A sanctioned Russian oligarch's €116 million Greek island, once owned by Aristotle Onassis, is set to become a €1 million-a-week mega-resort for the wealthy elite.
Dmitry Rybolovlev has been plotting to transform the private island of Skorpios into a luxury resort featuring a helipad, a marina for super-yachts, a football pitch, horse stables and much more.
The ambitious VIP Exclusive Club project was approved by the Greek government in December 2020 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023, ready to welcome its first guests in the summer of 2024.
Initially predicted to set the oligarch back around €130 million, local media in Greece now report that the investment will exceed €240 million.
The Art Newspaper reports that there will be no more than 50 guests staying at a time who will each have to fork out up to €1 million a week to holiday on the luxurious island in the Ionian Sea off the west coast of Greece.
Despite being sanctioned by Ukraine due to Russia's invasion, Dmitry Rybolovlev, whose net worth of €6.3 billion, has not faced any consequences from the Western countries. He donated significant humanitarian aid to the Red Cross to distance himself from Putin's actions.
In 2013, Rybolovlev's daughter, Ekaterina, bought the private Greek island of Skorpios, where Jackie Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis, for around €116 million from Athina Onassis Roussel, Onassis' granddaughter and sole heir. Rybolovlev's company, Mykinai SA, plans to build a small beach hotel with 12 rooms and nine properties that will blend into the landscape for privacy and scenic views of the neighbouring islands.
The luxury resort, accessible only by boat or helicopter, will include tennis courts, restaurants, and a spa, with a five-a-side football pitch and an amphitheatre for small-scale events.
Snipers and security cameras will heavily guard the island to ensure maximum security.
Members of the Rybolovlev family will stay in Skorpios for specific periods, while it will be available to rent in the other months, according to Greece Is.
Designed by Norwegian firm Snøhetta – the architecture firm behind the new embodiment of the Library of Alexandria in Egypt and the first underwater restaurant in Europe - the plans will also transform Skorpios into a 'smart' island courtesy of installing a new fibre optic network.
The construction of the remaining projects is estimated to be completed by the summer of 2024.