"Two weeks ahead of its scheduled opening date of 2 December, we have been invited for a sneak preview. As the ferocious midday sun toasts tourists on nearby Jumeirah beaches, we're donning ski boots, gloves and thermal coats. Kitted out in full Scott-of-the-Antarctic style we approach the complex's colossal front doors, much to the amusement of the shoppers dressed in shorts and sandals in the adjoining mall.
...Even in this endlessly ambitious town, taking temperatures of up to 45C down to below zero seemed crazy. But this is a city that refuses to be confined by such trifling matters as logic, physics or geography. It's currently engaged in a host of surreal superprojects: building the first ever underwater hotel, complete with performance hall for subaquatic operas; constructing a theme park (imaginatively entitled 'Dubailand') that's larger than the city itself; and erecting the tallest tower in the world (the Burj Dubai, whose height is a firmly guarded secret). Next year will see the opening of the first Palm Island project, a vast manmade archipelago stretching into the Persian Gulf. For Dubai, 'moderation' is a dirty word."