The world’s most expensive infinity pool was, until now, empty

Sunny spots were filled with hundreds of people laying down to gaze at 1,650-metre screen – but not everyone was happy

The world’s highest infinity pool opened for business in Dubai on Monday – and was full of two-for-one deals. Or so the marketing text reads.

Designed to provide a contrast with the over-priced delights of the Burj Khalifa’s observation deck, which can cost up to $639 (£408) per adult, the blue pool stretches 1,650 metres above Dubai’s shimmering, gold-clad skyline.

You do the math, can you see why? Saltwater heated by solar energy covers the glass surface, dipping slightly at the bottom of the pool, so that swimmers can stay dry. But, true to usual Dubai activity, activity does not always translate to joy.

Some have lamented the sight of many people lounging down in the infinity pool with little interest in taking a dip, instead preferring to hover through 360 degrees of panoramic city life – fully clothed.

Joe Sestak, a Mashable reporter who was on hand for the launch, said most of the hotel’s guests were there to immerse themselves in luxury.

“The room you’re staying in is 3,500 square feet, has a total of 34 bathrooms, a chef’s kitchen and seven separate rooms to choose from,” he wrote in a message to Mashable. “A lockable flat-screen TV with internet is extra.

“Some have commented that they were comfortable getting comfortable. One woman remarked she had been stuck in an elevator for about five minutes while a guy was happy to sit in the water and stare out at the city.”

It is standard for the region’s hotels to market deals to those who do not necessarily want to splash out on the latest offerings, and Sunscape Jumeirah uses the pool to book out its spa, wine room and other activities. The pool also offers a light-show display nightly.

Writing in the local English-language newspaper, the Daily News, UK-based traveller Frank Benelamatt said that many guests were “arrogant beach-bums” and that “you’d think there were a lot of them because they were all sitting on the greenish water in the hundreds, looking out at nothing more than the land. It’s like an afterthought to complete their pool experience.”

• This article was amended on 22 October 2016 to correct a reference to the view outside the pool as the world’s highest.

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