Greenland Startup Sells Glacier Ice to Upscale Bars in Dubai

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Arctic Ice, a startup based in Greenland, is venturing into a unique market by selling glacier ice to upscale cocktail bars in Dubai. The company touts its iceberg ice as having little to no taste, ensuring it doesn’t alter the flavour of beverages as it melts, providing a premium experience in bars and restaurants. The ice is harvested from icebergs naturally detached from glaciers, floating in the Nuuk fjord. Arctic Ice claims that its impact on the environment is “very insignificant.”

The process involves shipping the ice, still frozen, on cargo vessels to Arctic Ice’s distribution partner, Natural Ice, in Dubai. While the cost for high-end bars to acquire glacier ice from Arctic Ice remains unclear, the company emphasises the premium experience and longevity of its ice in drinks.

Arctic Ice, founded in 2022, recently dispatched its first 20-ton batch of ice to the United Arab Emirates. The initiative aims to contribute to Greenland’s economic independence from Denmark, according to cofounder Malik V Rasmussen. However, concerns have been raised about the environmental sustainability of shipping ice from Greenland to Dubai, especially considering the drastic impact of climate change on Greenland’s glaciers.

Greenland’s glaciers are reportedly melting seven times faster than in the ’90s, and some researchers argue that they have “passed the point of no return,” leading to the eventual disappearance of the massive ice sheet. Critics question the sustainability of Arctic Ice’s business model, expressing concerns about the ecological implications.

Despite claims of environmental consideration, Arctic Ice is not the first to face criticism for using glacier ice in the beverage industry. Last year, Martha Stewart drew ire for using glacier ice to chill cocktails on a luxury cruise, prompting comments about the environmental consequences. The startup’s approach has ignited debate, with some social media users expressing environmental concerns and others questioning the sustainability of shipping ice from Greenland to Dubai.