Living in this climate plays strange games with our perception of things. Take rainy days, for instance: even if the temperature is in the high 20s the dark sky and sound of dripping trigger thoughts of comfort food and curling up in front of a fire. And think of summer: in temperate countries we fling open the doors and live outside; here we are closed in, with air conditioning so frigid that all we want is -. to curl up in front of a fire.
Which is all a slightly long way of saying that it's not silly to have a fireplace in this part of the world. Besides, warmth isn't everything: the flickering light of a fire is lovelier than anything electric could possibly be. And when the source of that firelight is as beautifully designed as this, what's not to love? Fusion's sleek, rectangular frame (it comes in several colours) looks wonderful in any contemporary setting - and I've even seen it blend beautifully into more classical surroundings, too.
Because it's double-sided, you can use it to divide space - and provide warmth on both sides - as well as placing it against a wall in the conventional way. Best of all, it's free-standing so you can move it from one room to another - or even take it on to your terrace (just don't leave it out there to cope with the brutal UAE elements). And there's more: it's incredibly clean and efficient, and the burner runs on denatured ethanol, a renewable and environmentally friendly biofuel.
Surely there's a downside, you may be thinking. Well, you don't get the evocative smell of wood smoke (in fact you get no smell at all). But no wood means no ashes to clean up. And you can always light a scented candle for that evocative smell. Fusion fireplace by Ecosmart Dh34,900 from Azur System LLC, 050 458 2159, www.ecosmartfire.com