Winter is No More Limited to Geography and the Calendar!
If you thought that Dubai was all about sand, sandstorms and sun tans, you’ve got another thing coming. As one of the seven-pack states that became a federation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, like a covenant in Halo, Dubai has undoubtedly emerged as the most pimped, as in, “we are too rich for you” out of the seven emirates.
Meteorologists usually use the word “hell” to accurately describe the weather in Dubai, and rightly so. Although, generally being hot and dry, Dubai does have four seasons normally referred to as, summer, super-summer, terabyte-summer and nuclear-summer. That being said, the surreal Arab city of Dubai has been known for being fond of firsts, its tall skyscrapers and man-made islands, fringed with white-sand beaches, which has attracted a growing class of wealthy travelers from around the world.
Whether you live in Dubai, or are just taking a trip to the Dubai State, a visit to Ski Dubai, the internationally renowned indoor ski resort, is the one place where you can find an escape from the scorching hot sun and sand. Ski Dubai opened in 2005 and boasts of over 242,000 square feet of faux snow. The climate controlled facility is home to five world class ski slopes, the longest measuring roughly 1,300 feet.
Located inside Dubai Mall, Ski Dubai excels in superlatives, by having superb slopes that are made for mellow, fun runs, minus the challenging blacks and steep drops, along with a host of other fun activities for children of all ages. If you are interested in manmade, self-contained ski parks, swap your boots for a pair of ski’s to take in this park’s dazzling attractions. The following are some of the main attractions that are offered in moderate and affordable prices at Ski Dubai.
Ticking Counter Procedure
Sunday-Wednesday: 10 AM-11 PM
Friday: 9 AM-midnight
Saturday: 9 AM-11 PM
The charges for skiing are in line with the prices of other snow centers around the world, so one can’t really complain. Visitors can save their time by directly accessing the “Pre-Paid Tickets” counter. Passes come in two variations, Ski Pass (for 2 hours) and a Full-Day Pass, which cost 200 AED for adults (170 AED for children) and 275 AED for adults (240 AED for children) respectively. Rented lockers are also provided and come for an additional 25 AED. If you’re looking for unlimited chair-lift rides then go with the Power Pass package which comes for 300 AED for both adult and children.
It is important to remember that first-timers who have never snowboarded or skied before are not allowed to purchase a ski pass without taking enough lessons in order to meet the minimum requirements. Another requirement of Ski Dubai is that children should be at least 3 years or over to enter the center.
Slopes for Indoor Skiing & Snowboarding
While Ski Dubai is a family oriented facility, it is suited to all types of visitors, which means that it certainly doesn’t lack the excitement professional skiers crave for. Ski Slope is designed for experienced skiers only. The 22,500 sq. ft structure has five runs, which vary in difficulty, the longest run being 400 meters. The Freestyle Zone has a variety of jumps and rails which are frequently changed to give a fresh and dynamic experience to both first timers and returning visitors.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Ski Dubai has other winter activities, too. The Snow Park is the largest indoor snow park, with a twin track bobsled run, tobogganing hills and a snow cavern with interactive experiences for children. There’s also chairlift rides available for skiers and non-skiers alike, as well as the Giant Ball, which you can get inside and roll down a small hill.
For thrill seekers, the Snow Bullet is a state-of-the-art zip line, which allows you to glide 150 meters across and 16 meters off the snowcapped grounds while skiers and snowboarders navigate their way through the twisted slopes below.
Snow cavern offers a load of interactive features which are both fun and entertaining for kids of all ages. The main attraction of the snow cavern is undoubtly the ice sculptures and a small bridge where children can play around.
Being able to meet a penguin would be an interesting experience wouldn’t it? Ski Dubai is home to a whole colony of Gentoo and King penguins, and Penguin Encounters within Ski Dubai provides that priceless, first-hand experience to those who want to understand more about these fascinating creatures. Packages are divided into three categories, a 40 minute under viewing and meeting two penguins will cost you 145 AED or $85, while an exclusive 75 minute rendezvous with no less than 14 penguins will set you back 500 AED, and also includes souvenirs and some hot chocolate. For the hardcore penguin fans out there, all of the aforementioned, plus a personal attendant, and access to Snow Park and chairlift can be gained for 850 AED.
Exercising at sub-zero temperatures? Puh-leeze! You must’ve heard about high altitude training and yoga, perhaps you’ve even tried it at some point in time, but fitness classes have come way passed the simple mat-on-the-floor routine. At Ski Dubai, visitors are introduced to a new form of exercise called “Snow-robics.” This month long, 45-minute snow sessions have become the latest addition in the fitness fad scene of Dubai. Snow-robics sessions run every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from 7:30am to 9am, and will cost you 90AED.
Never skied before in your life? Fret not; Ski Dubai also includes a ski school where you can learn the basics of how to ski from a professional instructor. You can go online click on one of the many lessons available under the Yalla ski lesson programs, then choose your specific lesson and the start date.
* Although you don’t need to lug heavy skis or boots to Ski Dubai because snowsuits, skis, helmets for children up to 13, gloves and snow boots are provided, if possible, take your own jackets or sweaters, and don’t forget your winter socks and hat, as they are not included for hygiene reasons and they will help to fight off the cold.
* Don’t forget your wallet in case you want to add-on activities as you go along.
* Call it unfair, but visitors aren’t allowed to take in their Smartphones, that right is only reserved for the locals. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get professional photographs as souvenirs of your experience.
* If you don’t want to be part of the action, the Avalanche Café, is the perfect spot where vacationers can meet-up and observe the skiers having fun on the slopes.
Being able to manage snow in the midst of a desert is an achievement in itself, which is the reason why Ski Dubai still continues to enchant professional ski enthusiasts, and tropical people and children who’ve never really experienced real snow. In the end, if you are truly looking for a skier’s terrain in the middle of the desert then Ski Dubai is a no-brainer. Even visitors who have never stumped up the cash for an unforgettable ski holiday (in the desert), should make the trip to Ski Dubai at least once, as the experience itself is well worth the 42 degrees outside and (-4 degrees inside).