Hydropolis fights further troubles

An announcement on the construction timetable for the troubled Hydropolis underwater hotel project is expected by February, the CEO of the main developer said.
By Jamie Stewart
Sat 20 Dec 2008 04:00 AM

An announcement on the construction timetable for the troubled Hydropolis underwater hotel project is expected by February, the CEO of the main developer said.

Developer Crescent Hydropolis is going through a restructuring exercise, which is being carried out for "internal reasons" and has caused the latest delay to the project.

The project was originally scheduled to begin construction in 2005, but has been dogged by repeated delays and spiraling costs.

A new location must also be found, as the original spot, to the west of the Palm Jumeirah, has been deemed unsuitable.

"It was proven that the original location was not ideal," said Crescent Hydropolis CEO Uwe Hohmann.

"At the time that this location was discussed there was no Jumeirah Beach Residence in place. A project like Hydropolis needs to have the right location."

The cost of the project, originally pegged at US $435 million (AED1.6 billion), has spiraled since the launch of the project.

"The cost will depend very much on where the exact location will be," Hohmann said.

"It is very difficult to give figures, but when the final location has been chosen we will be in the position to give a proper statement regarding the construction cost."

Hydropolis, designed by Joachim Hauser, is set to include a "land station," where guests will be welcomed, a connecting tunnel, which will transport people by train to the main area of the hotel, and the 220 suites within a submarine leisure complex.

The hotel will also include a giant retractable roof that will allow events to be staged in an open-air ballroom.

SIBC Industrial Building Consultants is project manager, with Siemens as technical engineering consultants. Ostsee Kontor is providing marine surveying services.

Despite the ongoing delays to the project and the current status as "on hold," Hohmann added, "It is a very unusual project, and unusual things need more time."

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