DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Aside from the year-round sun and a mammoth well-serviced international airport, Dubai keeps drawing in hordes of overseas visitors due to an unmatched flair for publicity bolstered by a “let’s have a go” approach to new construction.
Blatant one-upmanship and theatrical displays are part of the city’s DNA — and in an era of depressing international news, who can blame holidaymakers for wanting some out-of-this-world escapism?
And there are two new record-breaking destinations in Dubai offering just that.
Those who love free-falling into mysterious watery terrains can now put their skills to the test at Deep Dive Dubai — the only facility in the world where you can dive to depths of 60 meters, which is 15 meters deeper than any other space, not to mention four times bigger.
Located in Dubai’s Nad Al Sheba neighborhood, the Deep Dive Dubai pool has been verified by Guinness World Records as the world’s deepest swimming pool and holds 14 million liters of water, the equivalent of six Olympic-sized pools. To try it out you need to book in advance and it’s only open to those aged 10 years and above for the scuba.
Built to resemble a vast sunken city, this eerie hole in the heart of the desert is equipped with 56 cameras to ensure visitor safety along with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems.
“By design, Deep Dive Dubai offers something truly unique for everyone and our team is committed to ensuring a memorable experience,” commented facility Director Jarrod Jablonski at the launch last year, himself a world record-holding cave diver.
Dubai expat Gautam Kulkarni from India recently took the plunge at this unusual attraction and was suitably impressed.
“The dive itself was very good — it’s amazing to step into a pool with normal depth and then suddenly have an entire abyss open up under you,” he told CNBC.
He added that the only downside was the lack of marine life, but that it’s great for a one-time experience.
Move back out into the dazzling Dubai sunlight and head 294 meters up into the sky and you find another Guinness World Record breaker — the outdoor infinity pool atop the lavish five-star Address Beach Resort in Jumeirah Beach Residence, the highest in the world.
Jutting out of the 77th-floor, the pool (which also opened last year) is an Instagrammer’s fevered dream with incredible panoramic views of the city’s most popular landmarks such as Bluewaters Island, Palm Jumeirah, and the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab — although swimmers prone to vertigo should steer well clear of the edge with its breath-sucking drop.
The wet surface area on the rooftop gives the appearance of a massive lake in the sky, while the space is also home to ZETA Seventy Seven, a chic Asian restaurant with a seafood-inspired menu.
To ensure guests enjoy the serene vistas and VIP treatment, the floor is only open to those over the age of 21.
“We’ve been coming to Dubai for years and it’s insane, the place never stops coming up with these mind-blowing sights — you think they can’t top something then they do,” Stuart Davids, a tourist from the U.K. enjoying Address hotel’s poolside cabanas told CNBC.
He added: “We’ve been to some of the best hotels in Dubai but this one is extra special — the insane views, the gorgeous infinity pool, the service, everything.”
Address Beach Resort is part of a twin tower project developed by Al Ain Holding alongside the Address Beach Residences and consists of 217 hotel rooms and suites, 443 serviced apartments, and 478 residential apartments.
These swanky pads are currently being snapped up in Dubai’s equally booming real estate market by the influx of wealthy individual’s that soared to 54,000 in June 2021 from 52,000 in December 2020, achieving a growth of 3.8%, according to research firm New World Wealth.
It has been a tale of dramatic downs and ups in the past couple of years for the emirate, nicely symbolized by the world’s deepest dive pool and the world’s highest infinity pool.
No sector plummeted harder or faster when Covid-19 hit than travel, a pillar of the most powerful economies across the globe — and the UAE with its swanky hotels and glorious weather was no exception.
Yet fast forward to 2022 and the country is bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels at a rate other top destinations must envy.
Hotels in Dubai and the capital Abu Dhabi reported strong occupancy rates for the first five months of this year reaching 75% in the first five months, up from 58% in the same period last year, according to a report by consultancy JLL.
Dubai has also been ranked as the most popular destination in the world for 2022, according to the Tripadvisor 2022 Travellers’ Choice Awards.