I sometimes miss winters in Canada, if only for that cosy feeling of curling up in a front of a fireplace in a pair of slippers, snow gently falling outside. The UAE is about as chilly as it's going to get right now, but I still feel a yearning for my own personal blaze.
As it turns out, I'm not the only one, and there's an eco-conscious option out there to satisfy that urge for a warm, flickering glow. EcoSmartFire is an environmentally friendly, flueless open fire that is fuelled by clean-burning, denatured ethanol - a renewable resource. No gas, no electricity needed. There is no smoke and no messy ash, meaning they are easy to maintain as well as install.
Different versions of this "fire furniture" - incorporating stainless steel, toughened glass and chrome - can be seen all over the Emirates at hotels and restaurants. Tribes Restaurant in Mall of the Emirates has one, for example, as will the lobby of the soon-to-open Park Hyatt on Saadiyat Island.
Azur System, the Middle East distributor for the devices, has also done more than 100 installations in private villas and palaces in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Azur is due to open a showroom in Dubai by the end of March, but until then you can investigate further by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 050 548 2159. There are a variety of models available, from small to much larger. This is a mid-range option, the Vision indoor - only Dh39,900.