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When Dubai freezes over.

After spending a day in the 120-degree desert heat of Dubai, capital of the United Arab Emirates, it's now possible to hit the ski slopes without flying to Switzerland. Tucked inside a 25-story building at the Mall of the Emirates is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. Called Ski Dubai, it is styled after a Swiss mountain resort, complete with fake fir trees. The $83 million complex covers an area about the size of three football fields and contains five slopes of varying difficulty. Snowmaking jets churn out the powdery white stuff daily, while 23 massive air conditioners keep everything at 28 to 30 degrees year-round. Would-be Olympians can try out a 440-yard expert slope with a 200-foot drop. Other options include bobsled runs and a quarter pipe and stunt park for snowboarders. Those hesitant to brave the slippery slopes can opt for a snowball fight or build a snowman. The $11 admission includes rental of winter outerwear, including a jacket, ski pants, boots, and disposable socks. Lift tickets cost about $41 for two hours. Before going back out into the scorching heat, visitors can warm up with some cheese fondue and hot chocolate.
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Title Annotation:Mall of the Emirates, indoor ski resort
Publication:New York Times Upfront
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Feb 20, 2006
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