x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Can air-cooled jackets beat the UAE heat? Dubai's DED is testing it out

Outdoor inspectors for the Department of Economic Development get jackets to help them stay cool as temperatures rise.

The fans in a Japanese-designed cooling jacket used by inspectors at the Department of Economic Development are powered by four Double-A batteries. Razan Alzayani/The National
The fans in a Japanese-designed cooling jacket used by inspectors at the Department of Economic Development are powered by four Double-A batteries. Razan Alzayani/The National

DUBAI //

Temperatures across the country have reached 40°C and the days of high humidity will soon be here.

For most outdoor workers that means long days of dehydration, perspiration and discomfort.

But inspectors from the Department of Economic Development (Ded) in Dubai have been given battery-powered, air-cooled jackets for their field visits.

"The inspectors go on routine and random inspections in retail outlets across Dubai as part of the department's role in protecting the rights of consumers as well as traders," said Omar Al Mehairi, director of development and follow-up in commercial compliance and consumer protection.

"The air-cooled jackets will help the inspectors withstand hot weather conditions and perform their tasks more efficiently."

The anorak-style jackets, made in Japan, were launched last week.

They can be recharged when necessary and  new versions will eventually be powered by solar energy.

"Two fans blow cool air throughout the jacket and keep the body temperature at desirable levels, even when it is hot and humid outside," Mr Al Mehairi said.

Instead of having to endure the 40°C-plus outside temperatures, wearers of the jackets will enjoy a comfortable  20°C, but the fans can be adjusted between high and low.

For now, the department is using the jackets on a trial basis.

"The Ded will order more of them for the use of our inspectors depending on the feedback from the trial," Mr Al Mehairi said.

The government body also plans to introduce air-cooled caps, trousers and shirts. The garments "cover your body from the sun and it's like a layer of wind", Mr Al Mehairi said.

Hameed S, a construction worker in Dubai, was very interested in the idea.

"It would be a great idea to be able to wear such a jacket during the summer here," he said.

"The hot weather has already started now and the heat can really prevent us from doing our work properly.

"It just gets extremely hot and heavy, so having a bit of cool air would allow us to move around faster and easier."

 

cmalek@thenational.ae