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Hydropolis photograph.
Image courtesy of system modern GmbH

Hydropolis photograph.
Image courtesy of system modern GmbH

Hydropolis photograph.
Image courtesy of system modern GmbH

Hydropolis photograph.
Image courtesy of system modern GmbH

Hydropolis photograph.
Image courtesy of system modern GmbH

Hydropolis photograph.
Image courtesy of system modern GmbH

Hydropolis photograph.
Image courtesy of system modern GmbH

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Official name: The Crescent Hydropolis Resort
Built: 2009-2013
Cost: $500,000,000
Designed by: Joachim Hauser
Type: Hotel
Maximum depth: 66 feet
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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Building Rating
70% of readers like the Hydropolis.
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T he early part of the 21st century quickly became known as The Age of Dubai. Many of the world's most spectacular, breathtaking, and startling architectural projects were erected in a city that was little more than a desert outpost a decade earlier. Its leaders had the foresight to know that that its primary natural resource, oil, was in limited supply and chose to embark on a program to rapidly transform the emirate into a world capital in order to continue its prosperity beyond the time when the world relies on fossil fuels.

Projects in Dubai are constantly searching for distinction through superlatives. For years, architecture enthusiasts watched breathlessly as the Burj Dubai climbed into the clouds. While that high-profile project reached for the sky, another probed the depths of the Persian Gulf.

Hyrdropolis is a fantasy hotel beneath the waves. This submarine hotel is inspired by the Jules Verne tale 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. It is an underwater oasis where visitors can marvel at the architecture surrounding them, and the sea beyond.

The project is divided into three sections. The "land station" is the complex where visitors are first greeted. It is a large building with a roof that dips and rolls like the crest of a wave. From there, people enter a tunnel to begin their journey to the hotel, itself. The tunnel is 1,700 feet long and carries a train beneath both the land and the sea. The destination, of course, is the hotel itself. Mimicking natural forms, it is shaped like a collection of bubbles and curves designed to provide maximum resistance against the pressures of the sea water as well as the occasional typhoon that may stray into this area. It has already been compared to both a jellyfish and a sea turtle. The hotel features a pair of observation domes which allow an expansive view of the water and the creatures that live in it. They are large enough to emerge above the waves, and one has a retractable roof allowing people to be surrounded by the ocean while looking directly into the sky.

From the surface, the hotel has the appearance of a futuristic artificial circular atoll with a low barrier barely rising above the waves. On the inside of that perimeter are the main structures with curving shell-like surfaces at home in the sea.

Evidently, projects like this don't come easy. Construction has been moving in fits and starts and is currently on hold. It is unknown what the difficulty is or when the project may finally get started.

  • This is not the world's first underwater hotel. There is a smaller underwater hotel in Florida, and more underwater hotels are being designed and built around the world.
  • The train is supposed to be able to transport 1,000 people at a time.

  • August, 2003: Hydropolis was announced.
  • December 27, 2008: Arabian Business reported that the long delayed Hydropolis project may be built after all. The developers planned to announce a building timeline in early 2009.
  • August, 2009: MEED reports that the stalled plans for this project were being looked at again.

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Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 @ 7:00am
Rating: Five stars.
i think that pat and paul from america are idiots if they cannot see the amazing side of this hotel

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 @ 12:46pm
this is crazy im doing alot of re-search on it right now and dubai is incredible cant wait to see the finished project

Sunday, January 30th, 2011 @ 3:53pm
this is what i will call architecture wonder it is world in the world

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 @ 11:14am
his hotel is beautiful.i would love to see more and would like to see more of this hotel looking for an exotic getway with the wife and this is perfect. congats to the owner this is something that really cant be topped

Monday, July 5th, 2010 @ 6:50am
it is just the begining trust your eyes. no war . no problems nothing is there .... luv and life ... am working there it is more than who ever can imagine

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 @ 3:59am
Rating: Five stars.
what a wonder! this is streching the limits of Architecture and human ingenuity. I wish i can be a part of this creation.

shabih haider
Sunday, March 21st, 2010 @ 4:35am
i think ,,,its a great idea ,,,beautiful,,lovely ,,i love this,and wish to be there with a great party ,,,

Friday, February 12th, 2010 @ 7:12am
Rating: Five stars.
This is amazing, outstanding make me speechless. I thing Dubai leader is playing God. How is the current leader will responsible to their next generation. If this is invest, I don't think so. Their wealth will never end for many generation if their invest in real things, real business. Will see..

