Real Estate

The Heart of Europe ... Phase One to open this year.

The Heart of Europe ... Phase One to open this year.

First ‘raining street’ opening this year

July 2020

Leading developer Kleindienst Group has started building a 1-km-long climate-controlled Raining Street within its $5-billion masterplanned leisure tourism island destination, The Heart of Europe, located in Dubai, UAE.

An engineering marvel, it will offer year-round rainfall that will reduce the temperature to 27 deg C during the summer season providing cooling. Surrounded by hotels and resorts in the Europe Island, it will become a major tourist attraction when Phase One of the project opens later this year.

The Raining Street will have a boulevard setting filled with street cafes, casual dining restaurants, retail outlets, and fashion and souvenir shops, says Kleindienst Group. It will also host as many as 51 year-round European festivals to enthrall local and international tourists, it adds.

Raining Street ... to open this year in The Heart of Europe.

Raining Street ... to open this year in The Heart of Europe.

A home-grown innovation envisioned by Josef Kleindienst, Chairman of Kleindienst Group, and backed by Fraunhofer Institute, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organisation, the Raining Street is expected to be a game-changer in attracting tourists to the Heart of Europe.

“The Heart of Europe is an innovative and sustainable leisure tourism destination being built on a cluster of seven islands 4 km off the coast of Dubai that will offer the best of European culture, heritage, cuisine and environment,” remarks Kleindienst. “The vision behind the project is to offer the best European experiences to residents and tourists here in the UAE. It is an innovative, iconic and sustainable project. So, when we planned the project way back in 2007-08, we had looked at various possibilities to make it exceptional that is backed by innovative technologies to re-create the European climate in Dubai.”

According to him, the Raining Street is inspired by a 150-year-old architectural concept of Camillo Sitte, an Austrian architect, who proposed to build cities where everything was within walking distance.

“We looked at a number of references for developing ideas and research institutes to support us to transform the vision into reality. After years of research and testing, I am glad to announce that we are now constructing the Raining Street that we expect to deliver as part of Phase One development later this year,” states Kleindienst.

“We are following Sitte’s idea of cities built with streets and boulevards within walkable distances. But to be able to walk from one place to another you should have the right climate, With the temperature ranging between 40 to 50 deg C during summer, people are not going to walk outside. Therefore, we need a technology to create an outdoor climate-controlled area. So, we contacted engineers and consultants from the European institute who visited Dubai in 2008 to understand the climate here and conduct their research,” he adds.

The technology impacts the temperature, humidity and wind to ensure a cooler clime outdoor.

Meanwhile, the Raining Street is also a sustainable project as it uses solar energy and it produces zero carbon emission.

In addition, in one of the plazas on the island, the temperature will be controlled through snow that is produced from water in an environment-friendly process.

Kleindienst said the Raining Street will be strategically located on the main Europe Island, next to the Portofino family hotel, Marbella hotel and the Côte d’Azur resort, a cluster of hotels inspired by the lifestyle from Southern Europe.  The street will cross the island, allowing visitors and families to stroll along the vibrant high street and its line-up of boutique retail offering, all year long, as if in Europe.

The Heart of Europe combines high levels of sustainability with innovation, and will add 15 atmospheric and highly differentiated hotels to the Dubai offering, 4,000 holiday homes, the iconic Floating Seahorse Villas and the beachfront boutique hotels at Cote d’Azur and Portofino resorts.


Floating Seahorse villas are innovative three-storey units that float on water. Their lower floor is completely submerged.

Floating Seahorse villas are innovative three-storey units that float on water. Their lower floor is completely submerged.

Floating Seahorse villas

Kleindienst Group has started rolling out Floating Seahorse villas, the world’s first underwater hotel suites. The Floating Seahorse villas are innovative three-storey real estate units that float on the water while their lower floor is completely submerged under water. A UAE’s home-grown innovation, its three levels have a built-up area of 4,004 sq ft that can accommodate up to eight people.

The underwater level is spacious with two rooms and ensuite bathrooms, featuring two panoramic floor-to-ceiling glass windows that offer captivating views of the coral reefs teeming with marine life from the Arabian Gulf.

Kleindienst Group says the Heart of Europe will host a total of 131 Floating Seahorse villas, of which 78 will be completed as part of Phase One and delivered in the last quarter of 2020.

The sea-level deck offers a large living room with privacy windows allowing for natural light to flow in, panoramic sliding doors opening up to the lounge deck, a ladder to access the sea water, and a clever and sustainable recreational area – a mesh hammock that doubles up as a trampoline and skylit to ensure the corals reef gardens underneath can thrive.

The sky deck boasts panoramic views of the Dubai skyline and the seascape, an outdoor dining area with privacy shades, a jacuzzi and a sun lounge area. The deck is wrapped with a transparent fence, allowing for unobstructed views of the outdoors, adds the developer.

Kleindienst Group says the structure of the Floating Seahorse villa comprises a marine-grade concrete below the surface level and a super-light aluminium skeleton above water and glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) cladding with a high-end glossy yacht finish.

According to the developer, these Floating Seahorse villas also have a 100 years warranty, thanks to the robust waterproof concrete mix. This exclusive and proprietary concrete also allows corals to grow on it which will eventually populate the submerged area with marine life, it adds.

Kleindienst says: “A feat of innovation achieved by a marriage of engineering and imagination, the Floating Seahorse villas are an epitome of timeless design and craftsmanship spread across three levels including a spectacular underwater floor. As well as providing the world’s first floating underwater experience, the Floating Seahorse villas will be home to unique features, state-of-the-art technology and outdoor climate-controlled areas.”

Initially, the Floating Seahorse villas were sold at Dh5 million ($1.36 million) a piece but now prices have appreciated four times over the last few years, he states.

The Floating Seahorse villa prototype was approved and licensed by the authorities last year, following which Kleindienst Group started building them on-site.

“The same Floating Seahorses are now sold at Dh20 million. We have already sold 80 of the 130 units,” reveals Kleindienst. “These Floating Seahorses villas will be operated as luxury suites by us, as part of the lease-back agreements with the buyers, and then put on short-term rental as full-serviced luxury suites.”

The Floating Seahorses villas come in two editions, the Signature Edition whose interiors are designed by The Heart of Europe, thus allowing the client to customise the floor plans and interior design and The Bentley Edition interiors, which are designed by A++ (the Swiss architectural studio licensed by Bentley Home) and furnished with items from Bentley Home collection.

The Floating Seahorse villas will be strategically placed across four destinations in the masterplan and connected via walkways to the festive heart-shaped Honeymoon Island, the vibrant main Europe Island, the Portofino hotel, and the scenic Germany Island with its blue sea water lagoon and white sandy beaches.  

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