Chilling out in Dubai's ice lounge
This isn't the Swiss ski resort of Zermatt. Or the Sapporo Snow Festival in Japan. This, believe it or not, is the Chillout Cafe in Dubai, the region's first ice lounge. Honeymooners and other tourists from the parched Gulf countries are making a beeline here to cool off and get closer. The interior decor of Dubai's Chillout cafe is made entirely of carved ice, with frozen picture frames, ice curtains and frosty seats covered in fur. Owned by UAE's Sharaf Group, the cafe is lit with multi-colored fluorescent lights and the temperature inside is a frigid 6 degrees, about 40 degrees lower than the torrid desert air outside. For 60 dirhams apiece (US$ 16, INR 895), visitors are allowed to stay for 40 minutes and served one hot drink. They are also kitted out with thermal jackets, boots and fur hats provided by the cafe in a striking similarity to the ice hotels which dot Scandinavia in winter. The newly opened cafe draws about 100 visitors every day.