Beyond Green Travel with Costas Christ Destination Report Card: Dubai

Some deserts bloom with flowers. Dubai’s desert blooms with outrageous tourism attractions.

With air-conditioned indoor ski slopes, lush golf courses, giant man-made islands shaped like palm trees, and plans to recreate the Seven Wonders of the World, Dubai wants to become the tourism center of the planet. And, as long as 240,000 barrels of oil a day keep pumping in the United Arab Emirates, only the sky is the limit for Dubai—actually, maybe not anymore, given they’ve nearly finished building the world’s tallest tower.

But can it possibly be sustainable? Just one of Dubai’s golf courses requires a million gallons of desalinated water a day to keep the grass green under a scorching sun.