Chilling developments in Dubai
Dubai is a place of excess not in terms of alcohol, drugs and sex but in terms of cost to the environment it must be up there with the worst.
As new hotels and pleasuredomes of merchandise are built so the excess carbon footprint grows.
Some of the latest innovations at the all new Palazzo Versace Hotel include refrigerated swimming pools and sandy beaches that have the hot air sucked out of them so that they are more comfortable to walk on.
More on the Sand Technology at NP.
This week, it was reported that the Palazzo Versace hotel - the Emirate's latest offering for those still in the market for exorbitant luxury - will boast, when completed in 2010, a refrigerated 820sq metre swimming pool and a beach with artificially cooled sand to protect its guests from the excesses of a climate that can see summer temperatures exceeding 50C. Wind machines will even be on hand to provide a gentle breeze.
"We will suck the heat out of the sand to keep it cool enough to lie on," said Soheil Abedian, founder and president of Palazzo Versace, a hotel group with plans for a further 15 luxury hotels around the world to add to the one that already exists on Australia's Gold Coast. (I'm a Celebrity junkies will know this as the hotel where the celebrities are sent once voted out of the "jungle".) "This is the kind of luxury that top people want," he added.