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Dust in the wind

Dust in the wind

Businesses outdoors in the region should probably factor in the abundance of sand. But they don’t, apparently.

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November 9, 2010 3:16 by



We’ve been banging on about environmental concerns over the last month or so, but there’s more than one kind of environmental issue businesses should be concerned with. Some recent news has underlined that, even before sustainability, businesses should concern themselves with where they are operating.

Word has reached Kipp that in internal meetings at Yas Island, the problems with the world’s fastest roller coaster at Ferrari World have been explained: It’s all down to sand. The Formula Rossa was plagued by problems at the opening (attended by Kipp), and apparently it was all down to sand in the braking system. Engineers giving a talk to other construction managers at Yas Island said the sophisticated braking systems were not designed to deal with sand.

It is, at the very least, a bit of an oversight for a ride placed slap bang in the middle of the desert.

But Ferrari World’s ride designers aren’t the only ones to miss this trick. Remember Masdar’s recent announcement? Apparently, the reason the project’s developers are having so much trouble making efficient solar panels is that every time they put them out in the desert, a fine layer of dust diminishes their efficiency by significant amounts.

Frank Wouters, Masdar’s Power Director wryly observed: “There’s a huge difference between PowerPoint and real life.” Until the problem is solved, solar power in the region seems doomed. Masdar boffins are scratching their heads as we speak.

Finally, the port of Jebel Ali was brought to a standstill earlier this week by a sandstorm. Not much to be done about that, we admit, but all this sand-related chaos made a very clear point to Kipp: When doing business in the desert, bear in mind you are in a desert.



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