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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    In heels

    Desert no barrier for ski enthusiasts

    Skiing has officially started at Dubai's new indoor Alpine ski resort, offering the world's first indoor black-run just minutes away from the Arabian desert emirate's sun-baked beaches.

    The $360 million facility is built on what was previously desert sand.

    The lower level slopes started welcoming skiers, while the upper ones were due to be open on December 14, Ski Dubai chief executive Phil Taylor said.

    Snowboarders can also test their skills on a 90-metre-long quarter pipe, as well as jumps and rails at the ski dome nestled inside the brand-new, gigantic Mall of the Emirates.

    "I am now rushing to take a skiing lesson before heading back to a business meeting," said one Emirati national, who will have to swap his Arab traditional robe for warm ski gear before hitting the slopes.

    Snowboarder Johnny Yammine, who usually spends his free time on motocross and mountain climbing expeditions in the Emirati desert, is "ecstatic about the good quality of snow and the varied terrain which is far better than indoor skiing I have tried in Europe".

    The resort is the latest extravagant project in the Gulf emirate seeking to become a major tourism hub, following on from the world's tallest tower and only underwater hotel.

    Ski Dubai, a man-made mountain scene as big as three football fields that can hold up to 1,500 visitors, will have five slopes of different degrees of difficulty, the longest being 400 metres with a fall of 62 metres.

    The powdery snow slopes have been intentionally laid in terraces to avoid the risk of avalanches at the Ski Dubai dome, due to hold 6,000 tonnes of real snow when fully operational later this month.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Who would have thunk it?

    that an Araibian country could become a winter wonderland!

    whatever next?