by Matt Alderton | September 12, 2017
You don't have to go to Italy to experience Venice: Soon you'll be able to go to the Middle East instead. That's thanks to developer Kleindienst Group, which yesterday announced plans to build what it calls "the world's first underwater luxury vessel resort" in Dubai, inspired by the canals of Venice.

Called "The Floating Venice," the $680 million resort will be located in The World islands, an artificial archipelago located approximately 2.5 miles off the coast of Dubai. With capacity for 3,000 people daily, it will boast 414 luxury cabins, 12 restaurants and bars, a spa, 24 pools, and 12 floating beaches, all of which will be spread across four decks -- one of which will be underwater.

Guests will arrive by boat, seaplane, or helicopter, and will be able to traverse the resort either on gondolas imported from Venice or on foot using canal-side walkways and bridges.

To ensure views underwater are as spectacular as those above water, Kleindienst Group will plant over 400,000 square feet of corals from its own onsite coral nursery.

"As a developer, our vision supports and aligns with Dubai's ambition to be a leading global destination and home of innovation as the world's most forward-thinking city," said Kleindienst Group Chairman Josef Kleindienst. "I am extremely excited and proud of The Floating Venice. Our aim is to enhance the landscape of real estate and hospitality and deliver a new iconic experience. The Floating Venice is the epitome of this innovation and spirit, the world's first luxury underwater vessel resort."

Construction on The Floating Venice will commence in the first quarter of 2018, with a scheduled opening in the fourth quarter of 2020.