View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Chill Out on Versace Hotel Refrigerated Beach in Dubai

Stories are popping up in the Times Online and the New York Times about plans by Versace, the renowned fashion house, to create the world’s first refrigerated beach so that Dubai hotel guests can walk comfortably across the sand on scorching days.

In these articles Soheil Abedian, the founder and president of Palazzo Versace, is quoted as saying that he believed it is 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.”

International writers love to seize about the bizarre and the luxurious when it comes to articles on Dubai and the UAE but the country has given plenty of material so that the ‘believe or not’ essays can be written frequently about the Emirates.

Environmental Concerns
Beyond the bizarre is the concern that such stories appear in the ‘Environment’ section of the newspapers. Readers with strengthening environmentalist convictions will find these articles increase their rage, especially when a luxury-chilled beach is being planned for the country that has the world’s largest ecological footprint and at a time when many will conclude that such a cool creation is thumbing the nose at international efforts to reduce global warming and combat climate change.

Jonathan Leake, Chill Out, You Beautiful People, the Versace Beach is Refrigerated, Times Online, 14 December 2008.

James Kanter, Global Tourism and a Chilled Beach in Dubai, The New York Times, 2 January 2009.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: A luxury beach resort wants to make this experience cooler (photo courtesy of the NYT at the above link).