Ski Dubai Expert Advice
Ronald Sayegh from SkiDubai.com has tested the Ski Dubai indoors resorts and compiled a review that could be pretty useful for both advanced skiers and beginners.
"On this day of May the outside temperature was 36°C (around 97°F) as I rushed into the Mall of the Emirates, seeking cooler air to gear up and hit the slopes. Ticket counters at the entrance of Ski Dubai are very organized and you can even save some time if you booked in advance by using the pre-paid tickets counter where your queue time will be minimal.
Before getting your equipment, you may need to buy gloves and a hat from the sports shop located at the entrance of the resort as these are not provided with the clothing for hygiene purposes. Prices for fleece gloves start from AED10 (around USD3) and you can also shop for branded items. Hats become necessary only for those feeling frisky, since the temperature inside constantly remains below zero Celsius (32°F). Kids below 13 must wear helmets which are made available for free. My advice here is to bring your own pair of gloves.
I was the provided with a jacket and pants that are clean and of good quality, so no need to carry your own clothing; just wear a long-sleeves shirt or a sweat shirt underneath. A pair of disposable socks is provided with your boots but these are short and very thin and they wouldn't fill in the gaps around your feet unless you tighten the boots, which can be a bit painful. So do bring your own socks with you or at least buy a pair of sports cotton. You will get to change in the locker room but remember to empty back your borrowed jacket if you decided to keep some money or a camera with you.
Now comes the hard gear. Both skis and boards are made for carving and are of acceptable quality. However take your time in trying out the boots to avoid wasting more time in case you need replacement. The staff will ask the right questions about your weight and height.
Once loaded with your equipment, you make your way to the slopes by using your state-of-the-art proximity card ticket through the gates. Since your ticket is limited by time, remember that the count-down starts when you enter any of the ski lifts gates for the first time. If you’re skiing, you will have to grab your poles just before stepping on the snow. If there’s no one to help in this room, remember to follow the instructions on the image below to select the appropriate length of poles.
Finally comes the moment of truth, SKIING! As soon as you move through through a thermal insulation rotating door, you step into a giant freezer with a sudden drop of more than 20°C in temperature (68°F). I moved towards the 4-seater chairlift and luckily there were no queues as it is normally the case in the mornings. The staff is very friendly and as I made my way up, I noticed excellent safety measures through proper signage, pole protection mattresses, stretchers and nets.
The snow provides almost the same sensation as on a natural slope, with one exception of being a bit sticky. If you are an advanced skier, you will need to make additional efforts to rapidly gain speed or make perfect carving turns.
The snow surface remains pretty hard along the day witch prevents bumps to accumulate. Going from the top to the base will take less than a minute and the steepest portion of the slope is about 30 meters long and can be considered red. Beginners can take the same chairlift and leave it midway at the Avalanche Café.
A 2-hour ticket is normally enough to exercise your muscles, otherwise, a full day pass would be useful if you want to benefit from the different restaurants outlets overlooking the slopes.
Bottom line, for those just visiting Dubai, don’t miss the unique opportunity of ski testing one of the largest and best quipped indoor slopes in the world, and for those living around the country, Ski Dubai offers an excellent environment for learning and practicing this wonderful sport.
Dubai has once again won!"