Nice If You’ve Got the Ice

sidetop2banner-iceculturesm.gifEverything’s Made of Ice at Dubai Bar
by Donna Abu-Nasr

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Outside it was a sticky 111 degrees, but Ali Hamdan was shivering under two parkas as he sipped hot chocolate, surrounded by tables and chairs made of ice.

Chillout, its owners say, is the Middle East’s first ice lounge – the latest venture in this desert Gulf emirate, which has been transformed by a mania for the biggest, first or most outlandish.

Gulf men in traditional white robes with wives covered in black cloaks, teenagers eager to experience their first cold blast and Westerners who miss the chill are flocking to the bar-restaurant to hang out in what amounts to a freezer.

Everything is made of ice: the walls, tables and chairs; cups, glasses and plates; the art on the wall, the sculptures depicting Dubai’s skyline, the beaded curtains, the 7-foot-chandelier and the bar. Read the whole story here.