Asia

A rainforest in the desert: Dubai’s green masterpiece

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mage: Zasa

mage: Zasa

In 2018, the world’s first man-made rainforest will be opening for business in the middle of a Dubai desert hotel. The Rosemont Inn and Residences is currently under construction in the world’s fastest growing city, and once completed, the Rosemont will feature a 75,000 square foot “rainforest” within its two million square foot venue, a property of Hilton’s luxury Curio Collection. The cost of the Rosemont structure will be near $300 million according to its design firm, ZAS architecture, and stand just aside one of Donald Trump’s golf courses.

A multitude of features await at the Rosemont

If you don’t feel like walking through the rainforest, however, you’ll have plenty of other options at the Rosemont hotel. On-site features range from a bowling alley, an artificial beach, and a movie theater, to a trampoline park, sky pool, spa, health club, splash pool, fine dining restaurants, a rainforest cafe, zip line and trees that actually mist you, all housed in two 53-story five-star hotel towers with 448 rooms, directly beside a separate tower of 280 luxury fully-serviced apartments. All the plants in the “rainforest” will be real, and the Rosemont masterpiece will appropriately match Dubai’s trend of being and attracting the “first and the best,” following Dubai’s opening of the world’s tallest building, the dazzling Burj Khalifa, in 2010.

Here’s what could go wrong

In spite of all the glitz and glamour, this exciting new spot is not without its critics, some even calling the Rosemont “the most absurd yet of the city’s many outlandish construction projects.” In a desert city which already consumes the highest level of water consumption per capita in the world at approximately 145 gallons per person, adding such an immense water footprint as a man-made rainforest sounds at the very least unsustainable to environmentalists. Yet the designer insists the gargantuan project shall be a “monument to the green economy.”

The (sort of) green features at the Rosemont

DJ Armin, managing partner of ZAS, explains his perspective that the hotel will also be used as an educational center, intended to replicate the rainforest in hopes of teaching guests about the essential ecosystem, similar to Washington D.C.’s Botanic Gardens. Admission will be permitted (for a TBD fee) for both guests and non-guests, making the rainforest accessible for educational purposes as well as leisure. In addition, says Armin, the venue will utilize a “technologically advanced, sensory rain system,” which will use the hotel’s own treated wastewater and air conditioning condensation to supply the wet jungle atmosphere. Armin states, “The rainforest’s vegetation will provide natural shade and cooler outdoor areas during summer months.”

However you look at it, the Rosemont project is underway and will open its doors to guests and the public in 2018. Let’s hope environmentalists find a way to make their voices heard by management and owners—through the guests themselves if nothing else.

Kristen lives in the Michiana area, where she enjoys lake-effect weather, apple orchards and occasional South Shore rides into Chicago. She can probably tell you more about apple cider vinegar than you'd ever want to know. You can reach her at: http://lakesedge.wix.com/lakesidewriting