Dubai has recently revealed its ambitious plan to construct a replica of the moon at a staggering cost of $4 billion. The primary objective of this project is to have a significant impact on the economy of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The visionary behind the so-called “MOON” project is Canadian entrepreneur Michael Henderson. At the heart of the venture will be an awe-inspiring replica of the moon, towering at a height of 274 meters, perched atop a 30-meter building in Dubai.
The interior of the moon replica will be transformed into a massive resort complex, boasting a remarkable 4,000-room hotel, an impressive 10,000-capacity arena, a lively nightclub, and a state-of-the-art wellness center — adding to the allure, visitors will be treated to an extraordinary experience that simulates walking on the moon through a meticulously designed ‘lunar colony’.
Capitalization on multiple sectors
Henderson, co-founder of Moon World Resorts Inc and the driving force behind this visionary project exudes confidence in the moon brand. Despite being in its early stages, he claims that their brand has already garnered recognition worldwide.
With an estimated price tag of $4.28 billion, the MOON Dubai project aims to attract a staggering 2.5 million guests annually. Henderson, alongside co-founder Sandra G Matthews, firmly believes that this influx of visitors will have far-reaching effects on various sectors of the UAE’s economy, particularly in the realm of tourism.
In a joint statement, they expressed their intentions to capitalize on multiple sectors, including transportation, commercial and residential real estate, infrastructure, financial services, aviation and space, energy, MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions), agriculture, technology, and education.
Emphasizing its significance, they assert that the project will be the largest and most successful tourism endeavor in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, effectively doubling the annual number of tourists visiting Dubai — the global appeal, brand recognition, and unique integrated offerings are poised to position the MOON project as an unrivaled attraction.
Reports suggest that the structure may even house a potential casino; although gambling remains prohibited in the UAE, notable establishments such as Caesar’s Palace have already established their presence or are in the process of developing projects in Dubai. Furthermore, Wynn Resorts has set its sights on constructing a $3.9 billion resort in Ras al-Khaimah, located north of Dubai, with plans to introduce gambling by 2027. These developments indicate that a shift in the UAE’s gambling laws may be on the horizon.
Middle East expert Christopher Davidson, renowned author of “From Sheikhs to Sultanism,” suggests that the MOON project aligns seamlessly with the legitimacy formula embraced by Dubai’s ruling elite. Despite being a non-democratic elite, their unwavering faith in science and progress serves as a powerful legitimizing force. Davidson believes that a monumental undertaking like the MOON project meets all the criteria and is likely to be met with great acclaim.
Dubai’s ambitious $4 billion MOON project can indeed make a substantial impact on the UAE’s economy. With its extravagant features, innovative lunar colony, and a wide array of offerings, the project may attract millions of curious visitors annually, symbolizing Dubai’s unwavering commitment to progress and development.