For those of you who hate scorching your feet on hot beach sand, the developers of one of Dubai’s latest luxury hotels has the ultimate pampering for you: the climate controlled beach. No more toasted toes on the way to the waves of the Arab Gulf, promises the Palazzo Versace. The beach will feature a cooling system that will cool the sands and allow the guests to bask in the sun without becoming overheated.
“We will suck the heat out of the sand to keep it cool enough to lie on,” said the founder of the hotel, Soheil Abedian. “This is the kind of luxury that top people want.”
Technological solutions: So, how do you keep the sands cool, and can you do it in an environmentally responsible way?
One reported solution is to run coolant pipes under the beach in order to draw the heat out of the sand, and bring it to a comfortable temperature in the scorching heat of the United Arab Emirates.
Sea water itself could be used, in conjuction with a refrigeration/air conditioner system, or on its own. Another source reports that cool sands could be achieved by a combination of clever landscaping and shading by trees, or by forcing air conditioned exhaust air from the hotel and residential building under the beach.
Just roll out the red carpet
While the second solutions appear to be more environmentally responsible, the only effective solutions seems to be the ridiculous option of refrigeration. Maybe putting down a carpet would be the best.
And does it really matter whether it is green, if 60% of Dubai’s power bill goes to air conditioning, and expensive luxury high rises with all of the latest amenities are springing up everywhere, causing traffic jams, congestion and pollution?
In keeping with the ever-expanding search for the ultimate tourist attraction, Dubai has an impressive list (map):
- An indoor desert ski resort
- Plans for the world’s first rotating skyscraper
- The tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai, currently under construction at 780 meters
- The first 7-star luxury hotel
- A palm-shaped artificial island
- A stunning skyscraper covered in solar cells and wind turbines
Are Dubai’s building hey-days numbered?
The global economic crisis, causing a shortage of disposable income and a severe credit crunch, is bad news for an economy based on tourism, shopping and real estate projects: Dubai’s economy gets less than 6% of its revenue from petroleum and natural gas, as part of a calculated policy to depend on trade, real estate and financial services.
With dropping prices for the little oil it has, and a decrease in available foreign cash, Dubai might have to turn to low cost solutions and expand on its environmental projects: A planned fleet of electric cars, the Middle East’s largest solar panel factory, or bicycles in the 40 degree heat? Maybe they will convert to eco-tourism, and join other eco-tourist destinations in the region.