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Dubai: home to the desert's first rainforest
Posted on 13/10/2016

EnvironmentUnited Arab Emirates

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Not content with having built a metropolis on artificial islands, Dubai will soon be home to the Middle East's first tropical rainforest as the city continues to redefine luxury.

Dubai never stops surprising with its extravagant ideas; the desert city is already home to the world's largest indoor ski resort, some 45 million flowers grow in Dubai Miracle Garden and the highest skyscrapers on the planet make up its skyline. But the United Arab Emirates' first city is showing no sign of slowing down, with plans for the first tropical rainforest in the Middle East well under way as part of one of the city's many luxury hotel offerings.

Rainforest in the desert

Rainforest in the desert
© sergwsq/123RF

The 75,000-square-foot artificial jungle will be installed in the 5 star Rosemont Hotel and Residences Dubai. Currently under construction, the luxurious £423.6m complex will join the myriad of opulent hotels in the city.

In order to escape the heat of Dubai's desert climate, the rainforest will be housed within the 47-storey Hilton Worldwide hotel, which will consist of 450 hotel rooms and 250 residential suites. Extravagant amenities, such as a glass-bottom infinity pool with a panoramic view of Dubai's skyline, will also be available to guests.

DJ Armin, lead architect charged with designing the hotel, explained "as the site wasn't a beachfront location, we looked at how we could create a new type of outdoor leisure space in the city". A rainforest, it seems, was the answer. The tropical forest will incorporate streams, waterfalls, adventure trails, a beach and a pool, a "prehistoric Jurassic-inspired marsh", a rainforest café and, so you can truly feel like Tarzan, a zip line through the dense trees.

If that wasn't enough, an all-immersive sensory rain system is planned to simulate the sensation of being surrounded by falling rain. Thanks to sensors that detect people and control where the rain will fall, visitors will be able to explore the forest without actually getting wet.

According to designers, this 'rainwater' will then be collected, stored as condensation and recycled to create a humid environment similar to a tropical rainforest.

The hotel also plans to host a world class spa, a bowling alley, a trampoline park, an aquarium and even a skydiving simulator, to name but a few ammenities. Upon arrival guests will also be greeted with 4D animations on the ceiling of the lobby where a robotic host will take care of the luggage.

Expected to be completed in 2018, the rainforest will be open to outside visitors as well as hotel guests and residents.

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