x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

What it costs: Ski Dubai

We review three options for taking advantage of one of the UAE's most impressive and unusual attractions.

Ski Dubai, one of the UAE's most unusual attractions, is now five years old. Galen Clarke / The National
Ski Dubai, one of the UAE's most unusual attractions, is now five years old. Galen Clarke / The National

More than five years since its opening, Ski Dubai remains one of the most impressive and unusual attractions in the UAE.

Strolling down the polished hallways of Mall of the Emirates, crowds of shoppers freeze in their tracks and stare into this winter wonderland, snapping photos as the inhabitants duck into igloos and hit the snowy slopes.

Although it's fascinating to watch, Ski Dubai - and stepping into a blistering minus 1°C - needs to be experienced first hand. With lockers and equipment provided, it only takes moments to drop off the shopping bags and escape the ordinary. The attraction isn't for skiers only: whether you're ready for racing or just want to enjoy the snow, there are a variety of packages available. The prices may be similar, but you will receive different services for your dirham. We review three options in the big chill.

Ski Slope

The chairlift Slapping on skis or a snowboard couldn't be easier. The general pass gives you two hours on the slopes and includes all of your equipment - a snow suit, skis, boots and poles.

The run Ski Dubai's "mountain" is 85 metres high and 80 metres wide. Skiers can take either the four-seater chairlift to the top or use the tow line for singles. You can disembark half way up the slope for a short, leisurely ski, or head all the way to the peak for the more challenging run. Feeling bold? Stick to the right-hand side for a steeper experience.

The finish You won't be fighting for breath from the altitude, but the run is just long enough to get a taste.

Two hours is more than enough time to enjoy the slopes, and don't forget to take a break on the patio of the Avalanche Cafe for crepes and steaming hot chocolate with marshmallows.

Dh180 adults

Dh150 children

Super Pass

The chairlift Perfect for non-skiers, this latest promotion includes access to everything else in Ski Dubai.

And unlike the ski-slope option, there is no time limit on the pass.

The run Start with full access to the Snow Park, which includes igloos, tobogganing and sledge rides. You can even take a tumble inside the Giant Snowball.

Super Pass holders can also get access to the chairlift and head half-way up the mountain. Once there, put on a helmet and fly down the Mountain Thriller ride.

The finish If you don't fancy barrelling down a mountain on two strips of wood, this pass is an excellent way to experience Ski Dubai. However, keep in mind that your ticket doesn't include a hat or gloves. These can be purchased at the Snow Pro shop for Dh20 and Dh10 respectively, and after two hours in sub-zero temperatures, you'll be happy you have them.



Ski School

The chairlift Never been skiing, but eager to learn? Ski Dubai boasts an experienced team of instructors.

Lessons last for 90 minutes and they are available for both adults and children as young as three years old.

The run From the "Discovery" stage, where you learn the basics, to "Level 4", when you're ready to race, the Ski School takes students through every stage of learning. Group lessons never exceed more than 10 people. Young children can join the Polar Bear Club, whereby they receive a passport and special badges for every level completed.

The finish With its central location in the city and unintimidating slopes, Ski Dubai is a great place to learn. Helmets are required for children under 13 years, and similar to the ski-slope pass, all of your equipment is included for each lesson.

Dh220 adults

Dh190 children