Go Downhill Skiing in a Mall

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Wednesday, November 17, 2010

With over 70 malls, it's no wonder Dubai is considered the shopping capital of the Middle East. As the Dubai government continues to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the most populated Emirate of the United Arab Emirates through tourism, the city is expected to accommodate over 15 million tourists by 2015.   While visiting this vibrant city, be sure to take a tour of the Burj al Dubai, ride a water rollercoaster at the Wild Wadi Water Park and go downhill skiing in the Mall of the Emirates.

Burj al Dubai

            The Burj al Arab (the Tower of the Arabs), is the tallest hotel in the world at 321 meters.  The hotel stands on a huge manmade island connected to Jumeirah beach via a private bridge.   Construction of the hotel started in 1994 with the 60-floor hotel costing an astounding $650 million to build.

                During construction, the interior of the building was cooled by one degree per day over a six-month period in order to prevent condensation and worse yet a raincloud - yes a raincloud - from forming inside the 180 meter tall atrium, the tallest atrium lobby in the world.

                Located near the top of the building is a helipad which has been the site of numerous publicity events. 

                In 2004 Tiger Woods hit golf balls into the Persian Gulf then in 2005 professional tennis players Roger Federer and Andre Agassi played an exhibition match on a temporary grass tennis court constructed on the helipad.

                The Burj al Arab has a mere 202 suits, each ranging two floors.  Rates start at $1000 per night for the smallest suite (1,819 sq. ft.) and go up to $28,000 per night for the Royal Suite. 

The largest suite in the hotel is 8,396 sq. ft. which is almost four times larger than the average house in Canada!

                The official website of the hotel promises its customers a "chauffeur driven Rolls Royce, discreet in-suite check in, a private reception desk on every floor and a brigade of highly trained butlers who provide around-the- clock attention"

                Some of the other luxuries offered by the hotel are plasma televisions with satellite, international direct dialing, voicemail, high speed wireless internet, bathroom telephones and CD players as well as fresh flowers, fruit and Arabic sweets.

Wild Wadi Water Park

            Featured twice on the reality show The Amazing Race, Wild Wadi Water Park boasts the largest water slide outside North America as wel as a 59ft waterfall that goes off every ten minutes.  Guest can enjoy the two artificial surfing machines, multiple waterslides, the lazy river and wave pool, as well as the children's play area with over 100 water games and rides.

Indoor Skiing

            Located in the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest shopping malls in the world, Ski Dubai, the world’s largest indoor snow park, has an area of 22,500 meters that is covered with real snow year round.  It has five runs that vary in height, gradient and degree of difficulty, as well as a 90-meter-long quarter pipe for snowboarders that area accessed by a quad lift and a tow lift.  The longest run, and also the world’s first indoor black diamond run, is 400 meters. 

                Other wintery attraction include a 3,000 square-meter snow park play area with toboggan runs, an icy body slide, climbing towers, a snowball shooting gallery, an ice cave and a 3D theatre.  And if that isn’t enough, they also have a mirror maze and a snowman making area.

                With a capacity of 1500 guests, in order to maintain skier comfort the temperature is kept at a mild −1 C during the day and then it is dropped to −6 C at night when they make the snow.

                They also have a ski and snowboard rental shop along with professional instructors and the entrance price includes a lift pass, rental equipment and a ski suit, but gloves, goggles and a locker rental are sold separately. 

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