DUBAI, May 7 — A long-awaited undersea hotel in Dubai looks finally set to be built, after an agreement to develop it was unveiled this week.
The Water Discus Hotel won’t be totally submerged as previous plans have suggested, but will be a disc-like structure with part of the building above water and the rest below the surface.
The 21 rooms are expected to be submerged up to 10 metres below the surface of the water, with huge windows offering a view out from the bed and an external “explorer” robot which can be controlled from the room to allow guests to interact with marine life.
According to Deep Ocean Technology, the company which owns the water discus hotel concept, a restaurant, spa and reception area would be hosted above the waterline, with guests descending below the surface in glass-walled tunnels to get to their rooms.
As might be expected, the hotel would offer plenty of services for divers, with a training pool and other water sports offerings set to be available.
With no specific planned opening date, observers will be watching closely whether this plan comes any further than previous attempts to build underwater hotels in Dubai, which have stalled or quietly disappeared as the country faced economic ruin.
However, at this week’s Arabian Travel Market there was little doubt that the country appears to be performing better, with one study suggesting that tourism business in the United Arab Emirates is expected to grow at 6.5 per cent annually over the next nine years.
For the first three months of this year, hotel analyst STR Global found that Dubai hotels were nine per cent more expensive than the same time in 2011 thanks to a “surge” in visitor numbers. — AFP-Relaxnews