| Treeo Feature |


This is Deep Dive, Dubai, the deepest pool in the world


I hope you’ve got your scuba gear, because we’re going deep, deep, deeeeep into the water. No, this isn’t an ocean or a sea or even a lake. This is Deep Dive, Dubai, the deepest pool in the world. At 197 feet (60 meters) deep and full of 3.7 million gallons of water, Deep Dive is as large as close to six Olympic-sized swimming pools. And not many people can make it all the way to the bottom of the pool, so follow along and we’ll descend…

From above, the pool looks like an ordinary, though very wide and long swimming pool. It’s not that different from the pools that you might be swimming in this summer. But beneath the surface, there are all sorts of surprises! First, though, you need to dive in.


And you’re off.

The water presses around you, and you’re glad that you have scuba gear on, because otherwise, you’d have to keep coming up for air. But you don’t want to! The water is blue and clean, and all you see around you are other divers, going up and down through the pool. As you dive a little deeper, you see a glass wall that gives you a perfect view of one of the shops a few floors down. There are people eating at the tables, and they wave at you. It’s like being in an aquarium — on the other side of the exhibit! You give them a thumbs up and swim lower.

Soon, you begin to see strange things below the water. There are walls and chairs, tables and beds, and even streets that look just like the streets outside the pool. You’re inside Deep Dive’s sunken city, a make-believe city built within the pool for you to explore. It makes you wonder: What might have sunk this city into the water? It looks almost frozen in time. Ahead of you, there is a car in a garage, gleaming in the blue light of the water. You go lower, and you find yourself in a library, with books stacked on either side of you. They aren’t real, though — no book could last down here!

It’s incredible, swimming through walls covered in posters and graffiti. It feels dreamy and not-quite-real, and you can imagine what it must be like to be a fish swimming through a sunken ship. There’s a grocery store with shopping carts that you can push out into a street equipped with parking meters. Of course it’s a little different than shopping at home, cause every so often you find yourself drifting upward!

Deep below, you find a game room that is lit up. There are divers there gathered around a foosball table, and you play a game with them. You squeeze yourself into a seat with a table to make sure that you don’t float away, and you play a game of chess. The magnetic chess pieces are made of stone, so they stay sturdy and don’t tip from side to side whenever someone makes the water ripple. Soft music plays in the background, and you forget, for a little while, that you’re way underwater.

You want to see more. You find the sprawling roots of a mysterious underwater tree, and you swim around it, exploring its strange shape as it stretches deep below. You find a luxury car far below the surface and sit in the driver’s seat, then let yourself float right out of it. It’s difficult to get all the way to the bottom to the pool — it’s just so deep — but you finally find yourself 131 feet (40 meters) down. There are still another 66 feet (20 meters) to go, but there are much fewer people this far in. Most people just explore the city and then come back up.

At this depth, the city is gone. Instead, there’s a deep, dark brick tube leading down to the bottom. The lights here are dim, barely enough to show the way, but you catch sight of all kinds of interesting paintings on the walls: a three-eyed fish, weird-looking octopi, and lots of creatures that you imagine you might find at the bottom of the ocean, too.

But wait! There are more rooms, lurking closer to the bottom. They have fun statues and staircases, and you float through them, peering around with interest. The items look old-fashioned, appearing as if they are from a time long ago. There are more cars down here, more games, but this is the last of the exciting surprises in the pool. Now, there’s only the final step — making it all the way to the bottom.

You can’t just swim that far down, not when you’ve been moving so slowly at this level. Instead, you return to the top and dive all the way down, down, lower and lower, until you finally hit the very bottom. When you look up, you can see the circular tube reaching high above you, and the bright light of the ceiling highlights the whole thing in blue. You are so far beneath the surface that you’d be totally stuck if not for your scuba gear! But you’ve been trained for this moment, and so you push against the bottom of the pool and let yourself float back toward the surface.


(Originally featured in Treeo, Issue 1017)

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