The idea behind it is to provide the Gulf state with sufficient drinking water.

Abdulla Alshehi, a business man from the United Arab Emirates, has come up with a master plan to drag an iceberg from Antarctica to the city of Fujairah. The frozen block - 2 kilometres long, 500 metres wide, 400 metres high and another 600 metres below sea level - is supposed to provide the little Gulf state with drinking water.

Later this year a test with a smaller iceberg will be initiated, where a ship will pull the block either to South Africa or Australia. The total cost of the test: 62 million euros.

If the mission succeeds, however, residents of Fujairah can expect an iceberg to drift close to their port within six years after having been dragged 8000 kilometres through the ocean. The operation is expected to cost between 88 and 133 million euros. The plan is for the iceberg to sit 3 kilometres from port and slowly melt away. High-tech installations will be built into the iceberg and then transport and filter the water to the coast. The iceberg is expected to last 10 months before having melted completely.

Mr Alshehi says the project is still cheaper than building desalination plants.