In Dubai, money can buy you a room on a refrigerated beach

Sometimes the creativity that blistering hot weather breeds is truly mind-boggling: Pallazo Versace Hotel has decided to create a temperature controlled beach extending out and around its new hotel in Dubai, so that the “top people” (ugh) don’t burn their feet.

“We will suck the heat out of the sand to keep it cool enough to lie on,” says Soheil Abedian, president of Palazzo Versace. Of course, it’s “pure luxury” that the super rich want. REALLY!?

Climate change, eco-tourism, environment, throw them all out the window and you get Dubai, money, and ludicrous.

They’re going to put heat-absorbing pipes under the sand, refrigerate the hotel swimming pool, and have giant air coolers to keep the guests cool in Dubai’s scorching 104F-122F summer heat. The thermostats used in the system will be computer controlled. The hotel is planned to be ready by 2010.

Call it competition, call it thrill, call it whack-job, call it destructive tourism for the filthy rich; do these “top people” for whom this barbarity is being created, care? What is the point? Oh tourism $$$ of course!

Well, environmentalists are more than shrugging: “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,” says Rachael Noble of Tourism Concern. I share the disgust in that statement.

Whether it will actually happen or not is another question, but they way things are here, there leaves little room for doubt.

I am not a saint, nor am I an environmentalist, nor do I do any important activity other than recycle. But when I read stuff like this, as numb as I think I am to crazy Dubai deeds, it always gets the better of me and I fail to understand why I live here. I’m waiting for this bubble to explode. Will it ever?

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