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Friday, 21 June 2013

A ski resort in the Dubai desert

More than seven years since it opened, Ski Dubai at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai remains one of the most unusual attractions in the UAE. Billed the world's largest Snow Park, it sprawls over 3000 square meters of artificial snow. Temperatures here are set at -1°C (about 45 to 48 degrees lower than the desert heat outside).

There are tobogganing hills, a twin track bobsled ride, a snowball-throwing gallery and a snow cavern filled with interactive experiences. An observation tower offers a view of the Ski Dubai main slope. Children can build a snowman and play on the hills. Refreshments are available at two cafes -- St Moritz Cafe at the entrance to Ski Dubai, and Avalanche Cafe at mid-station.

A full-day pass sets you back by AED 140 (US$ 38, INR 2,088) for adults and AED 130 ($35, INR 1939) for children under 13. Kids under three are not charged. A wintercoat, boots and disposable socks are included with the ticket. Ski Dubai has a full capacity of 1,500 guests.

These archival photographs from 2005 reminisce upon the opening of the world's largest snowdome, seven years later.

  A general view of Ski Dubai, the world's largest snowdome, at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

 


    A gentleman wearing a traditional Emirati Dish Dasha looks through a glass window at the Ski Dubai snowdome at Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The snowdome is billed as the "world's largest snowdome."
 
    A tree lies near a staircase at the Ski Dubai snowdome.

    An Emirati gentleman takes pictures through a glass window of the Ski Dubai snowdome at Mall of the Emirates.

    An Emirati gentleman uses the ski lift at Ski Dubai snowdome at Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    People prepare to get onto the ski lift at the Ski Dubai snowdome.
 
    Gentlemen wearing traditional Emirati attire Dish look through a glass window at the Ski Dubai snowdome at Mall of the Emirates.

    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 01: Ladies in traditional middle eastern clothing gaze through a glass window at Ski Dubai, the world?s largest snowdome, at Mall of the Emirates on December 1, 2005 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
 
    A general view of Ski Dubai snowdome.

    A young boy gazes through glass into Ski Dubai, the world's largest snowdome, at Mall of the Emirates.

    A general view of the 2005 press launch of Ski Dubai, the world'€™s largest snowdome, at Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

    A view of the under-construction Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates is seen in this December 17, 2005 archival photo. Ski Dubai offers skiiing, tobboganing and a 'real snow' experience in the heart of the desert.
 It is the biggest snowdome in the world and an example of the boldness of vision present in new developments in Dubai. The construction hasn't been without its problems though and the extreme temperature has caused glass separating the two environments to crack.

    A general view of Ski Dubai.

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