.22m) before the pandemic, and floating villas, referred to as seahorses, which have realised prices of up to Dh20 million each.
It was reported in 2018 that one of the floating villas, near the Burj Al Arab, had sunk. But Mr Kleindienst was quick to emphasise that it was actually an events platform that had collapsed into the sea.
American actress Lindsay Lohan announced, in 2018, that she was going to build her own themed resort, Lindsayland, on the World Islands. She later deleted her announcement on Instagram despite receiving 20,000 likes.