Copyright: Anantara Resorts, Gerry O'Leary

In Dubai, many traditionally impossible thing, are in fact, possible. Like, seven star hotels rather than five star offerings, and even showers on commercial flights. Also, “islands” that weren’t always “islands”.

Officially dubbed the ‘World Islands’, thanks to their manmade shape now vaguely resembling the world, Dubai’s little island archipelago off the coast is finally readying for visitors, and Anantara has the world’s first luxury hotel on the unique setting.

Of course, it pairs seamlessly with the luxury brand’s epic resort on the Palm. To many, it could become a trip within a trip, offering island vibes, without the hasles.

Copyright: Anantara Resorts, Gerry O’Leary

Dubai’s World Islands

Think of the islands as the Maldives of Dubai, with infinite views and overwater villas galore, just without the truly remote, 5 hour plane ride. The World Islands (artificial) Archipelago is just a mere 15 minute shuttle boat ride from Dubai’s iconic ‘The Palm’, creating possibilities for ‘two in one’ trips.

Dubai created these man made islands, found 3 miles off the UAE coast, in the spirit of the world, with an individual island for each country. Well, sadly, sans Israel. Perhaps that will change, now that tensions have thawed.

Project development, which started in 2003, cost a cool $14bn to date; and conquered 20 square miles of the Persian Gulf in the process. Many World Islands were sold off to private developers and individuals following the financial crisis of 2008.

Copyright: Anantara Resorts, Gerry O’Leary

Anantara Opening World Islands First Luxury Resort

Against all geographic odds, the Anantara World Islands Dubai will be set in “South America”. Remember, these are the “World Islands”, and the Anantara will cover the entire continent of South America, in the shapely archipelago.

The Dubai resort is not being sent many thousands of miles away to the actual South American continent.

Each island(s) represents a continent, and in some cases, will showcase styles and motifs indicative of those places. The European Continent Island will one day feature the Marbella Hotel, complete with caves, Spanish speaking staff and the Euro accepted as primary currency.

Basically, people can pretend they’re somewhere remote for a few days, but then take the 15 minute shuttle into the Palm, enjoying all the hospitality of Dubai proper.

So about those (artificial islands). The South American Island, which will host the new ‘Anantara World Islands Resort Dubai’, is sure to be an instant hit. Anantara says each villa guest will have their own pool, dining area and direct access to the beach.

See, it’s the Maldives without the trip!

An official opening date hasn’t yet been announced, but Anantara says to expect the resort in Q4 of this year, perhaps just in time for a winter holiday getaway. Many other World Island development projects have stalled, but if Anantara really can create an island paradise, without the hassles of getting there, perhaps not for long.

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