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 @ 4:59pm
Rating: Five stars.
Im only 15 studing to be an achutect and looking at these plans i see this structure mind bodling great location and great imagionation. Could not have done better myself

Adang Prianto
Thursday, September 10th, 2009 @ 9:03am
Rating: Five stars.
WOW...It's so amazing I hope that someday the real hydropolis build in Indonesia, because we have a huge potential to lead this new technology, unfortunately we're still developed economically, salute for Dubai, i hope Dubai investor can build hydropolis in Indonesia

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009 @ 8:49pm
Rating: Five stars.
Wow this is truly outstanding. An underwater hotel. I mena who comes up with these ideas. That is friggin wild!

Saturday, April 18th, 2009 @ 12:09pm
Rating: Five stars.
Maybe this would take the place of one of the seven wonders.Is an amazing step forward for humanity.

james curameng
Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 @ 2:15am
Rating: Five stars.
Im really excited to see this incredible structure. This would be the trademark not only for dubai itself but to the whole UAE.

Monday, March 9th, 2009 @ 11:28pm
Rating: Five stars.
This is a beautiful structure.Yes, the money could have been used to save lives, and yes, it could have been use in donations. But there are plenty of other places that were built that weren't as wondrous as this yet also cost millions. There are plenty of people spending loads and loads of money on things only a tenth of the world could afford, but this my friends, is art. This is something that should be appreciated for all of its good. There are plenty of silly things out there, this is not one of them. Though the money could have been worth more saving lives, you have to understand this is someone's passion, this is someone's dream. Some of us are lucky we even have a dream. And to be able to share something so brilliant with the world? You don't have to GO there to get a kick out of the wonders it brings our generation. This is far from a waste of money. Plus, you never know what the world may have in store for us, you never know if this is the way we'll be living one day.Some of you are too harsh. Admire this, it is a wonderful dream come true.W/Love,Anita

Saturday, February 14th, 2009 @ 7:11pm
Rating: Four stars.
This is amazing. Its a brillant project one of the best ever.

Monday, February 9th, 2009 @ 12:53am
Rating: Five stars.
I am thrilled what dubai is doing, hydrolis it will be the world icon to middle east every country build and spends to its highest level but dubai has achieved what i say others only dream. rite now dubai is architects dream where all architect can show their work to the world and dubai is the place

ted gibson
Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 @ 2:16pm
Rating: Five stars.
I have always found architecture fascinating until seeing the building of the palm islands,Dubai in the early 2000. Now, I am totaly overwhelmed at what you have accomplished in eight years..Totaly Incredible. Thank-You all for showing the world that there is know engineering problem that cannot be solved. I only hope one day my wife and I get to see it first hand.

Luka Milosevic
Saturday, January 10th, 2009 @ 9:25am
Rating: Five stars.

Cesar Bryan Yee Hilario
Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 @ 9:22am
Rating: Five stars.
Just like on a James Bond film! Spectacular!

Friday, January 2nd, 2009 @ 12:50pm
Rating: Five stars.
For those of oyu who think this structure is a waste of money and those of you think you can spend on charity, dubai is developing for the good of is own country because it is now surviving on oil! so the place wants to make a living out of business and tourism!!!!

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008 @ 2:49am
Rating: Five stars.
Just Oustanding! Kudos to Dubai for making something wonderful out of nothing. While other countries bicker, Dubai got to work and decided to do something for themselves. Now if only the rest of the world could follow suit, what a beautiful place this would be. And, for all you haters out there, stop it! Jealousy is bad karma.

Jordan B.
Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 11:34pm
Rating: Four stars.
This could be the start of a new generation for the hospitality industry. I can really see the tourism rise in a near future.

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 11:00pm
Rating: Five stars.
Ever wondered about the structures and buildings in futuristic movies? Well wonder no more IT is here !!! Awesome,simply awesome !

