The Versace fashion house, which is now in the hotel business, knows no bounds in the luxuries it’s willing to afford its clientele.
It’s now set to create the first refrigerated beach so that even on the hottest days, pampered guests can comfortably walk across the sand or lie on it.
The beach will be next to the new Palazzo Versace hotel being built in Dubai, where summer temperatures average 40C (104F) and can reach 50C (122F). It will have a network of pipes underneath the sand containing a coolant that will absorb heat from the surface. There are also proposals to install giant blowers to waft a gentle breeze over the beach.
The energy required to run this project can only be guessed at, but it’s left environmentalists in despair.
“It’s grotesque that while the world’s poorest people face the loss of their homes and livelihoods, as well as disease and starvation, because of climate change, the world’s richest people think it’s acceptable to waste precious energy so pointlessly on things like artificially cooled beaches,” said Robin Oakley, head of climate and energy at Greenpeace UK.
Dubai’s rulers insist they now place ‘sustainability’ at the heart of their plans for existing and future projects, but Mr Oakley said it appeared that Dubai was stuck firmly in the 1980s.
Regular readers of this column will know about some of the grandiose schemes that are constantly on the go in Dubai – ski domes in the desert, vast artificial islands, skyscraping seven-star hotels etc. It was recently announced that 30,000 mature trees would be shipped there to help landscape a new Tiger Woods-designed golf course that will be bordered by 22 palaces and 75 mansions.
Leo Hickman, a columnist in the Guardian newspaper in the UK, summed it all up: “Dubai represents the will, vision and ambition of our species. Yet many believe it shines an unflattering light on our tendency for folly and hubris too.”
by Andy Moreton