It seems the construction boom in bustling Dubai is far from over – plans are now afoot to construct what will likely be the world’s largest underwater luxury hotel. If Polish company Deep Ocean Technology’s (DOT) plans come to fruition, however, guests could one day find themselves asleep beneath the waters of the Persian Gulf.
Deep Ocean technology indicates that “Water Discus Hotels comprise two discs – an underwater and above-water one. This combination will allow guests to admire the depths of the ocean while making the most of the warm climate. The two parts of the structure are connected by three solid legs and a vertical shaft containing a lift and stairway.”
Each hotel will have 21 bedrooms in the lower disc and the underwater element is closely connected to its marine environment through a diving platform. Each room has been designed the way that guest can experience the underwater world as closely as possible. Clearly this will be a hotel with an element of exclusivity, and ease of access has been guaranteed with a heliport located on the top of the upper disc. Sure there will be much more to discover about the water. The diving centre will be accessed through an underwater airlock, leading divers straight into the ocean. There’ll also be a decompression chamber for training purposes, DOT explains, while guests will also be able to take a course in piloting an underwater vehicle. The modular construction of the hotel will enable it to be expanded or even moved to a new location, according to DOT. Safety is a primary concern in the design, and this even takes into account the effects of a tsunami. For added safety, surface discs will be buoyant and detachable from the main structure to act as lifeboats should disaster strike. A large central shaft connects the submerged and surface discs and contains both an elevator and stairs for easy access between levels.
To bring this fantasy complex into being, DOT, with the help of Swiss firm BIG InvestConsult AG, turned to local shipyard Drydocks World, which will be tasked with constructing the futuristic disc-shaped hotel. The underwater portion, with about 11,000 square feet (1,000 square meters) of usable area, will house 21 two-guest rooms, and sit about 33 feet (10 m) below the waves. Plans also call for a diving centre complete with decompression chamber and air locks, a spa, a spacious garden, open terraces above the waterline, and even a helipad atop one of the surface discs for guests who wish to arrive by air.
Bogdan Gutkowski, President of BIG, says: “Additionally we would like to create here in the UAE the International Environmental Program and Centre of the Underwater World Protection – with Water Discus Hotel as a laboratory tool for oceans and seas environment protection and research”
The Water Discus won’t be the world’s first underwater hotel – there is already one in the Maldives and another in Florida. However, it will be the world’s largest and the first to be built in Dubai.