If global warming really takes hold as forecast, we could all be skiing indoors in a century’s time, so could the United Arab Emirates be the place we go on our annual ski holidays ?
Already home to Ski Dubai and never short of dramatic and innovative construction projects, the UAE’s latest initiative is the world’s largest snow park. The $1 billion Reem Mall development will have 11,600m2 of real snow indoor attractions including activities such as sledging, luge runs and zorbing. “Reem Mall is one of the most ambitious and exciting retail and leisure projects ever undertaken in Abu Dhabi, and we are thrilled to announce the news of it becoming home to the world’s largest indoor snow-play park,” said Shane Eldstrom, Chief Operating Officer for Reem Mall. That’s not the biggest indoor ski slope in the world (which is actually currently around 35,000m2 at SnowWorld in The Netherlands, although Dubai does have plans for a ski slope twice the size and more than a kilometre long), but the biggest multi-activity snow-play area, the developers claim. A ground-breaking ceremony to mark the start of construction took place at the end of December, and the snow centre and surrounding mall with about 450 stores and 85 food and beverage outlets is expected to open in 2018.