Developers in Dubai are revisiting plans to build an underwater hotel off the coast that wouldn’t look out of place in a sci-fi film.
Artist impressions of the ‘Water Discus Hotel’ – which looks like a spaceship on stilts – have been unveiled by Deep Ocean Technology, which holds the technology rights to the project.
Under the plans, half of the hotel’s dual-disc shaped structure would be submerged – with a dive centre, bar and 21 rooms built 10 metres below the water surface, allowing guests to enjoy ‘ocean views’, literally.
By day, guests would be able to take the lift or stairs up to the hotel’s upper disc-shaped building – which would lie 7 metres above the surface – and take in the beach views from the restaurant and spa.
The ‘disc’ building above the water would also be connected to satellites, which could be used as a landing pad for helicopters.
The companies behind the development include Drydocks World, a division of state-owned investment firm, Dubai World and Swiss company BIG InvestConsult.
Will the project ever see the light of day?
Cynics of the new venture won’t be holding their breath.
Drydocks World – the shipbuilding arm of Dubai World and the main contractor behind the project only last month filed for insolvency protection to help restructure its debts.
But the company hopes its latest venture – which is still at the design stage – will help turn its fortunes around.
Khamis Juma Buamim, chairman of Drydocks World told reporters that the plan also includes building other similar underwater hotels around the world – including a complex in Doha.
A similarly ambitious project to build a luxury 220-suite hotel called ‘Hydropolis’ 60 feet underwater off the coast of Dubai began in 2006. But the project never got off the ground.
Underwater hotels are not a new idea.
Fiji is home to the world’s first underwater sea resort – Poseidon – built 40 below the water surface off a private island.
Also, while not fully underwater, Conrad Maldives Rengali Islands resort features an underwater restaurant.
And luxury brand Per AQUUM runs an underwater spa and club at its Maldivian resorts, Huvafen Fushi and Niyama respectively.