Sun, sand and snow: Dubai’s open-air winter wonderland

Marion Dakers
DUBAI, the desert state where luxury comes as standard and temperatures can easily soar over 40 degrees centigrade, is set to get its first snow-lined streets in an ambitious building project.

Developers have broken ground on the Heart of Europe, part of a string of islands made from reclaimed land off the Dubai coast that are known as The World.

Kleindienst Group, which is attempting to build on the six islands that make up the Heart of Europe, hopes to offer five-star hotels, restaurants and other visitor attractions under its $850m (£516m) scheme.

The developments will lie under the “only outdoor climate controlled areas in the world”, a spokesperson for Kleindienst told media in the emirate. As well as snow, Europe’s rainy days will be also be recreated

Buildings on each island will reflect the architecture of its eponymous country, and with building work only just underway, a completion date has been set for 2016.

Nakheel, the state-run developer that created The Palm and began The World project in 2003, ran into difficulty during the property bust that battered Dubai in 2009. The firm has sold an undisclosed number of the 300 man-made islands that make up the development.

The project is one of Dubai’s biggest and most prolific land reclamations. The 6m square foot plot is nine kilometres wide and seven long and will offer 67km of beach front.

It follows Dubai’s spectacular reclaimed island The Palm.