Dubai: Proposed moon-shaped resort could have Burj Khalifa-like shows

Guests will be able to experience zero gravity, walk on a 'lunar surface' or take a ride in a rover — if the $5-billion project opens


Sahim Salim

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Published: Mon 12 Sep 2022, 7:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 12 Sep 2022, 11:36 PM

Only 12 humans have been to the moon. But what if the lunar experience could be brought down to Earth in the form of a destination resort for the millions of others?

At least that’s what one Canada-based architectural design and intellectual property licensor plans to do. And Dubai is a “forerunner” location for one of four destination resorts that the company plans to license.

With all the architectural marvels that the UAE is home to, it is not difficult to imagine a sphere-shaped structure here.

In this image, the Moon World Resorts Inc. (MWR) has depicted the resort in Downtown Dubai right at the site of the Burj Khalifa:

Michael Henderson, one of the two entrepreneurs behind the concept, told Khaleej Times that the project is “large, highly complex and totally unique”.

Towering over 200 metres, with a 198-metre sphere diameter, the project is set to feature 4,000 “luxury resort suites”. It will incorporate boutique private residences, with 300 units available for purchase — housed internally within the main superstructure disc buildings. Owners will be members of an exclusive club who will “enjoy exclusive privileges”.

Here is how the hotel looks from a design perspective:

Recreating the moon

When asked what material would be used to create the facade of the building to best replicate the moon and its craters, Henderson said: “We will use a carbon fibre composite material which is extremely strong and durable. It will also be incorporated with solar cells to generate power.”

The surface will be illuminated, and can be used to depict the various phases of the moon. “We also have multiple display options similar to the Burj Khalifa light shows. The entire (building) can become the UAE flag,” he added.

What would go into building Moon Dubai

MWR plans to license four Moon Destination Resorts around the globe: One each in North America, Europe, MENA and Asia. Here is the resort as depicted in Las Vegas:

For the MENA region, MWR is considering the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The company puts the construction budget at $5 billion, with an annual revenue projection of $1.8 billion.

If sanctioned, Moon Dubai “will welcome at least 10 million annual visitations”, according to the co-founder of MWR.

He stressed that the fully integrated resort will be constructed to a LEED Gold five-star standard and “operated at a five-diamond level”.

Regional licensees may choose to have Moon developed as a standalone resort or as a central focal point surrounded by a mixed-use community — “similar to the relationship between the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai”.

When asked, how soon the resort can be constructed, he said: “If we assume a regional licensee and regulatory authorities are on board, and a suitable piece of land is identified, Moon requires a 12-month pre-development programme followed by a 48-month build-out. If we assume, we are a go by 2022 year-end, the doors could open by 2027.”

Zero gravity and what you will find inside

Henderson promises a “seemingly never-ending journey of discovery” inside the Moon. As detailed in the brochure, here are some concept interiors:

The resort’s “signature attraction will enable guests to experience walking on the lunar surface while exploring a vast working lunar colony”.

Visitors will also be able to suit up as astronauts and "experience a degree of weightlessness" on the resort's "lunar surface".

"This technology is unique to the Moon. I cannot divulge everything at this point due to third-party agreements. I can share that the astronaut suit you will be wearing on the Moon's lunar surface will provide you with a certain percentage of gravity reduction."

Additionally, a water tank and cable system will provide "full zero-gravity sensation".

There is also one ultra-cool experience advertised by the MWR on its social platforms: A unique “hop-on, hop-off lunar rover” that will take visitors around the resort’s authentic lunar colony. And this is how it looks:

As the MWR says, “What a ride!”


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