Ski Dubai - cool off and chill out
The unique experience of indoor ski-ing in DubaiBy Henry Neuteboom
When the climate gets oppressively hot, what could be better than winter sports? Ski Dubai is a mountain-themed attraction that offers the chance to savour the snow all year round.
Extravagant? Perhaps a little, but in actual fact the state-of-the-art insulation of the building in which the 22,500 square metre attraction is located – virtually a giant refrigerator – makes it relatively energy-efficient to maintain winter snow conditions. During snow production, temperature inside the building is reduced to -8°C, and then snow is generated using a system that mirrors natural snowfall, with an artificial cloud made by vaporizing water, and tiny ice particles (just 10 micron in diameter) that are sprinkled into the cloud to catalyze the formation of snow crystals. These then fall onto the ski-slopes and the other attractions. Thirty tonnes of fresh snow are made daily, while cooling systems under the floor ensure perfect snow conditions on the ground.
During the day, the temperature inside Ski Dubai is maintained at about -1°C, for optimum comfort. After your ski down, chairlifts and towlifts take you back up for another run. Slopes are supervised by qualified ski patrollers to ensure complete safety.
The five ski-slopes vary in difficulty, and they include the world's first indoor black run. For beginners, things are made easy by the gentle practice slopes. There is a Freestyle zone for snowboarders. For adults and children alike, the huge Snow Park, which includes a Snow Cavern, offers a world of fun. The snow theme continues in the restaurants, with St. Moritz Café at the entrance providing the cosy atmosphere of a mountain ski lodge with crackling fireplace, and Avalanche Café at mid-station, offering a selection of soups, sandwiches, beverages and sweets for hungry skiers. Views of the slope ensure constant entertainment. Of course, people generally don't pack ski clothing when organizing their suitcases for Dubai in spring-summer, but this is no problem, because Ski Dubai provides winter clothing (except for hat and gloves, bring your own if you can!) as well as ski and snowboard equipment. Equipment is also on sale, while there are professional ski and snowboard instructors ready to help you learn the techniques.
Extra facilities include the three-month membership programme for keen skiers, and Snow Scoot lessons that provide an introduction to this fantastic, fun sport.
Ski Dubai is located at Mall of the Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Road, exit 39 (4th interchange), towards Al Barsha. Tel. +971 440 94000. It is open Sun-Wed 10 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 10 a.m.-midnight, Fri 9 a.m.-midnight, and Sat 9 a.m.-11 p.m. You can book online at www.skidubai.com
UAE SS 2011