Ski Dubai is an indoor complex the size of three football pitches. It holds the title for the world's only indoor black run and the world's largest indoor snowpark.
You are guaranteed good snow, not only throughout the winter, but also throughout the summer. Imagine stepping from the sometimes fearsome desert sun onto an artificial alp with a constant temperature of 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (34-35 Fahrenheit).
The 22,500-square-metre complex reaches a height of 85 metres and is covered with real snow all year round. There's a quad chairlift, tow lift, snowpark, freestyle zone and flying carpets (slightly incongruous with the alpine theme, but nice for the kids). there's the St. Moritz Café at the entrance and halfway up, the Avalanche Café.
Ski Dubai has five runs that vary in difficulty, height, and gradient. The longest run, at 400 metres, is not going to keep serious skiers interested for long but perhaps that’s not the point.
Dubai has ticked every other box, and now, when potential visitors say 'well I would come visit but I do like to combine my searing desert adventures with a spot of downhill,' Tourism Dubai can, with head held high, reply 'no problem, we've built an alp just for you.’
The 22,500-square-metre complex holds the title for the world's only indoor black run and the world's largest indoor snowpark
The facilities are excellent for beginners and if, while on your summer or winter-sun break, you decide to try out skiing for the first time, then Ski Dubai is a very viable option. Qualified instructors are on hand, all the equipment is available under one roof and, best of all, you can guarantee your first experience of skiing or boarding will be on soft fresh snow.
The 3000-metre snowpark, the largest indoor park in the world, offers bobsled rides, tobogganing hills, and even a snow cavern filled with interactive experiences.
Tobogganing is a hit with families; they come in a range of sizes and toboggan designs vary from simple, traditional models to rubber tubes and modern, moulded plastic shapes.
Ski Dubai has five runs, varying in difficulty, height, and gradient, as well as bobsled rides and tobogganing hills
Themed days at Ski Dubai are also popular, such as birthday parties and corporate events. The website offers interactive guides to help you figure out what level skier you are and what equipment you will need.
A day ski slope pass costs 300 AED (United Arab Emirates dirhams, or £45) for adults and 240 AED (£35) for children. Included in the pass are skis or snowboards, poles, ski/snowboard boots, trousers, jackets and helmets.
Serious boarders however will also want to try, if only to say 'I've done it', dune surfing. Dune buggies race you to the top of a dune (a rush in itself) and you surf down. Wide skis would be required to ski down. The most popular dune, because it is one of the highest and steepest, is known as Big Red. Most surfable dunes are in the south around Hatta and can be reached as part of desert safari or dune surfing trip.
Visit the Ski Dubai Web site for more information.
Read Paul Doherty's A Map To the World's Indoor, Dry Ski Slopes for more information on indoor ski slopes, details on dry ski slopes, and links to relevant stories.