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Cooling open spaces to boost Qatar's tourism
November 08 2016 08:10 PM
A view of the audience at the Green Expo Forum. PICTURE: Jayan Orma.
A view of the audience at the Green Expo Forum. PICTURE: Jayan Orma.

Cooling open spaces, particularly with the use of smart air-conditioning (AC) systems, will help in enticing more tourists to visit Qatar and other neighbouring GCC countries in summer, a senior official of Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) has said.

Despite searing temperatures and high humidity, GORD research and development director Dr Esam Elsarrag told Gulf Times that visitors will find it interesting to go to places such as souqs, cultural venues, and other tourist destinations if given “a cool and suitable ambiance.”

He noted that evaporative cooling fans often used for outdoors may not be enough to relieve people’s discomfort with the weather during the hot months.

“What we can do is to use a different system that will dehumidify and lower temperatures in the area, giving much relief to people who want to sit outside restaurants and coffee shops at these places,” said Elsarra, who was speaking on the sidelines of the three-day Green Expo Forum 2016 in Doha yesterday.

He believes that such move is an investment opportunity to encourage both domestic and foreign tourists to visit and enjoy their stay in the country even in summer.

The use of this new smart AC system also helps in saving up to 80% electricity compared to conventional methods, he added.

Dubbed as [email protected], the technology consists of a single or multi stages that can dehumidify and cool the air to the required comfort level. It uses recycled water and absorbent materials extracted from rejected desalination brines.

[email protected], which is risk free and chlorofluorocarbon-free energy efficient cooling system, is locally manufactured, licensed to Sharjah Kuwait Manufacturing (SKM) and it can be fully driven by waste heat and renewables.

On Monday, GORD signed a memorandum of understanding with SKM for the commercialisation of the first Qatari-patent smart AC system. Units are will be available in the GCC region 2017.

“We are taking some materials extracted from rejected brands, we mixed it with some by products from the oil and gas industry, it is called desiccant cooling, which can dehumidify the air easily and cooling the air without adding moisture,” he explained.

Part of the plan is to manufacture units with higher capacities (20 to 50 tonnes) soon, enough to cool open spaces such as Souq Waqif and Katara – the Cultural Village, among others, using less electricity, according to Elsarra.

A first in the region, he noted that the new AC system went through a five year review – “something that Qatar should be proud of.”



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