The world’s first refrigerated beach is to be built at a luxury hotel in Dubai so the filthy rich holidaymakers don’t burn their feet on the scalding hot sand.
The revolutionary beach will sit next to the new Palazzo Versace hotel and will include a system of heat-absorbing pipes built under the sand and giant wind blowers, designed to keep tourists cool in the searing 40-50C heat.
The hotel, which is due to open late next year or early 2010, will be controlled by thermostats linked up to computers and feature a cooled swimming pool.
(Above and below) Artist’s impressions of the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai. The refrigerated beach will include a system of heat-absorbing pipes built under the sand and giant wind blowers
However, the plans have been criticised by campaigners who are infuriated by the potential impact on climate change.
Rachel Noble, of Tourism Concern, said: ‘Dubai is like a bubble world where the things that are worrying the rest of the world, like climate change, are simply ignored so people can continue destructive lifestyles.’
The lavish project will enhance Dubai’s appeal to the celebrity jet-set and increase competition to a region that already houses the world’s first seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab.
Luxury: The first Palazzo Versace hotel in Australia. The second luxury hotel is set to open in Dubai late next year
However, the city’s continued expansion will also add to its huge carbon footprint. Each person living in Dubai has a carbon footprint of more than 44 tons of CO2 a year.
Despite the environmental fears, Versace says the beach will be environmentally sustainable.
Soheil Abedian, president of Palazzo Versace, said: ‘We will suck the heat out of the sand to keep it cool enough to lie on. This is the kind of luxury that top people want.’
A source added: ‘The super rich want pure luxury. They don’t want to walk on scalding sand.’
A British firm, Hyder Consulting will oversee the project, and it is hoped the 10-storey hotel will help attract some of the 800,000 Brits who visit Dubai each year.
There is already one Palazzo Versace hotel, operating on Australia’s Gold Coast, which has attracted the rich and famous. Fifteen more hotels are in the pipeline.