In 2007, Hydrosight was asked to design the longest acrylic tunnel on an artificial island off the coast of Dubai.
Here is what JCK Online wrote in 08.2007:
The Dubai Multi Commodities Centre is launching “Pearls of Dubai,” an integrated pearl center that will include a pearl farm, an historical perspective of the region's pearl industry, and a retail destination. The DMCC will be a showcase for a new brand of Dubai pearls that will be produced at a pearl farm located off the coast of Dubai.[...]
The aim of the project is to revive UAE’s pearling tradition and embed it as the keystone of the Emirates’ cultural identity, the DMCC said in a statement. Pearls of Dubai will develop the entire value chain of the industry from production to retail. Pearls of Dubai is a joint venture among the DMCC, the Dubai government, and Arabian Gulf Pearls DMCC, the Dubai-based office of Arrow Pearls of Brome, Australia.
The center will showcase all facets of the historic pearling in the UAE, including the diaspora of the pearl diving tradition across the Indian Ocean as far as Australia and Tahiti. Visitors will be able to observe life under the sea, as if they themselves were pearl divers, passing through an acrylic tunnel beneath the sea in a pearling marina. Traditional dhows will transport visitors to areas within the marina to give them a real-life modern pearling experience. Maritime legends and myths of the Dubai region will also be replicated.
Originally it was planned that Hydrosight would build an aquarium tunnel through a bay that is going to be constructed on the island of Antarctica. Our cooperation with Arrow Pearls, the general contractor is stalled at the moment, as DMCC is no longer cooperating with Arrow Pearls. Here are FAQ of the project as of October 2008:
Has the circular land fill been constructed yet?
No this is on the island of Antarctica. Dredging work due to start soon.
Have you determined exactly how you will build the tunnels and assorted
buildings, and in what sequence?
The best way to build the tunnels and the
basements to the buildings is to build them in the dry, by erecting a
temporary sheet pile wall, or dams, and pumping the water out.
What is the range of depths of the water?
Approx 6 meters
What is the tidal range?
The tidal range would be limited by closing off the bay. We would have a
valve at other end to keep water flow moving to keep water fresh
We assume the water will be nice and clear for underwater viewing? Are
there plenty of fish?
Yes and we will be introducing our own fish, as discussed the Mermaid of the
sea to be the key attraction,
Are you intending to have pearl diving 'shows', viewed from the tunnel?
Yes we do,
We assume the seabed is mainly sand? Is there rock?
Do you wish the underwater tunnel to extend outside to the elevated
No this could be a steel tube we would project images inside the tube.
What are the storm conditions at the site? Maximum size of waves in a
Probably limited to 2 meters maximum height (unverified information)
What type(s) of tunnel are you wanting? What widths?
Over top approx 2-3 meters
What is your program of works? I.e., targeted completion dates of
design and construction?
Design and construction 18 months
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