Plans afoot for Dubai's first underwater hotel

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Dubai is no stranger to breaking records. First, they built the world's largest mall, then they built the world's tallest building...  And now, if plans come to fruition, the emirate could become home to the world's largest underwater hotel.

Click here to view the gallery of pictures of the Water Discus design

The Water Discus hotel has been designed by Polish company Deep Ocean Technology (DOT) with the help of Swiss firm BIG InvestConsult AG. The hotel will comprise of two discs - one under the water, and one suspended above the water. The discs will be connected by five legs, and a vertical shaft in the centre housing stairs and a lift.

The underwater section will be up to 10 metres beneath the sea surface, and contain 21 double rooms adjacent to a dive centre and a bar. Each room has been designed to 'integrate with the underwater world as closely as possible'.

Due to the modular design of the hotel, the Water Discus can be transferred to a different place in case of environmental or economic concerns. The surface discs have been designed to be buoyant and detachable from the main structure, to act as lifeboats should any natural disaster strike.

Bogdan Gutkowski, President of BIG, believes that the project will have an impact on numerous areas as well as the tourism industry in Dubai. "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."

This underwater project is by no means the first attempt at sub-marine construction or indeed an underwater hotel - the Maldives Rangali Islands resort has one underwater suite, and there's also Jules Undersea Lodge, which is the only underwater hotel in the US - but it is by far the most ambitious yet.

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