Dubai’s tourism industry announced plans recently to build its first underwater hotel – adding to the Emirate’s reputation for weird and lavish projects. Costing up to $120 million, the Hydropolis hotel will lurk some 33 feet beneath the waves, and will feature 21 bedrooms, plus an underwater bar and dive centre. Guests will also be able to remote control submersible vehicles from inside the hotel, enabling them to take a remote “sea safari”!
It’s fair to say that Dubai is something of a world leader when it comes to grand and glorious building projects aimed at tourists and other visitors, carrying on where Las Vegas left off. Hydropolis is the latest in a grand tradition. Here’s five of the most well known…
5. Burj al Arab Hotel
This sail-shaped 1,053 feet skyscraper is more commonly known as “the world’s only seven-star hotel”, although it’s official rating remains five-star in the eyes of the industry. It’s certainly the lap of luxury, though, with incredible views from the Skyview bar and opulent decorations throughout.
4. Dubai Fountains
Shooting spectacular water jets over 500 feet into the air, visitors come back time and time again to marvel at these fountains, located on the lake at the Burj Khalifa hotel. Designed by the creators of the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas, this mother of all water features puts on shows several times a day, where the water jets are choreographed to music.
3. Burj Khalifa
Quite simply, this is the tallest building in the world, at an eye-watering 2,716 feet. This pyramid-shaped skyscraper is found in the heart of Dubai’s downtown and houses 900 elite apartments and the Armani Hotel, plus office complexes out of which work some of the region’s most successful entrepreneurs. Other features include the Observation Deck on level 124 and 11 hectares of well-sculpted gardens.
2. The Atlantis Resort
Found on the Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago in the shape of a palm tree – and a wonder of Dubai in its own right – this resort is a wonderland for children and adults alike, with personalised rooms and suites for guests, the Marine and Water Park, swimming pools, beaches, designer stores, restaurants, cafés and nightclubs galore. You will never be without a fun activity at the Atlantis Resort, unless, of course, you just want to relax in the lap of luxury!
1. The World Islands
Another set of artificial islands created 2.5 miles off Dubai’s coast, these are shaped like a map of the world. Islands in the shape of countries or continents can be leased or bought, giving rise to many different developments, for business, pleasure, or leisure. The archipelago covers an area of 3.7 by 5.6 miles and the area of the individual islands varies between 150,000 to 450,000 square feet. They are around 330 feet apart. An incredible 321 million cubic metres of sand and 31 million tons of rock went into their construction. Sadly, the world economic crisis has caused something of a hiatus in developments on the islands, but their existence is a wonder in of itself!