Plans are underway to build a beach with refrigerated sand at the new Palazza Versace hotel in Dubai. A substructure of pipes will circulate coolant under the sand to keep guests' feet from getting burned. Giant fans are also proposed to generate an "ocean breeze." The eco-impact of the scheme is a concern. The whole thing reminds me of the domed beaches and ski resorts covered in Iara Lee's cyber-era documentary Synthetic Pleasures. From the Times Online:
Soheil Abedian, founder and president of Palazzo Versace, said he believed it is possible to design a refrigerated beach and make it sustainable. "We will suck the heat out of the sand to keep it cool enough to lie on," he said. "This is the kind of luxury that top people want…"
Versace's plans have shocked environmentalists. Rachel Noble, the campaigns officer at Tourism Concern, which promotes sustainable tourism, said that the carbon generated by such projects would contribute to climate change, whose worst effects would be felt by the poor.
"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," she said.
"Chill out, you beautiful people, the Versace beach is refrigerated" (Times Online), "Cool Sand Likely To Make Environmentalists Hot" (National Public Radio)