One of the things that strikes new Dubai residents is the sheer amount of air conditioning units. If you are coming from cooler countries like the United Kingdom or Sweden, the presence of this energy-guzzling machinery is one of the first things you notice.
In fact, 60 percent of Dubai’s energy consumption goes towards feeding its army of air conditioners. As soon as you walk out of the air-conditioned airport, you realize why.
Before engineers perfected climate control technology, the desert heat of Dubai would have prevented a complex city from emerging on the shore of the Persian Gulf. With temperatures regularly topping 40 degrees centigrade, life in the emirate wouldn’t be livable without the cool stream of air from a conditioning unit.
There are other ways to cool down in Dubai. Every day, thousands of people cool off at Wild Wadi Water Park and hit the beach, but it’s not a solution for the offices and residences of everyday people. We have become dependent upon technology to do the job for us.
Creating Artificial Beaches and Ski Resorts
At the Palazzo Versace, the hotel’s owners have even installed an air conditioned beach. This sounds incredible, but it’s true. As you sunbathe on the Versace’s private beach, pipes filled with cooled air make the experience more enjoyable. Then there is Ski Dubai. This massive winter sports center seems to mock the heat of the desert, allowing the people of the city to experience slalom runs while the asphalt bakes outside.
At the moment, the city government is planning to introduce smart sidewalks with air conditioned surfaces in the new Desert Rose development. Outside the city center, the domes of Miracle Gardens provide a beautifully colorful flower display thanks to its advanced air conditioning units, while the planned Mall of the World will rely entirely on its climate control systems to keep its millions of shoppers happy.
In Dubai, There Seems to be no End to the Effort to Defeat the Power of the Climate
When you think about the energy and technology required to keep Dubai going, you get a sense of how impressive the city really is. It shouldn’t be the financial, cultural and retail hub that it has become, but thanks to air conditioning in Dubai, that’s exactly what it is.
I learned the hard way how important air-con can be, when my apartment’s unit broke down last month. The result was a couple of days of discomfort and eating out as the apartment was too hot for cooking. Imagine what could happen if conditioners went out across the city?
In my case, finding a solution was simple. I checked out the air conditioning listings at Connect.ae and found an engineer nearby who could repair my unit. It turns out that small businesses across Dubai make a good living out of people like me, and that’s a very good thing. Without my engineer, I would just be living in a concrete box in the desert, not a very appetizing thought.