Swiss heritage hospitality brand Kempinski is breaking with tradition to launch an ultra-luxury floating hotel off the coast of Dubai, complete with seaworthy satellite villas. Jenny Southan reports

Set to open in 2023, luxury hotel group Kempinski is planning to open a floating hotel in Dubai, complete with 12 satellite “houseboat villas” surrounding it that can embark on their own micro voyages along the coast.

The Kempinski Floating Palace, as it will be known, will be positioned next to one of the most exclusive beach stretches in the emirate on Jumeirah Beach Road and will be built by Emirati company Seagate Shipyard.

Arriving guests will be transported to the 156-room hotel by speed boat (either their own or the Kempinski’s) with drop offs at a mooring deck for up to 16 yachts. There will also be a floating helipad for chopper transfers.

The hotel’s main building will be arranged in four parts. At its centre will be a glass pyramid atrium, under which will be waterside gourmet restaurants, bars, a spa, pools, boutiques and banquet areas. There will even be space for yachts to sail in and out.Meanwhile, the 12 floating villas will be connected to the main building by pontoons. Some will be for sale, while other will be available for short-term stays by hotel guests.

Each of the two-floor floating residences will have between two and four bedrooms, plus a roof terrace, indoor and outdoor living rooms, panoramic windows, smart home technology and infinity pools. There will also be accommodation for staff and crew.

What’s really interesting is that the seaworthy villas can also move to new locations, cruising at a maximum speed of six nautical miles thanks to solar panels that provide emission-free power.Mohamed El Bahrawy, CEO and founder of Seagate Shipyard, said: “It is thrilling to see, that for the first time a brand of the calibre of Kempinski will manage a floating hotel of such magnitude, and we are confident that our hotel will soon be one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai. It will undoubtedly occupy an iconic position among floating hotels all over the world.” Seagate Shipyard was founded in 2017 in Dubai and considers itself to be a pioneer in building of floating facilities in the region. Kempinski’s floating hotel will be constructed in dry docks in Dubai before being installed in the sea.

The company is supported by the experience of sister company Giza Shipyard, the leading Egyptian company in building and maintaining floating facilities since 1984 in more than ten countries around the world.

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