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    Real Snow in Dubai (Well, Almost): Project Invests in Climate Miracle

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    A developer of one of the islands in Dubai's World Islands artificial archipelago has tested the use of snow machines to make it snow on the desert island.

    MOSCOW, December 23 (Sputnik) — An island in the 'Heart of Europe' section of Dubai's World Islands megaproject has received a test batch of real snow in time for the holidays, the promotional news service 7DaysinDubai has reported.

    The 'Germany' portion of the $850 million Heart of Europe islands received a batch of snow, which was generated using snow machines in a test spiritedly referred to as 'Frosty, the test snowman'. In the future, the machines are expected to be installed on the islands of 'Austria', 'Germany', 'Monaco', 'St. Petersburg', 'Sweden' and 'Switzerland', the six islands comprising 'The Heart of Europe' project.

    Kleindienst Group development firm CEO Josef Kleindienst told 7Days that the test "proves it's possible to make it snow and even build a snowman with technical snow, outdoors in Dubai."

    Kleindienst says that the test was part of wider plans to create an outdoor climate controlled environment using an elaborate system of rain pumps, snow machines, and an underground pipe-based floor cooling system. Kleindienst noted that using this system, a temperature of 27 degrees –considered the ideal outdoor temperature in Europe, can be created in parts of the islands.

    The real estate developer noted that even Dubai itself could benefit from implementing outdoor climate control technology, saying he believes it "would make perfect sense", since energy is already being used to drive cars and air condition malls and buildings.

    A grandiose fireworks display over Palm Islands and the World Islands project, January 1, 2014.
    © AP Photo / Dubai World Record 2014, Simon Brooke-Webb
    A grandiose fireworks display over Palm Islands and the World Islands project, January 1, 2014.

    Sougata Nandi, a sustainable development expert for Dubai's CPI-Industry consulting group, was skeptical about the idea; he told 7Days that while "it's technically possible to do this", it is highly impractical and energy intensive. "For example, to cool enclosed areas such as the ski slopes in Mall of the Emirates consumes huge energy. So to make it snow, and keep the snow outdoors, would take a lot of energy."

    Kleindienst brushed off the skepticism, noting that the energy consumption for the project would be no more than that already found in some of the big malls in the area.

    Once completed, the 'Heart of Europe' development is expected to feature cobbled streets, plazas, hotels, shops and restaurants. Its islands will only accept euros, 'just like in Europe', What'sOn Dubai explained. Kleindienst insists that the project will be finished by late 2016.

    The World Islands are an artificial archipelago off the coast of Dubai in the Persian Gulf, which is comprised of 300 islands. The project was begun in 2003, although it was temporarily halted in 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis. The project was conceptualized by Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed, and spans nine kilometers in width and seven kilometers in length, surrounded by an oval-shaped breakwater island. 386 million tons of rock and 321 million cubic meters of sand were used to create the islands, with freshwater pipelines and electricity cables set to provide them with fresh water and power. Only two islands have been developed so far: 'Greenland' and 'Lebanon'. Dubai's Nakheel Group is developing a resort in the 'North America' portion of the islands, and Investment Dar of Kuwait is creating a resort in islands in the 'Australia' and 'New Zealand' portion. A number of smaller investors have plans to develop resorts, hotels, restaurants, marinas and apartment complexes there.


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