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Among the latest real estate projects in Dubai, the most wonderful & the most exciting will be the construction of the $500 million underwater hotel. Called Hydropolis, the hotel will resemble a giant submarine anchored in the Gulf, & accessed only by a tunnel via a waterside reception area.

The shallow water hotel will be shaped as a bowl & will be positioned on the sea ground. The deep water version will be floating in the sea with anchors on the ground.

The financing of the development is almost finalised, according to Uwe Hohmann of the Crescent Hydropolis Group, which is managing the project. "It will be a combination of self- & external financing. Banks have so far been very reluctant, though."

The bowl will be constructed externally & then positioned on the location. It will then be emptied of the water & equipped with huge aquariums as an attraction for the guests. "At the shallow water hotel, guests are exposed to big fish tanks that contain controlled water & fish, since shallow water is muddy & not transparent. At the deep water hotel, visitors are looking directly into the sea," he said. The construction of such hotels would not have any damaging effects to the environment, he added.

The company is also undertaking projects in Oman, Monaco, Las Vegas, Rio & China. Completion date for the Dubai hotel is scheduled for late 2008. Developer & architectural consultant of the underwater hotel project is Joachim Hauser, a former German Aerospace administrator.

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