Whilst I wasn’t happy that Dubai’s property bubble burst back in 2009, it did stop some awfully stupid building projects from going ahead. One of which was the underwater hotel idea. 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.
Remember the marine destruction caused by the palm islands development? Well I think we can probably expect more of those ill-thought projects. According to an article in the FT, plans to build this underwater hotel are a “sign that the emirate is shaking off its financial crisis and returning to the grandiose projects of its boom-time heyday.”
I guess we should be worried. The last thing Dubai needs is more ‘grandiose’ projects. It sometimes feels like a small child – with very bad taste – was given the money and power to build their fantasy world in Dubai without any regard whatsoever to what makes a city decent to live in. As such, an underwater hotel seem like a positively good idea.
Drydocks World, a shipping-building company which has filed for bankruptcy protection, signed a deal with Swiss company BIG INVEST to build the hotel. The Water Discus Hotel will be made up of discs which will be positioned as low as 21 stories underwater. The deluxe rooms will offer views of surrounding aquatic life in the Persian Gulf as well as a diving centre. Plans for a similar project called ‘Hydropolis‘ were in the pipeline in 2009 before the financial crisis hit.
In case you were thinking that maybe Drydocks will be careful about its environmental impacts, let me fill you in. According to the FT article, Drydocks has insisted they are perfect for the underwater project as submerged hotels require the same technology involved in oil rigs, one of the company’s main lines of business. Nice.
Other projects that were dreamt up during the property boom include the Palm Jumeirah residences as well as the World Project, an archipelago in the shape of continents. The World Project – which is killing corals – only last year finalised a $25 billion restructuring deal with its creditors. Despite the announcement, not all are convinced that Dubai’s property market is on the up.
Speaking to the FT, Todd Reisz, editor at Al Manakh, a project researching urban development in Gulf cities said: “This is certainly not the first time that a technological salesman has come to Dubai and, if this project fades away, it wouldn’t be the first time either.”
Images via Deep Ocean Technology
For more on the property sector in Dubai see:
It’s Back To Real Estate Basics For the UAE
Dubai Properties Face $7.3 Million Lawsuit
Dubai’s Artificial World Islands Are Killing Corals