When it first emerged that plans for an underwater hotel in Dubai had been revived, Arwa wrote “Dubai has more gimmicks and tacky accolades than a Las Vegas souvenir store so the last thing it needs is more plastic tat. It’s just not good and most of these outlandish projects pay very little attention to the environmental impact of their development.”
Comprised of an above water disc connected to an underwater disc by five legs, a vertical shaft, lift and stairway, the Water Discus hotel “willl allow guests to admire the depths of the ocean while making the most of the warm climate,” according to Deep Ocean Technology, the project’s designer.
This new development follows on the heels of the Hydropolis project that was sunk in 2009 when a financial crisis caused an exodus of expatriates and their investment dollars. But now it seems that Dubai is beginning to recover and has learned absolutely nothing about the impact of too much intervention on the Gulf’s fragile ecosystem. Step in for more renders of this crazy underwater hotel and let us know, should it be built?
“If any changes in environmental or economic conditions occur, the Water Discus modules can be transferred to a different place,” according to Deep Ocean Technology. “This offers a unique opportunity to live underwater on a permanent basis with unlimited options to change locations. The mobility makes changes in interior design of a hotel much easier, as any disc can be detached and replaced with a new one,” they add.
DOT claims that Water Disqus hotels can be constructed anywhere in the world and that they will be custom designed in accordance with the local environment – including the shape of the coastal line and depth of water around the coral reef. They make no claims, as far as we can tell, to have consulted marine specialists about the impact such a development would have on various coral reefs or the creatures that call then home.
“A single Water Discus is an independent structure with a usable area of approximately 1000 m2 fully equipped to ensure a high level of safety and comfort. It can serve as an individual module – a component of a bigger complex,” writes DOT. These can then be expanded to create larger complexes, which – as far as we are concerned – would be absolutely disastrous.
And what about natural disasters, you might ask? DOT seems to have taken into consideration the possibility that these hotels might be developed in areas prone to tsunamis and insist that they will be completely safe in such an event. “The structure sits up on five sturdy legs fixed to the seabed, and the upper disc is suspended above the water surface. These two technical solutions will ensure that Water Discus remains safe even in the event of a fairly high tsunami, which can normally flood the nearest coastal areas.”
And what about claustrophobia? For some people, being stuck in an underwater space might be as uncomfortable as crawling through a cave, but DOT suggests that the view of the sky prevents this from happening. Although they don’t seem to have conducted any environmental impact assessments, they have gone through rigorous safety evaluations.
“The design, construction and technical condition of the complex are under permanent supervision of an international classification organisation with experience in the field of building and operation of boats, ships, offshore structures and professional diving systems,” according to the company.” The hotel meets safety standards of local and international organizations and promises a deluxe sensory experience like no other.
For the sake of our already over-stressed marine systems, we hope like hey that this project never sees the light of day.
Images courtesy Deep Ocean Technology
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