Saudi firm funding boat-shaped hospital project

Staff will wear marine uniforms to give the feel of a cruise ship

White Sails Hospital and Spa.
White Sails Hospital and Spa.

Saudi Arabian investors Lalei Al Barakah Est. are backing a project to build a grand sailing boat-shaped hospital in Tunisia's new Economic City.

White Sails Hospital and Spa is the grandoise brainchild of 38-year-old Russian billionaire, Vasily Klyukinis, who aims to make it "the most pleasant hospital in the world".

Doctors and nurses will have to wear marine-style uniforms - all part of his concept to make patients feel like they are guests on a cruise ship.

Four skyscrapers will be the “sails”, and the whole building will sit on a lake.

Tunisia Economic City (TEC) was announced on 10 September and is inspired by Dubai's industy-based business areas, such as Knowledge City, Internet City and Media City.

It is being funded by the Tunisian Government which is ploughing $50bn into the scheme.

Mr Klyukin, co-founder of Russian commercial bank Sovcombank, is an experienced yacht-designer, but White Sails will be his first building project.

He dreamed up the idea during a spell of hospital health checks ahead of his trip into space with Virgin Galactic next year.

"Every time I'm approaching the white building of the clinic, I don't feel any joy," he said.

"But I would like to show you the hospital, where there is no room for fear. And so that my son could ask about this hospital: 'Daddy, when will we visit the ship again?'"

The project will be constructed by New York-based engineering firm, Thornton Tomasetti.

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