By Katherine McLaughlin September 13, 2022
The words “moon resort” may evoke images of some kind of luxury accommodations requiring rocket ship travel that won’t be built until decades or centuries from now. However, a new proposal from Canada-based company Moon World Resorts Inc. imagines this idea a little closer to home—you’d only have to travel to Dubai, and you certainly wouldn’t need to wait decades to visit. Named “MOON,” the project envisions a 735-foot-tall mixed-use building in the shape of Earth’s only natural satellite. Designed like a hyper-realistic take on the Epcot globe at Disney World, the developers are in talks to bring MOON to four global locations, currently expecting the first to be in Dubai. Though any official plans are yet to be finalized, the company’s founders are optimistic. “From an architectural, engineering, and design perspective, MOON can be built,” Michael R. Henderson, MOON cofounder, tells AD.
Inside, guests will find a full-service destination resort in addition to approximately 300 private residences available for purchase. Drawings on social media also depict plans for a nightclub, event center, spa, retail space, and piano lounge, among other amenities. However, the main attraction isn’t a hotel room or dance floor, but a lunar surface simulation that lets guests experience the sensation of space exploration firsthand. “MOON will form the bridge, delivering an affordable and entirely authentic space tourism experience millions of enthusiasts around planet Earth have been patiently waiting for,” Henderson says. The company even hopes to establish MOON as an authentic training location for various space agencies.
In essence, the structure is made up of two distinct sections: a spherical base volume built from three “stacked” disks and the lunar orb. In the base, guests will find amenities like the spa, convention center, and the hotel lobby. All of the suites—4,000 total—are contained within the orb. While none will have traditional windows to the outside world, the developers envision electronic “windows,” that give guests the opportunity to look out onto whatever they want.
Like a moon resort in outer space—or any genuine galactic travel, for that matter—bringing the project to life will require billions of dollars. “Potential regional licensees for MOON will be major, global, forward-thinking corporations capable of funding its $5 billion build-out,” Henderson explains. A hefty price tag, no doubt, but the company credits a growing interest in space tourism as evidence that a destination like this is a worthy project. If it comes to fruition, Moon would be constructed to LEED Gold five-star standard, according to Henderson.
Henderson and his cofounder, Sandra G. Matthews, first started Moon World Resorts Inc. in 2000, around the same time many private space exploration companies were established. (Jeff Bezos’s BlueOrigins was founded in 2000, Elon Musk’s SpaceX in 2002, and Virgin Galactic in 2004.) Around this time, space tourism was just being conceived, Henderson explains. “Space is really hard. It has taken Blue Origin, SpaceX, and Virgin Galactic until now to really get things happening—we are no different,” he says. Luckily, MOON has one big marketing advantage as it inches further into the global marketplace. “We’re fortunate to enjoy the largest billboard ever created.”