x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 December 2017

Snow room is the hot new thing

Forget Switzerland, you could have a winter wonderland with real falling snow in your home, thanks to a Dubai company.

If you have had enough of the desert sun and fancy a new way to chill out, then a snow room could be just the thing for your home. Prices start from Dh400,000. Courtesy Desert Snow
If you have had enough of the desert sun and fancy a new way to chill out, then a snow room could be just the thing for your home. Prices start from Dh400,000. Courtesy Desert Snow

DUBAI // If you have ever wanted to experience Ski Dubai in your own home, now is your chance.

For a cool Dh400,000 you can convert a room into a “snow sauna” that even boasts a Christmas tree.

Desert Snow, a Dubai-based ‘winter effects’ company, has installed three of the saunas in hotel spas and two in private residences.

Ben Elliott-Scott said he was in talks to install the snow rooms for eight new customers, one of whom has 10 properties.

“It’s basically a cave inside your house where it snows 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” he said.

“It’s proven incredibly popular. There’s a huge demand for real snow in the region for events, and now in homes.”

The insulated rooms are six to 12 square metres, and chilled to between minus 18°C and minus 15°C.

The entry level cost for a small room is D400,000 with prices going up as you add space, rock relief designs and trees.

Mr Elliot-Scott said there were numerous health benefits from using the snow rooms.

“If you look at Finland, the traditional thing to do is to use a hot sauna then go outside and roll around in the snow or jump in a lake,” he said. “It gets the circulation going, and it’s quite good for cellulite.”

He said wearing slippers in the room was a good idea, as standing on snow is generally quite uncomfortable, but jumpers were not necessary.

“You go in there wearing whatever it is you wear in a sauna,” he said.

“The snow settles on the tree, so people can grab a fist full of it, rub it on their body and get nice and invigorated.

“You would only need to be in there for five minutes or so.”

There are two snow rooms at the Zabeel Saray hotel in Dubai – one in the male spa and one in the female spa. There is also a snow room at the unisex spa at Le Meridien Dubai hotel.

Internationally, snow rooms are a trend that is catching on.

Last year, Norwegian Cruise Line attracted headlines when it announced that it was installing a snow room in its Caribbean cruise ship.

It is all good news for the Dubai-based Desert Snow, which started up as a provider of artificial snow for winter-themed events in malls and private parties before branching out into ‘real’ snow.

In November at its offices in Al Quoz, the company opened a “snow factory” – a 6-metre container with a snow machine inside. When switched on, the factory can churn out 1,000 cubic metres of snow in 24 hours.

Mr Elliot-Scott said it was the fastest snow-making machine in the world.

Not a bad thing to have in the Dubai heat, where there is always the risk that any real snow-themed parties will be short lived.

“Obviously, it depends on the ambient temperature the snow is going to sit in,” said Mr Elliott-Scott.

“If it’s less than 35°C, we can make enough snow to last a day.”

The snow comes for sale in a cubic-metre insulated box – at a price of Dh2,400. “It’s basically like a cool box you take to picnics, but a lot bigger,” he said.

The snow can be used for children’s parties or brand activation events. There is also a snowman mould and snowball press available for hire.

Mr Elliott-Scott said that while holding the Winter Olympics in the Middle East might be a long shot, smaller sporting events might be possible. “We’d like to put Dubai on the map as a place where extreme snow sports can be held in winter,” he said.

newsdesk@thenational.ae