Plans to construct an undersea hotel in Dubai were given the go-ahead at the beginning of May. The hotel, which wouldn’t be out of place in a sci-fi novel, has been named the Water Discus Hotel and will add a new twist to Dubai’s already distinctive hotel offering.
Deep Ocean Technology (DOT) are the brains behind the design of the hotel which will feature an elegant restaurant, helipad, terrace, spa and reception area in discs situated above the surface of the water. The hotel’s 21 luxury rooms complete with full, undersea view windows will be situated ten meters beneath the waves. The two parts of the structure are connected by three solid legs and a vertical shaft containing a lift and stairway.
An Artists Impression
The hotel has been designed in a modular fashion which is beneficial in a number of ways. Each disc or module is an independent structure featuring a usable area of approximately 1000sqm’s. Given that each disc is independent, the hotel can be arranged and expanded as needs dictate.
According to DOT, the modular design allows for such complexes to be constructed anywhere in the world and each can be built to accommodate local conditions such as the shape of coastlines and water depth. Moreover, if any environmental or socio-political changes occur, the modules can be easily transferred to a more favourable location.
DOT adds that the hotel has been designed according to the highest safety standards and will be permanently monitored. The hotel has also been designed in such a way that it can withstand severe weather and will remain intact even in the event of a fairly high tsunami.
Additionally, in the event of any danger, the underwater portion of the hotel has been designed to automatically surface. Each of the satellite discs can also be used as ‘life rafts’ as they are positively buoyant and can be detached from the main body of the upper disc should flooding occur.
If you can get past the thoughts of claustrophobia and flooding, it sounds as if the discus will have much to offer. Unsurprisingly, guests will be able to take advantage of a number of water related amenities including a four metre deep diving pool, a submerged dive centre and a cave and wreck diver training facility.
Guests will also be able to play with explorer robots which will enable guests to interact with marine life from the comfort of their rooms. Motor boats, jet skiing, underwater scooters and submersibles will also be available. All rooms will feature high-speed Internet access and the complex will be equipped with a ship radio station system and satellite telephone. No expense will be spared in terms of outfitting the hotel which will be aimed at the wealthy segment of the tourist market.
As wonderful as the undersea hotel sounds, it needs to be viewed in the context that it is not the first hotel of this nature which has been planned. Over the years, a number of similar projects have been announced, all of which have quietly disappeared as the global economic crisis took its toll on Dubai’s coffers. The fact that a specific construction date has yet to be set for the hotel coupled with the knowledge that the euro zone is being destabilised by Greece once again casts a shadow of doubt over whether or not Discus will really ever come into being.