The Water Discus Hotel will comprise two disc-like structures with one above the surface and another underwater. Credit: Deep Ocean Technology.
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Water Discus is a proposed underwater luxury hotel to be found in Dubai, UAE. Unlike the never-built Hydropolis, the Water Discus hotel is not entirely submerged. Once complete, Water Discus is expected to be the largest of its kind in the world.

The underwater hotel was designed to integrate submarine activities with waterside living. The concept of the Water Discus hotel was conceived by the Polish firm Deep Ocean Technology (DOT) in collaboration with researchers from the Gdansk University of Technology. DOT is also developing autonomous unmanned submersibles to serve the hotel’s guests.

BIG InvestConsult is the representative for DOT and holds the technology marketing rights in the GCC countries. In May 2012, Dubai World’s shipbuilding subsidiary, Drydocks World, signed an agreement with BIG to build the first Water Discus hotel in Dubai. The project is currently in the implementation phase. Its construction timelines and budget, however, have been kept secret and are undisclosed.

In September 2012, BIG and Deep Ocean Technology established a joint company called DOT & BIG. The JV will focus on promoting, developing and implementing Water Discus Hotel concept for leisure destinations across the world.

In 2015, the underwater project was stalled after BIG InvestConsult’s withdrawal from the project and the resignation of Drydocks’ chairman Khamis Buamim, who was overseeing the project. Deep Ocean Technology started searching for other potential locations including Oman, the Maldives, Australia, the Caribbean and Poland in 2015.

Dual discs making up the unique underwater hotel’s structure

The Water Discus Hotel consists of two disc-shaped structures, one above the surface of the water and the other underwater, which resemble saucers. Both are connected by a vertical shaft and three sturdy legs fixed to the seabed. The vertical shaft contains a lift and a stairway.

The above water discus will have a usable area of about 1,500m². It will be linked to the adjacent satellite discuses of about 200m² each. The centre of the main upper disc will feature a multifunctional lobby, a large upper terrace swimming pool, a 4m-deep training pool and a seawater swimming pool with glass access tunnels. The satellites will rest about 5m to 7m above the water surface. They will have facilities such as a restaurant, garden, spa and recreational area.

The 1,000m² underwater discus will comprise 21 rooms that can accommodate two people each. It will be submerged 10m below the water surface and provide underwater activities. Soundproof rooms and curtains of different transparency levels will ensure privacy.

Large windows of the rooms facing the waters will offer views of the underwater world, coral reefs, flora, fauna and sea animals of the Persian Gulf. Room exteriors will have special lighting for macro photography and an external explorer robot to enable the guests to interact with the marine life.

Several individual disc modules of different sizes can be integrated to develop a hotel complex of more than 2,000m². It can be expanded with modules of 1,000m² to 1,500m² each.

Adaptability and accessibility of the Water Discus hotel

The Water Discus is a modular structure and can be built in any part of the world. It can be expanded or modified based on the depth of coral reef in water, shape of the coastal line and client requirements. The modular design also enables individual discs to be transferred to different places, as per the economic and environmental requirement. Interior designs can be modified using detachable modules and replaced off-site.

The Water Discus complex is designed to allow transportation and logistics services through the use of helicopters, vessels and seaplanes. Upper decks of the complex support landing of helicopters.

Safety emphasis at DOT’s Dubai-based luxury hotel

The Water Discus Hotel is designed to meet the highest safety standards and has an emphasis on security. The above water discus rises high above the water surface to withstand tsunamis and floods. The underwater discus automatically rises above the surface at the time of danger. The satellite discs have positive buoyancy. When detached from the main body of the upper disc, they can act as lifesaving vessels.

Weather conditions are monitored through an international weather and earthquake warning system. Several video cameras and remotely operated underwater vehicles also monitor the hotel complex. All the rescue equipment will comply with the safety standards applicable to vessels. Safety standards will be periodically updated as per the local law and international requirements.

Facilities and entertainment at the Water Discus hotel

The underwater hotel complex will be equipped with a satellite telephone, a ship radio station system and all the rooms will have internet accessibility. A submerged dive centre and bar will be located adjacent to the underwater discus.

The dive centre will have an underwater airlock and decompression chamber and individual diving equipment to enable training and excursion facilities for guests. It will offer train cave and wreck diving experiences among fish, reefs, rocks and wrecks in the midst of the ocean.

The hotel will also offer water sports with all amenities and equipment such as fast jet skis, diving and skiing motorboats, deep-sea exploration submersibles with a capacity for three passengers and underwater scooters. Permanent infrastructure equipment will be used to offer special courses in piloting submersible tourist vehicles.