Ice bar: Desert city Dubai's latest tourist attraction

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Dubai, Sep 16 (UNI) An ice bar, the first ever in the Gulf, is the latest attraction aimed at tourists in Dubai and it has been a hit from day one.

Believe it or not, in this ice bar ''Chill Out'' in Times Square, the heart of the city, it is minus six degrees while it is sizzling hot outside.

Owned by Sharaf Group, it is a 3 million dollar facility made of carved ice imported from Canada.

There are special clothes and special entry fee for the bar but that has not deterred visitors. Like Ski Dubai in Emirates Mall, which allows visitors to ski on artificial icy slopes, the ice bar is a novelty that has turned out to be quite popular.

According to Mike Ebenezer, business development manager, everything at Chill Out -- the walls, tables, chairs, the bar, chandelier and even the portrait of Sheikh Mohammed, the Dubai ruler -- is made of ice.

''We recommend that visitors stay inside for around 40 minutes but locals are spending far longer in there. Children as young as eight years old are also enjoying the temperature. So far it has been very popular," he told a local magazine.

"Chillout is the ninth ice bar in the world but many of them are temporary fixtures in cold countries. Dubai is looking at attracting eight million visitors this year alone, so why not have a permanent ice bar in the middle of the desert?" he said.

Chillout was designed by a team from the Sharaf Group in Dubai but all of the ice was carved and cut by Iceculture Inc, a company specialising in ice sculptures in Canada, before being shipped to Dubai. The entire project from start to finish took a year and a half to complete but took just two months to install. "It is impossible to get this purity of ice from anywhere else in the world", Ebenezer said.


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