£4.28billion Moon Replica: See what DUBAI is doing
This artist rendering shows the $5 billion project, MOON envisioned on the Dubai Pearl, a coveted plot of land at the base of The Palm Jumeirah. A proposed $5 billion real estate project wants to take skyscraper-studded Dubai to new heights by bringing a part of the heavens down to Earth. Canadian entrepreneur Michael Henderson envisions building a 274-meter (900-foot) replica of the moon atop a 30-meter (100-foot) building in Dubai, already home to the world’s tallest building and other architectural wonders. (Michael Henderson/Moon World Resorts via AP)
The Moon replica could contain a hotel, nightclub and casino (Picture: AP)
A resort in Dubai is looking to make space tourism possible without ever setting foot in a rocket ship, by building a giant replica of the moon on top of a skyscraper.
Canadian entrepreneur Michael Henderson envisions building a 274-metre (900-foot) replica of the moon atop a 30-metre (100-foot) building in Dubai, already home to the world’s tallest building and other architectural wonders.
Henderson’s project, dubbed MOON, may sound out of this world, but it could easily fit into the futuristic city-state.
The moon-shaped mega-resort is estimated to cost around the equivalent of £4.28billion and hopes to draw in a whopping 2.5million guests a year, featuring a nightclub and wellness centre.
This artist rendering shows the $5 billion project, MOON envisioned on The Palm Jumeirah island in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A proposed $5 billion real estate project wants to take skyscraper-studded Dubai to new heights by bringing a part of the heavens down to Earth. Canadian entrepreneur Michael Henderson envisions building a 274-meter (900-foot) replica of the moon atop a 30-meter (100-foot) building in Dubai, already home to the world’s tallest building and other architectural wonders. (Michael Henderson/Moon World Resorts via AP)
The Moon would sit on a giant pedestal-like building and glow at night (Picture: AP)
Its huge size – the circumference of the sphere is planned to 622-metres – means it may well be able to bring in over £1.5billion in just a single year.
And even though a previous boom-and-bust cycle in the arabic city saw many grand projects collapse, Henderson and others suggest his vision, funded by Moon World Resorts Inc., where he is the co-founder, might not be that far-fetched.
‘We have the biggest “brand” in the world,’ Henderson said, claiming that the moon itself was his brand. ‘Eight billion people know our brand, and we haven’t even started yet.’
The project Henderson proposes includes a destination resort inside the spherical structure, complete with a 4,000-room hotel, an arena capable of hosting 10,000 people and a ‘lunar colony’ that would give guests the sensation of actually walking on the moon.
The MOON would sit on a pedestal-like circular building beneath it and would glow at night. Henderson discussed the project at the Arabian Travel Market earlier in May in Dubai.
In an earlier statement, Henderson and co-founder Sandra G Matthews said Moon Dubai will ‘significantly impact every aspect of the UAE’s economy, including tourism’.
Also targeted are ‘transportation, commercial and residential real estate, infrastructure, financial services, aviation and space, energy, MICE, agriculture, technology and of course education’.
The founders continued: ‘[It] will be the largest and most successful modern-day tourism project in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, doubling annual tourism visitations to Dubai based on its global appeal, brand awareness and unique multiple integrated offerings.’
Like other high-profile, eye-catching marvels, the MOON could fit well into ‘the legitimacy formula of Dubai’s ruling elite,’ said Christopher Davidson, a Middle East expert who wrote the recent book ‘From Sheikhs to Sultanism.’ Dubai also hosts the UAE’s space centre, which has sent a probe to Mars and unsuccessfully tried to put a rover on the moon.
‘They can be seen as a non-democratic elite but nonetheless believe strongly in science and progress — and that’s ultimately very legitimising and a megaproject like this would seem to tick all of those boxes,’ Davidson said.
Henderson’s plan would go a step further than other globe-shaped projects, such as the MSG Sphere, a $2.3 billion dome blanketed by LED screens, that is set to open in Las Vegas later this year.
His structure would be fully spherical, and could be illuminated alternatively as a full, half or crescent moon.
The brightness may not go down well with potential neighbours — plans to build another MSG Sphere in London were halted after residents protested the significant light pollution and disruption the structure would cause.
‘It’s hard to please everybody,” Henderson acknowledged. “You might need dark curtains.’