News Headlines     |     


Friday August 17, 2018 - Email this article to a friend

PlanetSKI heads to the ski fields of Australia & New Zealand. We've had a stopover in Dubai where there's skiing to be had.




Ski Dubai is an indoor snow centre in one of the huge shopping malls in the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

It used to be the largest indoor slope in the world, but that crown is now worn by Harbin in China.

If you have skied in an indoor snow centre in the UK you may think you know what they are like: questionable snow, short lifts, tiny slopes and then just a few turns and before you know it then it's all over.

Well, when it comes to Ski Dubai, think again.

This is a city that thinks BIG: it has the busiest airport in the world and tallest building.

Its indoor slope was created out of the same mould.

The journey to Ski Dubai is an adventure in itself and like no other I have made to go skiing.

I have taken a mountain funicular train to many ski areas, but nothing is quite like the train on the red metro line from Al Rigga to Mall of the Emirates.

Ski Dubai, UAESki Dubai, UAE















It sweeps past the heart of the financial district with some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world.

The reflections off the window make the experience even more dream-like.

I had to pinch myself: Am I really on a 'ski lift' and going skiing this morning?

Ski Dubai, UAESki Dubai, UAE
















Ski Dubai, UAESki Dubai, UAE
















And then we pass the tallest building in the world - it's the pointy one on the left.

Ski Dubai, UAESki Dubai, UAE
















Burj Khalifa rises to a height of 828m, much higher than the ski slope I'm heading for, and is 148-floors high.

It opened in 2010 and 13,000 workers toiled day and night to build it in just 6 years.

They could put in an entire floor in 3 days.

And to add to the surreal nature of the experience the Metro is segregated with women and children having their own carriages.

Ski Dubai, UAESki Dubai, UAE
















To my left were the women and to my right the men.

Ski Dubai, UAESki Dubai, UAE
















Ski Dubai, UAESki Dubai, UAE
















I had to pinch myself again: Am I really going skiing today?

And then the Mall of the Emirates itself where the slope in situated - a ski slope in a shopping mall.

What looked suspiciously like an indoor snow slope could be seen behind the frontage as I stepped off the train.

Ski Dubai , UAESki Dubai , UAE
















And inside?

The Mall of the EmiratesThe Mall of the Emirates
















It was odd to ask people in arab headdress the way to the ski slope, but they were delighted to point me in the right direction.

Ski Dubai , UAESki Dubai , UAE















Ski Dubai , UAESki Dubai , UAE
















Now I have walked past a few posh shops on the way to a ski slope, whether in St Moritz, Courchevel or Aspen.

But nothing prepared me for this - a gauntlet of 560 shops.

No ski boots on show, just Jimmy Choo's finest.

It is one of the largest and most flamboyant shopping malls in the world after all.

Ski Dubai, UAESki Dubai, UAE















And, rather bizarrely, the Mall of the Emirates has an M&S too.

Ski Dubai , UAESki Dubai , UAE
















And the bars didn't have the usual après skiers downing pints and jaeger bombs.

Ski Dubai, UAESki Dubai, UAE
















And then the snow centre itself.

It has a total area of 22,500 square metres, a 4-seater chairlift, 2 button lifts and 3 travelators.

1,500 people per hour can use the slopes and up to 9,000 people a day come to make their turns and enjoy its other winter facilities

It has a fun park and an air bag for the freestylers.

Ski Dubai , UAESki Dubai , UAE
















Its longest slope is 400m.

The photo below just shows the start, before it dog legs to the right.

Ski Dubai , UAESki Dubai , UAE
















The longest UK indoor slope is the Chill Factore in Manchester at 140m.

While Hemel Hempstead is just over 100m.

Ski Dubai is not a ski resort, but for an indoor ski centre it is a treat and in a different league to the others I have skied on.

Especially when the outside temperatures are rather warm in the middle of August and I had just completed the strangest journey to go skiing.

And 20-minutes or so after kitting up I was on the slope and ready to go:

I will be updating this blog on what the actual skiing experience is like once I have made my turns so do check back.

Ski Dubai , UAESki Dubai , UAE
















I also bumped into an old friend (don't I always in a ski resort?!) who ran a ski school in Verbier when I worked there as a ski instructor a few years back.

Turns out that Chris David helps run Ski Dubai, but more of that in the next blog.

Ski Dubai , UAESki Dubai , UAE
















And I made a few other new friends too:

Ski Dubai , UAESki Dubai , UAE
















Full details coming on the penguins of Ski Dubai...

And after Dubai James will be spending 2 weeks skiing as many resorts as he can in New Zealand - he is doing it the best way: in an RV visiting the south and the north island.

And then heading over to Australia for a month.

See here for the latest snow conditions that we are monitoring closley here on PlanetSKI:

James has skied in Europe, North America, South America and Asia, but never Australasia so do check back to find out what he makes of the experience.

Let the adventures begin Cool

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: Number One for ski news


Related Articles

OCTOBER SKIING SECRETS (Saturday October 19, 2019)
AUTUMN IN THE ALPS AND BEYOND (Thursday October 17, 2019)
IT'S TEMPLE TIME IN JAPAN (Monday October 14, 2019)

With thanks to our main sponsors...

Platinum partners

Bronze partners