Saudi divers build world's first-ever underwater mosque


A group of private Saudi divers said they had built what they described as the first underwater mosque in history and that they performed prayers inside it just after it was completed, according to a newspaper.

The divers used massive plastic pipes filled with sand to construct the symbolic mosque under the water off the northwestern town of Tabuk close to the border with Jordan, Al Madina said.

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“One of our colleagues came up with this idea last summer and we decided to carry it out,” diver Hamadan bin Salim Al Masoudi said.

“We have just completed the construction of the mosque…when we put the final touches on it, it was time for afternoon prayers, so we performed group prayers in the first underwater mosque in history.”

Dubai to build undersea hotels in UAE

The shipbuilding arm of Dubai World has signed a deal to develop undersea hotels with a Swiss firm on Wednesday.

Drydocks World unveiled an agreement with BIG InvestConsult, which holds the technology rights, to build the World Discus Hotel.

Click here to see: Images of undersea hotel to be built by Dubai firm

The hotel, featuring a discus-shaped residential underwater building connected to another discus above water, will be funded by BIG, which is in talks with other investors.

"Drydocks and Maritime World is appointed as the exclusive main contractor for construction of the new concept hotels and cities floating in the Middle East," Drydocks said in a statement.

Extravagant projects were the hallmark of Dubai during the 2002-2008 boom years and the emirate is home to man-made islands shaped like palms as well as a map of the world. It also boasts the world's tallest tower and an indoor ski slope.

Thanks to a strong showing by its logistics, trade and tourism businesses and benefiting from its status as a safe haven amid the Arab Spring, Dubai has been making a recovery.

On Wednesday, the firms said two developments with five hotels attached to them are planned in the Middle East. The Swiss firm is eyeing the coast of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

"We are in the design and fabrication side for the project ... it's the same concept as rigs," Khamis Juma Buamim, chairman of Drydocks World told reporters.

"This project has seven different types of designs and (each will cost in) the range of around $50 million to $120 million. The amount varies based on the design."

"The discussions are to build these around the world, not just the UAE," he said. 

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