Already a top international tourist location, the Emirate of Dubai has decided to take its hotel business to another level: one below the sea. Drydocks World, a Dubai-based shipbuilding company, has signed on to develop a number of underwater hotels. The project will be funded by Swiss firm BIG InvestConsult AG, which specializes in renewable energy and offshore industry.
The first of the planned hotels is the “Water Discus Hotel,” which will be comprised of a pair of disc-shaped structures, one above the water and one below. Submerged elevators and stairways will connect the surface structure to the lower disc. The hotel will host guests in 21 rooms, with space for a dive center and a bar, all sitting 3 stories beneath the water. Each room will feature unique lighting, allowing visitors to view and photograph the sea-life that surrounds the hotel.
According to Drydocks World chairman Khamis Juma Buamim, the Water Discus Hotel will be just the beginning, as the two firms plan on building two developments in the Middle East, with five hotels attached. According to the Vancouver Sun, Buamim told reporters, “We are in the design and fabrication side of the project…it’s the same concept as rigs. This project has seven different types of designs and (each will cost in) the range of around $50 million to $120 million. The amount varies on the design.”
Dubai is known for taking on expansive and innovative building projects though some—like the planned self-sustaining rotating skyscraper—remain more science fiction than reality. Even so, progression in the name of luxury is still progression and Drydocks Worlds hopes to be at the forefront.