By Melissa Locker
August 17, 2016
Credit: Courtesy of Curio Collection

A new oasis is popping up in the sands that surround the United Arab Emirates—an indoor rainforest.

The glass towers of the 448-room Rosemont Hotel and Residence are rising in Dubai’s Al Thanyah district. Designed by Zas Architects, the 1.1-million-square-foot hotel features all the hallmarks of Arabian luxury with a cantilevered, glass-bottomed infinity pool, gaming suite, bowling alley, nightclub, and even robotic luggage handlers.

The hotel will also feature a 6,300-square-foot presidential suite, according to Forbes, with its own private spa, sauna, Jacuzzi and swimming pool with waterfall feature. The real jaw-dropper, though, is the man-made jungle that will pop up inside the hotel.

Architect Preetam Panwar told Gulf News that the world’s first indoor rainforest will give guests a 360-degree experience, starting with a Rain Room that “simulates the sensation of being surrounded by rainfall without actually getting wet.”

The seemingly impossible feat boils down to technology.

“You’ll see rain, but as you walk through it you won’t get wet because it has sensors on top and it stops water flowing in a two-meter radius around the person,” Panwar said. While rainforests are typically filled with the flora indigenous to Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia, the Rosemont’s rainforest will use as many of Dubai’s local plants and trees as possible, including palms, Frankincense trees, weeping willow, the desert rose, and more.

Credit: Courtesy of Curio Collection

A rainforest requires something that is hard to come by in the desert, though: water. To make sure the jungle stays suitably humid, the hotel will use recycled water collected from condensation, according to Forbes.

“The intent is to create an environment that is usable year-round,” Panwar told Gulf News. “It’s promoting more outdoor usage even in the harsh climate here all summer.”

The 75,000-square-foot rainforest will also include a splash pool, a stream, and indoor adventure trails that wind through the faux forest. To complement the rainforest, there will also be an indoor beach, albeit one without sand just to add to the wonder of it all.

The project is expected to be complete in December 2018.