They say that Dubai is the city that has everything, but most people will take that with a pinch of salt. Sure, the Emirate is known for its gold vending machines (as in vending machines that dispense gold, not ones that are built with a bit of gold) but let’s not forget that Dubai is located in the middle of the desert. Surely there must be some things it doesn’t have, like a ski slope? Well you’d be wrong to make that assumption. In 2005, the city welcomed Ski Dubai - the Middle East’s first indoor ski complex. The park is situated within the huge Mall of the Emirates complex.
The average summer temperature in Dubai is 36°c, which is obviously far too high for snow to naturally occur outside. The park itself requires an incredibly powerful air conditioning and insulation system in order to not only maintain snow, but to create it. It would be more or less impossible to keep a metal van cold enough to transport snow in Dubai, this is why Ski Dubai has to create its own snow. It manages this by using a high powered air conditioning system and complex insulation that keeps the cold in and the heat out. In order to preserve the snow in the daytime, the internal temperature at Ski Dubai is -1°c. At night, this drops to -6°c while new snow is being made.
At 22,500 metres, Ski Dubai boasts room for a large range of snow based attractions. There are 5 different ski runs that range in difficulty, from beginners slopes up to the world’s first indoor black diamond slope. All of the ski slopes are open to snowboarders too.
Those who can’t ski have the option of taking lessons from fully qualified instructors who are trained to teach visitors of all levels, from children and beginners all the way up to veteran snow sports enthusiasts.
Smaller family members can enjoy the Snowpark, a family friendly area that has smaller toboggan rides for children and a dedicated flat snow area for snowball fights and building snow men.
There are a group of Gentoo and king Penguins that live in the Snowpark who come out several times a day for “The March of the Penguins” - a regular extravaganza where the penguins are brought out to eat and perform tricks. Adults over 18 can also pay extra to swim in a special heated pool with the penguins.
The Snow Bullet is a relatively new attraction at Ski Dubai; the world’s first indoor sub zero zipwire. While this may seem like a strange addition to a ski slope, it makes sense in some ways. When you think about it, a zipwire is basically the opposite of a ski lift. At 16 metres high and 150m long, the Snow Bullet makes for a thrilling ride through Ski Dubai, rushing past skiers and snowboarders on the slopes as you go past, almost as if you were engaged in a very extreme race.