Dubai: There may be no better way to escape the searing summer heat in Dubai than a visit to the Chill Out lounge, a new subzero experience from Sharaf Group.
Owners of the ice bar, situated in the new Times Square Centre shopping mall, are hoping it will be a hit with tourists and residents alike, and in the process draw in business to the Sharaf Group's new shopping centre.
The bar, which charges a Dh60 entry fee that comes with a beverage, is made entirely of ice – including an ice bar, ice chairs (with leather cushions) and even a decorative curtain made from sculpted ice blocks. Each guest is given a thick coat and gloves to brave the minus six degrees Celsius climate.
Salah Sharaf, a director of the group, said it plans to export the concept to other nations in the Middle East, as well as Malaysia and Singapore, where it already owns retail outlets.
“This is the first venture in the Gulf area. We're definitely looking to expand into neighbouring countries,'' he said.
Chill Out plans to serve cold appetizers and alcohol-free “Mocktails' in mugs of ice. The idea was to develop an experience, said Sharaf, just as Mall of the Emirates did with its indoor ski slope.
It may not be environmentally sensitive, and the electricity bills will be “very huge,'' conceded Sharah Hospitality's business manager, Mike Ebenezer, but he said the Chill Out lounge just might achieve its goal of becoming a Dubai landmark.
“It's basically a prestigious product for Dubai – a must-see for tourists.''