Floating house designed for problematic The World project in Dubai

An unique five bed property that can float has been unveiled by a Dubai based joint venture that believes it could work well for The World project in the emirate.

The ‘Ome is a floating home on a monocoque type structure which is designed to meet maritime regulations and those of The World developer Nakheel.

It has been put together by Atoll Floating Islands, a joint venture between Palmerstone and Donald Starkey Designs.

The first 'Ome will be available in a 32m diameter form, comprising an upper and lower deck configuration, the company said in a statement.

The ‘Ome will feature five bedrooms, large open planning living areas and a central 10 meter diameter seawater pool encompassing more than 1,400 square meters of usable living space.

‘The unique prospect of owning an island on The World brings its own set of challenges and we believe we have created something that will deal with all the considerations that island owners have to deal with when it comes to developing their island. The ‘Ome provides the infrastructure for the entire island, without the need to break ground,’ explained Starkey.

Each ‘Ome will be self sustainable, with power, water and waste management included as part of the overall design. It will have photovoltaic cells on its roof which will enable the property to be completely self powered.

Atoll estimates that each ‘Ome would be capable of producing enough energy to power six large households, approximately 30,000 kW of renewable energy. Service and towing support to move the ‘Ome will be provided by a facilities management company, Atoll added.

It is planned that ‘Omes will be built on the Dubai mainland, but the design is applicable to almost any coastal location, and the company is considering the potential for builds in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and other island or remote beach locations around the globe.

Graham Henderson, owner of Palmerstone and the developer of the ‘Ome, said it was estimated that each ‘Ome will take around 22 months to deliver.

‘Costs are anticipated to be less than building a yacht of comparable size, but the option of an ‘Ome means you are not required to purchase a mooring as you own one already, and so can use the ‘Ome as a conventional home, with your own choice of sea front views having created your own personal beach,’ he explained.

Henderson, formerly a senior development manager on Nakheel’s Palm Jumeirah, said the design could aid buyers on troubled island project The World by offering an infrastructure solution without the need to break ground.

Construction on the offshore plots ground to a virtual standstill in the wake of the economic downturn, which saw real estate prices in Dubai fall more than 60% from their peak. Many buyers have failed to begin development on their islands.
 
‘I was intimately involved in The World’s first villa so I know what the problems are. I know how much time was lost shipping material over and back and getting people to the island and the real issues with water, power and generators,’ added Henderson.