“Rainforest” set for Dubai rankles environmentalists
Dubai already boasts the world’s tallest skyscraper, a seven-star luxury hotel and an indoor ski resort, among other glitzy attractions. Yet even by this city’s daring architectural standards, the plan for a “rainforest” marks “a new zenith in outrageous investment,” Laurie Balbo reports for Green Prophet.
While the goal is to replicate the flora and fauna found in actual rainforests, local environmentalists are critical. “To create an artificial forest in such harsh conditions, they are challenging nature,” Dr. Ali El-Keblawy, associate professor at the University of Sharjah, tells the publication.
He warned that the rainforest would require an enormous amount of water, straining limited resources in this desert environment. The UAE already has the world’s highest per capita water consumption, the article says.
The forest would be housed under a temperature-controlled dome at a new luxury housing development that is marketing itself as a “lush expanse” set within “endless green acres.” The developers intend to offer educational tours and recreational activities, such as zip lines, climbing walls and hiking trails. The rainforest is scheduled to open before the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.