x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

A cooling opportunity not to be mist

A cooling mist is about to spread across Abu Dhabi's Family Park after the first of many Refresh Points was installed last week.

The first Refresh Point is at Family Park.
The first Refresh Point is at Family Park.

A cooling mist is about to spread across Abu Dhabi's Family Park after the first of many Refresh Points was installed last week. They look just like advertising kiosks but press a button and the Refresh Point sprays you with cooling water vapour. The first Refresh Point was activated at Family Park last Thursday.

Saleh al Zaabi, who works for the Abu Dhabi fire department, said his children Nasser, 5, and Salama, 3, loved playing in the clouds of mist. "[The idea is] nice, especially when the weather is hot," Mr al Zaabi said. Abhijit Akolkar came across the Refresh Point while walking with his family. "This is a nice concept. It gives you the right kind of refreshment. "But the only thing is I didn't know what it was at first. I thought it was smoke coming from a barbecue."

Refresh Points have proved popular in the US, Canada and Brazil. Ali al Kayed, the chief executive of CoolMedia, the company behind the project, said: "The good thing about this device is it's not liquid, so you won't get wet or get your clothes wet." Refresh Points also carry advertising from corporate sponsors and the Abu Dhabi Municipality, which means they can finance themselves. Amran al Sharhan, the managing director of CoolMedia, said: "Most kiosks just put banners up, so people don't really benefit and they keep on walking.

"This provides a service to the people and it doesn't cost anything." CoolMedia plans to install 50 more around Abu Dhabi in the next year. The developers hope the devices will provide a new revenue stream for the Government, which will take a slice of the profit from advertising sales. The amount of water used is minimal and is drawn from public water supplies, so the Refresh Point requires no storage facilities or tanks.

If it proves successful, the group hopes to install other helpful features, including bicycle pumps, BlueTooth wireless services and even samples of perfume or aftershave. gregor.hunter@thenational.ae