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Good Holiday Ideas | May 22, 2024

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Apres Ski in Dubai

Apres Ski in Dubai
  • On 8 January 2015

There are few places in the world that can compete with the fascination and charm of Dubai, reports Pietro Simonetti.

Dubai is a lot more than the Las Vegas of Arabia. It was described to me as a mirage in the desert. A city that didn’t exist until the 1960s and that has developed into a magical place for beach holidays, city breaks, desert safaris and nowadays skiing holidays on the world’s biggest indoor ski slope.

So it is not a desert mirage, it’s a reality that deserves to be visited at least once in your lifetime, and one that I have just ticked off my bucket list.
Best is to go during the winter months, when the temperature is bearable: high 20s C in the daytime, lower sixties at night. Forget the European summer when it is close to 50C or 120F!! Or if you are daft enough to visit in summer make sure you cool off at the ski centre, which is built inside the Mall of the Emirates. Ski Dubai is the first indoor skiing in the Middle East and with 22,500 square meters of surface area it’s not a small space.

An hour in the big freezer will run you about €50, to include boots, skis, poles and a one-piece outdated snowsuit. Strangely gloves are not included, so make sure to bring your own.
The crowd enjoying the novelty skiing is diverse… Claudia, the Canadian snowboard instructor visiting to raise money for a season, the Lebanese Haddads family seeing snow for the first time, and Chris, from Detroit who decided to take an hour off his busy business schedule to checkmark this unusual experience in his “things to do before I die” list.
As far as a pure skiing experience it isn’t the greatest, but if you stop for a second to think you are doing it in a desert country it is remarkable.
That night we were ready to be enchanted again, this time on an après ski trip to the vast Arabian Desert, although the 4-wheel drive in the desert is not for the faint of heart, although once you reach your camp and are finally able to relax and enjoy the glimmering stars above.
The camel rides and the belly dancer spectacle were a touch touristy for me, maybe what is what is expected by the tourists in the Arabian Desert.
Even the sand skiing was more of box tick than anything else, but gives certain bragging rights in the bar back home.