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Hitting the slopes


By Hannah Ayres

Setting the scene

Dubai is famous for creating attractions that people fly from across the world to see and Ski Dubai has rapidly become one of those must-visit destinations. Not only does it have the equivalent of three football pitches of real snow all year round, it is also in a prime location.

Located in Mall of the Emirates it is easily accessible and has much to offer every type of skier from the experienced to the first-timer. Ski Dubai has five runs that vary in difficulty, height and gradient, the longest run being 400 metres with a slope of over 60 metres. Test your skills on the world's first indoor black run or practice turns on the gentle beginner slopes. Skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels are catered for. It is also ideal for families, with a snow park for the children.

Getting started

Ski Dubai offers a range of lessons from private to group for all abilities and includes skiing and snowboarding. When you arrive you are provided with a slope pass, which includes: A jacket, a snowboard, disposable socks, trousers and boots.

However, I am puzzled why gloves are not included, they are an important necessity so take your own. If you do forget the Snow Pro shop round the corner sells gloves for Dh10. I booked my lessons with a group of four friends at Dh220. Although the session only lasted 90 minutes – at first I thought this wasn't long enough – it is enough time as the sport is exhausting and there is a lot to take in.

A snow PRO

I was slightly nervous when I arrived for my first snowboarding lesson and I was more than a little relieved when I found out the instructor wasn't just going to throw us onto the main slope.

It begins with a meeting with the instructor where you learn how to attach your feet to the board, and put the boots on, then you make the decision whether you are right or left footed (regular or goofy in snowboarding terminology). After this you start on the beginners' slope.

The instructors were friendly and understanding with each individual, however fast or slow we developed our skills. As I am not a naturally co-ordinated person I was sceptical about how I was going to get on, however I was put in my place when by the end of the fourth lesson I was flying down the slopes, turning and radiating with confidence.

Apres Ski

There are two cafes in Ski Dubai; St Moritz Café at the entrance to Ski Dubai, and Avalanche Café on the slopes – both worth a visit after all that exercise.

Important information

Prices on the ski slope start from Dh180 for adults and Dh150 for children which includes all equipment and clothing for a maximum of two hours. Individual lessons start from Dh150 for one hour for adults going to Dh220 for a 90 minute group lesson.

- For more information telephone: 04 409 4000 or log on to www.skidxb.com