If you’re one of the poor unfortunate souls in Dubai who doesn’t drive a Land Rover and rely instead on public transportation to get around, you’re in luck – you won’t have to stick to the sidewalk in the midday heat after all — Dubai has a series of air-conditioned bus stops to help you keep your cool.A world first, the RTA (Road Transit Authority) of Dubai started plans for the air-conditioned bus stops in 2006 and the first ones rolled out in 2007. According to the RTA’s website, there are 2700 bus stops in Dubai, 636 of which are air-conditioned. Not one to be outdone, Abu Dhabi, unveiled their own string of air-conditioned bus stops in 2009. Which of course left Dubai thinking, “How can we top that?”Well they’re trying. Dubai has plans to unleash free Wi-Fi in the shelters later this year. It won’t be for freeloaders though – the plan is to link internet accessibility to holders of the prepaid transit card (called NOL), so only paying customers get the advantage of Wi-Fi.
What’ll they think of next? Air-conditioned beaches?
The much-ballyhooed (and oft-delayed) Palazzo Versace scheduled to open later this year will be the first hotel in the world with an air-conditioned beach. A series of coolant-filled pipes snaking below the sand will keep it’s heat-averse guests pleasantly refrigerated. A contingent of giant A/C machines blowing on command will compliment the nouveau flooring.
That’s a heckuva lot more grand than mere air-conditioned bus stops, and in keeping with Dubai’s one-upmanship of itself, a whole lot more crazy too.