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Mon 15 Dec 2008 01:26 AM

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Dubai's Palazzo Versace to have air-con beach

Sustainable tourism body slams idea as symptomatic of 'destructive lifestyles'.

Dubai's Palazzo Versace, the hotel named after the fashion house, is to create the world’s first refrigerated beach so that hotel guests can walk comfortably across the sand on scorching days, it was reported on Sunday.

The beach will have a network of pipes beneath the sand containing a coolant that will absorb heat from the surface where summer temperatures average 40C and can reach 50C, the UK's Sunday Times reported.

The hotel is part of the Culture Village development between Garhoud Bridge and the new Ras Al-Khor Bridge directly opposite Dubai Festival City and was originally slated for completion in June 2009.

The hotel's swimming pool will also be refrigerated and there are also proposals to install giant blowers to waft a gentle breeze over the beach, the paper added.

It quoted Soheil Abedian, founder and president of Palazzo Versace, as saying he believed it was possible to design a refrigerated beach and make it sustainable. "We will suck the heat out of the sand to keep it cool enough to lie on," he said. "This is the kind of luxury that top people want."

Hyder Consulting, a British construction consultancy, is overseeing the engineering on the project, the paper said.

The 10-storey hotel will have 215 rooms, several with their own internal swimming pools, and 169 condominiums.

The cooling system will be controlled by thermostats linked to computers, the paper said.

The paper also quoted Rachel Noble, the campaigns officer at Tourism Concern, a group which promotes sustainable tourism, as saying that the carbon generated by such projects would contribute to climate change, whose worst effects would be felt by the poor.

"Dubai is like a bubble world where the things that are worrying the rest of the world, like climate change, are simply ignored so that people can continue their destructive lifestyles.".

About 60 percent of Dubai’s power bill is for air-conditioning with each resident having a carbon footprint of more than 44 tonnes of CO2 a year, the paper claimed.

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Anna 11 years ago

Living in Dubai it's become painfully evident that this city believes it can BUY prestige with the endless announcements of "world classs" this and "worlds biggest" that. It is a disgusting parade of ostentatiousness. Hey Dubai, you can't buy respect, prestige or class!So quit ruining the environment. You're not impressing anyone!

Graeme Park 11 years ago

Top people? Who or what are "top people"? The idea of a cooled beach is about as ludicrous as Ice City. Come on guys, get real. Build a sewage treatment plant first, otherwise the "top people" will go somewhere less pungent and less deadly.

hombil 11 years ago

What next? Where is Dubai's commitment to the environment and climate change? I don't think Dubai cares about such issues, which are worrying the world, as long as they acn woo the rich.

ZeTallGerman 11 years ago

An airconditioned beach? Seriously, another one of those fabulous "if it sounds crazy & expensive, Dubai will build it" ideas. What happened to the UAE being rather upset as being dubbed as the world's most environmentally damaging country? The most wasteful? And so on and so forth. What about the pledge to go green? Build green skyscrapers? Substainable projects? All just "hot air" and empty promises once again (excuse the pun.)

ColonialB 11 years ago

My question is exactly why would "top people" want to lie on a man-made beach fronting an extremely polluted stretch of water in which swimming is not recommended? Seems like the promoters have been taken in once again by their own hyperbole.

Elizabeth 11 years ago

I often wonder who these 'top people' Dubai want to cater for are?? According to what they want, what they don't want, and what they obviously not think about, this is not the kind of people I would like to mingle with...I rather go into the desert with a philosopher or listen to a poet on a mountain top, sail with an adventurer, or look into the eyes of a man with a rich soul, not into the artificial world of men with big pockets!

Rainigade 11 years ago

Have to 100% agree with Anna. This just makes the city look desperate.... the world is filled with cries for sustainable development and reducing carbon footprints and failing economies. And the announcements just keep getting more and more ridiculous here. Average Joe is crushed to bits with a lack of affordable housing, lack of efficient public transport, bureaucratic governmental systems filled with duplicate information and generally crappy treatment from the "Haves". Its on these crushed bones that the shiny facade is being built with complete disregard for anything worthwhile or lasting. And while this wantonly goes on..... fake beaches are being air conditioned for fat cats to roast on. Like the saying goes - The rich get their ice in summer, while the poor just have to wait till winter. I used to be proud to share news about Dubai with my friends back home, some time ago. Now I'm just embarrassed!

sb 11 years ago

This bizarre idea reeks of selfishness and give a damn about rest of the world attitude ..... wonder if it struck anyone associated with these plans that with this global meltdown there aren't going to be too many folks making it to the "top" people list ...another colossal waste of resources.... and all this money being spent for just a handful of humankind.....sad commentary of the world we live in indeed !!

UK 11 years ago

Technically speaking, anything refrigerated would be at temperature below zero °C temperature (freezing). Airconditioned is the appropriate word. Or is it going be really refrigerated ?

UK 11 years ago

Technically speaking, anything refrigerated would be at temperature below zero °C temperature (freezing). Airconditioned is the appropriate word. Or is it going be really refrigerated ?