Where are they now? Underwater World Cup TV studio

An LA designer proposed the facility to be built in time for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar
Where are they now? Underwater World Cup TV studio
By Shane McGinley
Mon 22 Jul 2019 08:18 AM

As part of our ongoing summer series, we will be looking back at some of the most colourful and extraordinary proposals pitched in the Gulf and investigating what happened to them.

In the last few days we have looked at plans for an underwater tennis stadium pitched by a Polish architect, Hollywood actor Brad Pitt’s ideas for a series of environmentally-friendly projects in Dubai, a Swedish firm’s designs for a moving statue, a Chinese team’s ambitions for a neighbourhood in the shape of a globe, a Hong Kong designer’s proposal for a water park containing the world’s highest water slide and yesterday the former president of the Russian republic of Kalmykia’s dream of a city of towers shaped like a chessboard.

Today, we are heading outside of the UAE to a proposal which looked at building an underwater TV studio in Qatar for the FIFA 2020 World Cup.

“The project we are in the process of designing for is an underwater broadcast centre [and] is quite a real possibility,” Patric Douglas, CEO of Reef Worlds, told Arabian Business in a phone interview from his base in Los Angeles in May 2015.

Douglas said at the time that Qatar’s World Cup authorities “like the design” and “they like the notion of doing the World Cup underwater with sharks swimming around”.

The site for the proposed underwater broadcast centre was to be a carved out area of rock, which would then be turned into a giant aquarium.

Douglas said the project was likely to cost around $30 million to build and Douglas said the funding for it would be underwritten by broadcasters eager to use the unusual venue as a broadcast base when the Gulf state hosts the FIFA World Cup in 2022.

While plans for the Qatar 2022 World Cup appear to be on track to take place in three years’ time, the designs for an underwater TV studio seem to have sunk without trace.

“After oil plummeted from $175 to $40 all underwater projects came to a screaming standstill in the region,” Douglas told Arabian Business in May when we contacted him for an update.

“We have since moved on to Philippines and elsewhere,” he added.

Coming up tomorrow: Abu Dhabi’s Bionic Tower

Check out some of the other projects in the series:

Dubai’s underwater tennis stadium

Brad Pitt's eco-friendly projects

Dubai's moving statue

The Technosphere 

Dubai Heart Water Park Resort

International Chess City (below)

Are there any projects from the past you would like Arabian Business to investigate? Contact us with your suggestions at shane.mcginley@itp.com

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