Dubai group plans to build underwater hotels
Dubai, May 2, 2012
Drydocks World, an international player in the field of ship repair, conversion and new building, has signed an agreement with leading Swiss firm BIG InvestConsult to develop undersea hotels across the region.
Only a month after it sought insolvency protection in Dubai and Singapore to push through a $2.2 billion debt restructuring, Drydocks World has unveiled the new deal with BIG InvestConsult, which holds the technology rights, to build the World Discus Hotel.
BIG InvestConsult is a key operator in the area of innovative technologies transfer, as well as investment projects, brokerage and finance.
The hotel, featuring a discus-shaped residential underwater building connected to another discus above water, will be funded by BIG, which is in talks with other investors.
According to Drydocks, BIG InvestConsult acts as a representative of the Deep Ocean Technology, the Polish owner behind the unique technology and concept of Water Discus Hotel that envisages an ultimate leisure facility with a structure that is partly above water and rest underneath – a residential underwater discus with an above water discus.
The company holds special exclusivity rights for the customers and facilities located in the Gulf region, it said in a statement.
As per the deal, Drydocks and Maritime World is the exclusive main contractor for construction of these new concept hotels and cities in the entire Middle East, said a top official after signing the MoU at the Annual Investment Meeting held in Dubai under the aegis of the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade.
'We are extremely proud and delighted to be associated with this first-of-a-kind leading-edge project in the world,' remarked Khamis Juma Buamim, the chairman of Drydocks World and Maritime World.
'Our expertise lies in developing future strategies aimed at advancing the construction of technology-driven pioneering projects in the maritime sector. We are able to move forward due to our clear vision and operational systems and processes,' he noted.
Extravagant projects were the hallmark of Dubai during the 2002-2008 boom years and the emirate is home to man-made islands shaped like palms as well as a map of the world. It also boasts the world's tallest tower and an indoor ski slope.
The projects, aimed at boosting Dubai's global profile, were built on massive amounts of leverage that nearly crushed the emirate after the 2008 global credit crunch.
Thanks to a strong showing by its logistics, trade and tourism businesses and benefiting from its status as a safe haven amid the Arab Spring revolts that have roiled the region, Dubai has been making a recovery.
According to Juma Buamim, two developments with five hotels attached to them are being planned in the Middle East. The Swiss firm is eyeing the coast of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
'We are in the design and fabrication side for the project it's the same concept as rigs,' he said. 'This project has seven different types of designs and (each will cost in) the range of around $50 million to $120 million. The amount varies based on the design,' he added.
'The discussions are to build these around the world, not just the UAE,' said Juma Buamim.
'We are happy that our capabilities are being counted upon by renowned companies and that we are able to satisfy the demand placed on our efficient service delivery,' he added.
Commenting on the deal, Bogdan Gutkowski, the BIG president said, 'Water Discus Hotel project opens many new fields of development for 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.'
'We expect to co-operate efficiently with Drydocks World, being an expert in high technology steel constructions,' Gutkowski stated.
'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,' he added -Reuters and TradeArabia News Service