Hydropolis will be the world’s first luxury underwater hotel. It will include three elements: the land station, where guests will be welcomed, the connecting tunnel, which will transport people by train to the main area of the hotel, and the 220 suites within the submarine leisure complex. It is one of the largest contemporary construction projects in the world, covering an area of 260 hectares, about the size of London’s Hyde Park.
“Hydropolis is not a project; it’s a passion,” enthuses Joachim Hauser, the developer and designer of the hotel. His futuristic vision is about to take shape 20m below the surface of the Persian Gulf, just off the Jumeirah Beach coastline in Dubai.
The £300m, 220-suite hotel was due to open by the end of 2006 but has experienced delays and is now scheduled to open in 2009. It will incorporate a host of innovations that will take it far beyond the original blueprint for an underwater complex worthy of Jules Verne.
The original idea for Hydropolis developed out of Hauser’s passion for water and the sea, and goes much deeper than just building a hotel underwater. More than just curiosity, it is a commitment to a more far-reaching philosophy. “Once you start digging deeper and deeper into the subject, you can’t help being fascinated and you start caring about all the associated issues,” he explains. “Humans consist of 80% water, the earth consists of 80% water; without water there is no life.”
In order to enter this surreal space, visitors will begin at the land station. This 120m woven, semicircular cylinder will arch over a multi-storey building. On the lowest level passengers board a noiseless train propelled by fully automated cable along a modular, self-supporting steel guideway to Hydropolis. The upper storeys of the land station house a variety of facilities, including a cosmetic surgery clinic, a marine biological research laboratory and conference facilities. On the lower levels are the staff rooms, goods storage and loading areas, and hotel and parking areas.
The land station also includes a restaurant and high-tech cinema screening the evolution of life in the ocean and the history of underwater architecture. As a finale, the screen will open to reveal the real-life Hydropolis. A viewing platform at the front opening of the spanning roof will allow views of the architecture as well as the light shows of Hydropolis.
Hauser plans to incorporate many different elements associated with the sea. The cosmetics will be ocean-based, the cinemas will screen films that focus on aquatic themes and a children’s seaworld will educate as well as entertain.
He views his creation as a place where those who do not dive – or do not even swim – can experience the tranquillity and inspiration of the underwater world. “We are expecting around 3,000 visitors a day in addition to the hotel guests. The aim is to inspire people to develop a new awareness of the sea.”
Here is the Video of Hydropolis Dubai Underwater Hotel Project