[plage-refrigeree-dubai.jpg]Versace, the renowned fashion house, is to create the world’s first refrigerated beach so that hotel guests can walk comfortably across the sand on scorching days, reports The Australian.

The beach will be next to the the new Palazzo Versace Hotel which is being built in Dubai where summer temperatures average 40C and can reach 50C. The swimming pool will be refrigerated and there are also proposals to install giant blowers to waft a gentle breeze over the beach.

The 10-story hotel will have 213 rooms, several with their own internal swimming pools, plus 169 apartments. Fifteen more such hotels are planned.

Competition to serve the world’s rich is getting intense, especially in Dubai. The city already boasts the world’s first seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab, while Armani, a competitor with Versace, is building a similarly branded Dubai hotel.

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. [via]