Shaheem Shibly
Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 10:39pm
Rating: Five stars.
Something which cannot be imagined came true, incredible plan, its fabulous, after completion it is a must to visit.

davey boy
Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 10:27pm
the only drawback is due to the fact that being the middle east and one terroist suicide bomber and you end up with 2000 people drowning under 60 plus feet of ocean.

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 9:55pm
Rating: Five stars.
this hotel is a very good idea and i think it will be the most beautiful wonder ever

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 8:08pm
Rating: Four stars.
excellent way to start the 21st century. money comes and goes, but ideas are for ever. VIVA DUBAI

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 6:39pm
Rating: Five stars.
For all of you who this this is a bad idea or that the money could have been used to help people. I wonder if that extra car, 2nd TV set or computer could have been donated to a better cause? Until you quit using water like there is an endless supply of it or turn off the lights when you leave a room - don't talk about this as if it is a bad idea. You are all guilty of depleting this planet from its natural resources, so stop being all righteous.

Ronny Law
Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 6:39pm
It seems as if most people are not embracing the obvious ingenuity here. Everyone has an opinion and of course is entitled to it, however I do understand most of their concerns. My take on this would most certainly be a positive one. There is far enough open water in this planet to splurge our creativity on. Live PEOPLE!

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 6:37pm
Rating: Three stars.
I'm sure this will be an amazing architectural feat. But $500,000,000?? That kind of money would have been better spent saving thousands - millions - of children from starvation. Instead of spending it on yet another needless human excessive expense, how about spending it on saving a few million lives?

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 6:35pm
Rating: Five stars.
very beautiful!!! going to visit once finished!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 6:08pm
Rating: Five stars.
For all of you who this this is a bad idea or that the money could have been used to help people. I wonder if that extra car, 2nd TV set or computer could have been donated to a better cause? Until you quit using water like there is an endless supply of it or turn off the lights when you leave a room - don't talk about this as if it is a bad idea. You are all guilty of depleting this planet from its natural resources, so stop being all righteous.

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 5:43pm
Rating: One star.
this is beautiful but money could be spent in different way like donate to charitable events that can bebefit others not a hotel that u can't even stay in but only ooh and aww about, there are poor ppe that need a roof over their heads,why not build a apt complex just as nice for those who can experience greatness at a reasonable cost...think about it

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 5:13pm
Rating: Five stars.
that´s great idea, to see how the imagination and technology can do. good for them. they now how to spent the money , no matter what the others think, they talk about helping others, they should ask themselves if they are helping someone at least

Anne Hanley
Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 2:41pm
Rating: Five stars.
All the architectural work in Dubai is of genius proportion and is only one step toward theultimate achievement in architecture. INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL!!!

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 2:36pm
Rating: Four stars.
Immaculate design and Dubai has shown the highest level of imagination and drive. But at the end of the day "what profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul!"

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 1:23pm
Rating: One star.
Sorry, I think it is vulgar. There are so many NATURAL resources to truly get high on that every human on this earth can enjoy. What is the point? To get a cheap thrill and break the bank all at the same time? I am an artist and can understand it from the architects perspective, but beyond that it's arrogant.

Nick Vallianatos
Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 12:57pm
It sounds exotic...But how many people around the world would decide to visit and vacation in a place like this ? Dubai tries to impress the world with their trillions of dollars amassed by oil revenues..etc. They could win the Nobel prizeas a nation if they could decide to allocate one tenth of their money to EDUCATE THE ENTIRE POPULATION OF ARABS IN THE MIDDLE EAST thus contributing to the total elimination of terrorism and misconceptions ailing their nations. Then the rest of us will be able to live in peace concetrate in bettering our lives...

Tina Beier-Forrester
Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 12:49pm
Rating: Five stars.
This structure leaves me speechless; besides the moving tower, Dubai has it "goin' on"! And I want to go there and visit some day! Good Job Visionaries!

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 @ 10:46am
Rating: Five stars.
Great Idea to reality. I agreed it cost a lot of money to build, but it's still beautiful; maybe, just maybe,hope and wishing i get a chance to stay at the hotel, it would be absolutely wonderful if it happens.

Monday, November 10th, 2008 @ 4:49pm
fantasic idea, and being in dubai there is no mozzys or flying insects at night to bite you (unlike orlando) lets dump the ideas of disney in paris florida etc and have dubai the fun safe place to be. zero crime and constant 30+ deg. fandabby dozzy

Thursday, November 6th, 2008 @ 2:47pm
Rating: Four stars.
Nice! But what a waste out in the desert. Dubal's buildings would be so much better in Chicago, NY, or LA.

