Dubai's Palazzo Versace hires firm to cool sandy beaches

By Rachel Durfee

December 19, PopSci

Clear skies, crystalline blue waters, and…scalding hot sand? The latter is not part of a beach day in paradise, and paradise is exactly what management at Dubai's Palazzo Versace hotel and condominium are aiming to give each and every one of their guests and residents. In Middle Eastern Dubai, where temperatures can reach a boiling 122 degrees Fahrenheit, those visiting during the summer months may not be able to enjoy sunbathing on the beach. Refusing to allow Mother Nature to interfere, the Palazzo has hired Hyder Consulting to fix the problem.

Hyder, which has a long-term presence in the Middle East and offers engineering services, including environmentally sustainable buildings, infrastructure solutions, mechanical and electrical expertise, will install heat-absorbing pipes beneath the sand that will serve as a cooling system. Above ground, large wind turbines will send refreshing island breezes over bikini and speedo-clad beach goers. Says Soheil Abedian, the president of Palazzo Versace, "We will suck the heat out of the sand to keep it cool enough to lie on." The surrounding pools will actually be cooled, rather than heated, to prevent them from becoming boiling hot tubs. As for the temperature of the ocean, that will be left to the laws of nature.

Hyder Consulting was also the firm behind Dubai's famous indoor alpine ski slope, Ski Dubai., which uses rather the opposite technology to create a winter wonderland in the middle of a dessert.

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