Zanzibar Domino

client : Zanzibar Government, AICL Group & Crowland Management Ltd.
branding : Multi-brand strategy
services : Lead Design Architect, Interiors, Branding & PR
typology : Mixed-Use Destination Planning
location : People's Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba


Positioned as one of Africa’s first truly iconic global destinations for tourism, branded living and entertainment, culture and conferencing, the Zanzibar Domino will offer visitors, residents and businesses a multi-faceted program designed to create year-round distinctive experiences, professional pathways and investment opportunities. As an extension of the city, this destination will seek to enrich the cultural urban matrix with music, artisans, exhibitions and history while integrating best industry practice and environmental standards.

Project Description. Linked by a high and low bridge structure, the development is planned over three key sites: the Arrivals Plaza, Zanzibar Domino and Island Resort, each with distinct identities and uses that script the guest experience pathway in a seamless curated journey from arrival to destination.

The Arrivals Plaza. The Arrivals Plaza acts as a stage-set triage point to segregate traffic on and off the island while offering the immediate context with a world-class shopping and dining environment, where a dedicated experience center will welcome prospective global home buyers interested in the unique branded residential opportunities within the project. In full support of new tax and residency investment schemes the Zanzibar Government promoted in June 2021 in order to boost the Investments Act of 2018, the Arrivals Plaza will be home to unique virtual and VIP boutique office space offering investors with a one-and-only address within an inimitable integrated live-work-play environment.

The Zanzibar Domino Bridge. Designed to fully enhance the experience of reaching the island from the Arrivals Plaza, the Zanzibar Domino Bridge provides the backbone to distribute all transport and key services, and serves as a lighting production platform to fully leverage the destination with a bespoke dynamic lighting scheme offering an infinite palette of effects throughout the year.

Zanzibar Domino. The center of the man-made island is located 1.5km off the main coastal road and radiates out over a 250m radius within which a marina is created to receive incoming yachts and tourism vessels. Starting from the inner marina is a feature Aquarium, Exhibition and Cultural Pavilion as well as an International Conferencing facility for up to 1000 delegates. All non-tower program on the outer spiral contains a mix of retail and food & beverage outlet opportunities, anchor store opportunities, a yacht club and rooftop infinity pool, a marina, as well as a cinema and VIP helipad. Towards the tip of the island is the Zanzibar Domino Eventscape where a unique branded entertainment activation portal called the Electrodom will be positioned; offering a curated mix of music events and shows with giant media screens for live global broadcasts – a concept designed to welcome a large influx of visitors and tourists within a controlled and secured environment. “It’s a ‘live-work-play-celebrate’ approach stresses the project architect Jean-Paul Cassia. “Any project that is made to attract tourism needs to capture the hearts and imagination of people. Culture, art and music play key roles in driving footfall to this incredible destination,” says Olivier Lapidus, xCassia’s Partner and Interior Design Creative Director, and former Artistic Director of fashion labels TED LAPIDUS and LANVIN.

The Zanzibar Domino Tower. The residential program is comprised of 560 units located in two branded residences that rise up towards the hotel apartments, a 5 and 6-star hotel with a total of 360 keys, and towards the pinnacle a dedicated observation platform accessed by panoramic lifts offering visitors with a breathtaking vertical rise to the top. Spas, amenities as well as key MEP floors will provide support and services for the tower residents and guests.

The project’s design will seek to incorporate natural materials and color tones from its context to help it blend into its natural habitat, where biophilia principles will integrate in a combination of green and horticultural walls and water features and where exterior spaces will be designed to enhance the pedestrian experience. In a sweeping descent from the top-down, all hotel and branded residential end-units will have spectacular outer terraces oriented south-southwest for stunning views of Stone Town, the coastline and ethereal Zanzibar sunsets.

The Island, Resort & Wedding Chapel. Privately accessed by either helicopter, boat or by bridge, the Zanzibar Domino Island Resort houses 104 exclusive branded over-water villas ranging in size between 360-500m2 and arranged into 4 distinct clusters, with dedicated concierge kiosks, 4 helipads and berth arrival docks linking the residences to a lighthouse structure that serves as a visual beacon, transport junction and amenities center to the beach and its amenities.

The Island Resort proposes a 3-Par golf course operated by a leading brand along with a clubhouse designed for reception events, F&B and outdoor areas capable of accommodating up to 800 people in spectacular settings. Complimenting this program will be three small pavilions showcasing Zanzibar’s endemic butterflies, botanical variety and an orchard where local organic produce will be grown exclusively for the project and residents.

Accessible through an over-water bridge and supported by the Club House Reception, the Zanzibar Domino Wedding Chapel occupies a private islet and will play host to key life moments for unions of all faith within a picture-perfect setting that captures the entire project, views in all directions and crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean.

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