Friday, July 25th, 2008 @ 1:16pm
Rating: One star.
What a waste of Money... Shud be rated as the worst use of resources in modern times. Dubai Sheikhs are sure to secure future prosperity by such tourist attractions...But the resources don't justify the project in the final analysis. This is my opinion. PAUL

Monday, July 21st, 2008 @ 6:02pm
Rating: Five stars.
This is very cool!! seems like a whole lot of money but it is still damn amazing!!

Jorge Ignacio Covarrubias
Tuesday, July 15th, 2008 @ 10:32am
Rating: Five stars.
A tribute to human will and imagination. It could have been named the Nautilus hotel. Hurrah for Dubai!

arunabha ghoshal
Monday, June 23rd, 2008 @ 1:18am
Rating: Five stars.
Ausom, wonderful.. love to stay over there afte completed.

john adams
Sunday, June 15th, 2008 @ 1:09pm
Rating: Five stars.
This is spectacular and even though it will bring about the inevitable destruction of the planet im all for it cuz fish are pretty

Max Hoban
Friday, March 14th, 2008 @ 7:28pm
Rating: Five stars.
Great idea, great location, and another amazing thing in dubai, now we will just have to see what will be better the 7 star hotel or the worlds first real undewater hotel, hopefully they will not get many more delays and it will be open in 2009

Monday, February 18th, 2008 @ 9:02am
Sometimes human does things for dream and passion no matter how much it will cost and forget minimalism, and that is what this project is all about.

Monday, February 11th, 2008 @ 7:14am
Rating: Five stars.
its for sure an incredible structure but all that money spent on it could have saved the whole world from hunger. its really a pity to c money wasted like this for only a few hundred people who can afford to live one night in this hotel.

Thursday, February 7th, 2008 @ 3:49pm
Rating: Five stars.
what a wunderfull buildingrealy a A+!!

beth agusti
Thursday, January 31st, 2008 @ 4:12pm
Rating: Five stars.
absolutely amazing.....SPECTACULAR!!!! great imagination put into reality..........WOW!!!!

Martell Hasley
Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 @ 12:21pm
Rating: Five stars.
whoa whoa whoa this is my dream project, luckly it is now reality which inspires me to creat something better

Monday, August 13th, 2007 @ 4:20am
Rating: Five stars.
What the mind of man can conceive, man can achieve!! Dubai wins again!!!! Magnificent!!!!!.Definitely going to visit!!!!!!

Saturday, July 28th, 2007 @ 8:11pm
Rating: Five stars.
This is pure genius! The design elements are exquisite. To spend the night in the Hydropolis would be a fantasy come true. Most impressive!

Mohammed Arshad
Friday, July 6th, 2007 @ 8:04am
Really incredible. Dubai is gonna be the best city in the world in coming 10 years.Congrats to the Leaders.

Deo Pomida
Sunday, February 11th, 2007 @ 8:58am
Rating: Five stars.
What a magnificent, superb and spectacular structure!

Venkatesh K
Saturday, February 10th, 2007 @ 12:02pm
Rating: Five stars.
Seen structures like the Burj Ai Arab and Taj Mahal.This gives a chill up the spine even in my imagination....bravo!!!

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006 @ 9:55am
Rating: Five stars.
is beautiful,fantastique

Monday, April 24th, 2006 @ 1:30pm
Rating: Five stars.
WOW! What else can be said? This is absolutely amazing and I am very excited to see the finished product for myself!

Saturday, December 17th, 2005 @ 9:36pm
Rating: Five stars.
this hotel is beautiful.i would love to see more and would like to see more of this hotel looking for an exotic getway with the wife and this is perfect. congats to the owner this is something that really cant be topped

Marty Hehman
Thursday, August 25th, 2005 @ 12:27am
Rating: Five stars.
I am a Former U.S.Naval Diver who for a long time had dream of somthing like this.I'm also an Architect who has Drawings of Underwater homes and in cliff homes. THIS IS INCREDIBLE ! I love it Mr.Marty Hehman

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