Dubai Water Discus hotel will allow guests to sleep underwater


May 4, 2012

The Water Discus underwater hotel, scheduled for construction in Dubai

The Water Discus underwater hotel, scheduled for construction in Dubai

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It seems the construction boom in bustling Dubai is far from over – already home to several world record-holding projects, including the tallest building (for just a little while longer), the largest shopping mall and biggest man-made island, plans are now afoot to construct what will likely be the world's largest underwater luxury hotel, the Water Discus. Several years ago, we reported on another such ambitious project, Hydropolis, which sadly never got past the blueprint stage. 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.

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 center 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.

To address the unpredictability that often comes with projects involving the sea, the entire structure can be moved should environmental (or economic) conditions change. 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. Three adjustable columns add further support to the above-surface portion of the structure, the various discs of which are themselves interchangeable.

Bogdan Gutkowski, President of BIG, imagines the project will have an impact on numerous areas besides the region's tourism. “Water Discus Hotel project opens many new fields of development for the hotel and tourism sector, housing and city sector in the coastal off-shore areas, as well as new opportunities for ecology support by creation of new underwater ecosystems and activities on underwater world protection," he told World Architecture News. "Additionally we would like to create here in the UAE the International Environmental Program and Center of the Underwater World Protection – with Water Discus Hotel as a laboratory tool for oceans and seas environment protection and research.”

Grand plans, indeed.

While the idea of staying underwater is far from new, technology has greatly improved to meet the formidable challenges of sub-marine construction, so the likelihood of this and similar projects actually getting built is sure to increase. Famed explorer Jacques Cousteau once envisioned numerous manned underwater colonies to facilitate exploration and though that didn't come to pass, for fans of underwater living, projects like the Water Discus may prove to be the next best thing.

Source: Deep Ocean Technology via WAN

About the Author
Randolph Jonsson A native San Franciscan, Randolph attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland before finding his way to the film business. Eventually, he landed a job at George Lucas' Industrial Light + Magic, where he worked on many top-grossing films in both the camera and computer graphics departments. A proud member of MENSA, he's passionate about technology, optimal health, photography, marine biology, writing, world travel and the occasional, well-crafted gin and tonic! All articles by Randolph Jonsson

anybody here capable of affording this escape? not me,,,waiting,,, anyone want to take me I will carry your bags

Bill Bennett

Gonna end in tears.

Stephen Hooper

At least one would have a great ocean view out their window and air conditioning will be minimal with all that cool water outside. Sign me up!


I hope the building code is not third world,or you might wake up swimming with the fish.

Thomas Lewis

It's almost as if any environmental concerns go right out the window in the Middle East. Odd place. As Michael Jordan said during his Dubai visit a few years ago, "There's no shortage of money here". I wonder who's soul this project is satisfying?

Michael Shewell

Didn't the James Bond villain Stromberg (from The Spy Who Loved Me) already built something similar back in 1977?

If only the taxi's to this hotel were Lotus Esprit submarines...


Looks like some wealthy Arabs are fans of The Jetsons. There better be clear tube elevators in that design. ;)

Gregg Eshelman

It gives new meaning to the term "sleeping with the fishes".

Edgar Walkowsky

And where are such glorious coral reefs in Dubai:-)? It's NOT Sham El Sheik all you see is a sort of blue green with the occasional fish if any remain. It's "fugly" and does not fit any natural environment. Anyway nothing matches nature there. If the upper platform would at least be close to the water and like a floating Pod or the shapes resembled anything that could be considered matching nature... Maybe plan it as a new structure for a coral reef to grow on.. but I guess with $ they may ship in a piece of reef live from somewhere else. Another Disney world dream up project

Vic Vicarious
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