The word oasis conjures up one of those old-time adventure movies in which lost explorers are staggering through the desert to what they think is a verdant water source, only to discover that they're being tormented by a shimmering mirage.
But maybe from now on, you'll imagine a sustainable, solar-powered, emissions-free upscale resort built around a man-made spring, which allows guests to chill out and enjoy gourmet meals made from organic vegetables and farmed fish grown on site.
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That's the vision for a new "eco-resort" planned the Liwa region of the United Arab Emirates.
The project, designed by British-based Baharash Architecture at for UAE's Eco Resort Group, is an effort to create the world's greenest resort in the middle of the desert about 155 miles south of Abu Dhabi. Lonely Planet describes the area as "endless landscape of undulating sand dunes."
While Liwa has natural oases, this one will be created by using a deep well to extract groundwater and create an artificial spring. In an email, design director and founder Baharash Bagherian explained that project is being designed to use that water supply as carefully as possible. in addition to a filtration plant to provide potable water for guests, wastewater will be recycled for use in irrigation.
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The oasis will be surrounded by a flower petal-shaped complex that will include 84 guest suites. It will be topped by 157,000 square feet of solar panels to generate the resort's electrical needs.
The resort also will employ a wildlife biologist and conservation staff to study the handful of animal species that can tolerate the extreme heat of the desert.
In an effort to make the resort emissions-free, Bagherian said that the resort may utilize electric buses capable of traveling more than 200 miles on a single charge to transport guests from the airport in Abu Dhabi.
The resort is scheduled for completion in 2020.