Skiing in a shopping mall
The title of today's article might a bit perverse, but it’s not without a reason. We’d like to invite you to a place, where temperatures reach 50 degrees in the summer, a place of no winter, and where the snow can be seen only on television. But it’s also a place, where you can go skiing, whenever you feel like doing it. It’s Dubai, the city in the United Arab Emirates and the capital of the emirate of Dubai. There’s a famous Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping center, a giant gallery with 1200 stores and a whole lot of attractions. One of them is an artificial ski slope - Ski Dubai, another proof confirming the thesis, that if the emirate residents don’t have something, they will simply make it.
Dubai Mall – a world of glass, light and records
UAE is a unique country and often quite difficult for the average European. Despite the cultural differences, on which one can carry on a lot of heated discussions, this country is rich and poor at the same time. Qualified specialists earn thousands of dollars a month, while low-level employees ... Let’s just take as an example a daily rate of those working on the construction of Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world – it’s a few dollars. But it’s not the only place on earth where the rich and average wealthy live like in a paradise, while the poor are just trying to provide for themselves.
However, let’s just focus on the shopping mall for a moment. Many people can’t understand the idea of spending half of the day in shopping malls, wandering aimlessly between rows of boutiques. But when we talk about Dubai Mall, we need to look at the topic from a different perspective. In fact, it’s an unusual place. In every way. Each year it attracts millions of tourists, for example, in 2011 the mall was visited by 54 million people. Here, you will find the world's largest acrylic glass aquarium. It’s a home of 33 thousands sea creatures, and thanks to its size it clinched the Guinness World Record for the biggest acrylic panel. Visitors can also walk through a glass tunnel and admire sharks swimming over the heads.
The mall also houses the region's largest multiplex - Reel Cinema, which has 22 screens and more than 2,8 thousand seats. The time between shopping can be spent on an Olympic-size ice rink or in an amusement park Sega Republic. The interior of the mall is richly decorated, spacious and almost overwhelming. Wealth, luxury, monumentality, flourish and other words describing this gigantic building are very appropriate.
Snow in the desert - Ski Dubai
In the only city in the emirate, which is surrounded by deserts and green oases scattered here and there, we find a real slope, on which we can ski wearing thick ski jackets and pants. Ski Dubai surprises visitors with constant temperature of -3 degrees, a modern lift and tons of snow. Of course, it’s not a place, where you can get crazy on your ski because there’re no difficult slopes, nonetheless it’s not about that. The indoor mountain is so popular that the tickets have to be booked well in advance. Those eager to use the snowpark, have to wait in long queues, just as it’s in the case of tickets for penguin shows. Yeah, it’s a country, where penguins and camels live together.
Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski area in the Middle East. Here, you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, sledding or just make a snowman. Visitors have at their disposal toboggan runs, chair lifts, rails, kickers and five slopes of varying levels of difficulty and steepness(the longest is 400 meters long). There’s a Freestyle Zone prepared especially for snowboarders, a families with children – a large, interactive park, covering an area of 3,000 square meters – it’s the largest indoor snow park in the world.
2-hour ticket for two persons costs 180 dirhams (AED), which is equivalent to about 36,60 EUR. What’s important, jackets and ski pants are included in the ticket price, so you don’t need to have your own. However, the gloves and headgear are available in the ski shop, located opposite the entrance to Ski Dubai.
Fun in the snow
When we manage to forget about the heat outside and we freeze to the bones, we can take a short break from skiing and enjoy a cup of delicious, hot tea in the cafe Avalanche. It has a large terrace overlooking the slope. The café menu include a large selection of soups, sandwiches, drinks and sweets – the best time for a snack and recharge the batteries before conquering the slopes. But then ... you need to leave the mall and get back to the heat, remembering the cold and fluffy snow of Ski Dubai slopes.
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