It's All Downhill From Here
Admit it; you're curious. A ski hill in the middle of the desert, on the Persian Gulf, no less, is as wild an idea as humankind has ever concocted—but isn't dreaming big what Dubai is all about? The slopes at Ski Dubai are no substitute for Jackson Hole or Vail, of course, but then again, they're not supposed to be. You go simply for the experience of leaving a housewares shop, sauntering down the hall, and hitting the slopes. All the gear required can be rented at Ski Dubai: They even have long overcoats for women in abayas. You can ski or sled, roll down the hill in inflatable plastic balls, frolic with penguins, or even just ride the chairlifts back and forth. When you're finished skiing, you can head back into the mall for a meal or a movie. You know, just another day in Dubai.
By Flash Parker, AFAR Ambassador
Hit the Slopes in Dubai
It's hard to imagine a more cognitively dissonant experience than skiing in Dubai—but in Dubai, if something seems impossible then it'll probably be done. Ski Dubai's five runs—open year-round—vary in difficulty and height. Beginner slopes are great for the kids (if they're beginners, natch), and instructors will get the whole family suited up (all clothing and gear can be rented) and on the slopes with confidence. There's also a freestyle zone for snowboarders.
By Max Power
Ski Dubai 40 degrees below, Dubai, UAE
We visited Dubai in mid-July on our round-the-world trip. The temperature outside was 109F, or 43C! We decided to check out Mall of the Emirates, the largest shopping "resort" in the world. We wandered the mall a bit, but we had to check out Ski Dubai, the indoor ski resort with 270 feet of vertical elevation. Inside the temperature was a chilly -4C, or 40 degrees below the outside temperature. Don't worry because they provide snow suits, boots, and helmets for the kids, so you can slip them over anything you're wearing. Ski Dubai is famous for indoor skiing, but we found there was much more inside the Arctic-like sub-zero winter wonderland: we raced downhill on toboggans, rolled down the slopes in clear inflatable giant balls, and most fun of all, we tube jumped which was exhilarating! After being launched down a ski jump ramp, you are launched airborne and land on a giant air bag. Super fun and memorable experience! A must see and do in Dubai!
By Mike Lohse
Rushing down a ski slope inside a mall in the Arabian Desert is exactly the kind of incongruity for which Dubai is famous. Snow machines mimic the natural precipitation process (too) perfectly. Embrace the improbable and escape the heat outside on the slopes at Ski Dubai, where the temperature is always 30 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. With five ski runs varying in difficulty, height, and gradient (with the longest at more than 1,300 feet, and a fall of some 200 feet—25 stories tall), even the most accomplished skier will feel challenged. Or try tobogganing or just chilling at St. Moritz Café with a hot cocoa. The local colony of gentoo and king penguins puts on a free daily show in the snow park.
By Baxter Jackson, AFAR Local Expert
Sheikh Zayed Rd - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
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