Underwater tennis stadium: the latest Dubai project pitch

A Polish architect is seeking investment from local backers to make the concept a reality
By Staff writer
Sun 26 Apr 2015 10:09 AM

A Polish architect is pitching designs for an underwater tennis centre off the coast of Dubai and is currently seeking investment from local backers to make the concept a reality.

Krzysztof Kotala, who has a Master of Science in Architecture from Kraków Polytechnic and owns the 8+8 Concept Studio in Warsaw, has completed the initial designs, but admitted he had yet to source potential investors to launch the proposal.

“There is not an investor but I would like to get interest as I think it is a good idea,” he told Arabian Business.

“This will be something original. This should be somewhere where there is the tradition of tennis. Dubai is perfect for this idea,” Kotala added, referring to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which has been staged in the emirate since 1993.

Kotala said the idea had strong commercial potential and would combine the best of “technology, ecology and sport.”

Numerous underwater projects have been pitched in Dubai in recent years. This month, the developer of The Heart of Europe islands, which will form part of Dubai's The World, announced more details about the underwater villas it plans to build.

Kleindienst Group said it is to build 42 Floating Seahorses, a cross between a villa and a boat which has one floor submerged.

The Floating Seahorses, designed and developed in Dubai, will be located just offshore from St Petersburg and the main Europe Island which will be a short boat ride from the coast of Dubai. They were officially launched at the recent Dubai International Boat Show.

Each individual Floating Seahorse will boast three levels, one underwater, one at sea level and an upper deck, according to developer Kleindienst.

The master bedroom and bathroom will be totally submerged underwater and will command views of the surrounding coral reef and marine life.

The sea level accommodation will boast floor to ceiling windows, uninterrupted sea views, a fully-fitted kitchen with a dining area, an open plan living area and a sun deck.

The upper deck is described as the perfect place for alfresco dining and relaxation and features an external shower, an informal bed, a mini bar, a kitchenette and a glass-bottomed jacuzzi.

The 1,700 sq ft villas will cost about AED5 million ($1.36 million), local media reported.

Last year, US developer Reef Worlds said it was interested in building “sustainable underwater tourism sites” in Dubai and across the UAE.

The Los Angeles-based underwater tourism design company was reportedly considering a project on Nakheel's The World islands, with the aim of creating a completely revolutionary tourism site “designed to capture the $3 billion dive and tourism market”.

The site would be created to look like an ancient lost city, with a focus for dive and snorkel tourism and further habitat creation in the region.

In June 2013, the firms behind a plan to build an ambitious underwater hotel in Dubai also claimed that construction will begin “very shortly”.

The concept, known as the ‘Water Discus Hotel’, which was being developed by Drydocks World alongside Poland’s Deep Ocean Technology and Big Invest, was announced in 2012, before the project appeared to sink without a trace, with few further details being released.

Set to be built just off the emirate’s coast, the property will consist of several inhabitable discs, with the deepest being set 30m underwater. The module structure of the properties would allow them to be expanded according to their clients’ requirements.

“[The project will] bring to its guests a deluxe hotel combined with a real marine adventure and breathtaking views found only in the heart of the ocean,” Drydocks World said in a statement at the time. “The unique location in the heart of a vibrant coral reef will allow guests enjoy both the tropical weather as well as the colourful underwater world.”

None of the companies involved have provided an estimated timeline for the developments or details on investment.

Drydocks World said that it had also held discussions about taking the concept to more GCC countries, as well as other key destinations around the world.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.