Saturday, December 09, 2006

Snow Alone In The Desert

With a quick trip to Chamonix only a couple of weeks away I've been studying the resort snow reports looking for signs of hope. Over the next 7 days the forecast say there could be as little as 21cm of snow. Even the local reporters are sounding somewhat downcast.
Dubai may now be the destination ski resort, with the best snow east of Aspen. Their SkiDubai resort may be the only place you'll be able to ski inside a decade. Imagine the queues as all of Europe's ski fans descend on Dubai, mixing a few days in the snow with a sun tan, a splash at Wild Wadi and the purchase of a few luxury watches. Even if the dollar falls to three to the pound, Dubai will still look attractive with its currency pegged to the dollar. There won't be enough hotel rooms or airline seats, despite all the expansion, to handle the influx of tourists. Better build some more palm islands. Apparently in 2008, they'll be opening a new resort so as to cement their lock on the European ski market: A second Dubai indoor ski slope is the Dubai Sunny Mountain Ski Dome in Dubailand which is due to open in 2008. It will provide a great attraction, featuring a revolving ski slope, an artificial mountain range, an ice bridge, a cable lift, a snow maze, an ice slide, polar bears cold water-aquaria and special sound and light effects. I'm surprised they felt the need for a revolving ski slope - I've found that most slopes do that as I tumble down them, head over heels. Jokes about the Dubai Sheikhs being responsible for the very global warming phenomonen that will make their resort the only place in the world that you can ski will not be welcome.

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:44 pm

    try www.xscape.co.uk/snow/milton-keynes/whats-inside/snowslope

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  2. Anonymous11:50 am

    I wonder how long it'll be before 'believers' blow the godless place to smithereens? It's GOT to be a target, surely? All those lovely, tall, heathen skyscrapers....

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  3. Anonymous11:51 am

    Dubai, obviously, not Milton Keynes...

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  4. Anonymous9:27 am

    It's amazing what you can make when you know the oil money's running out isn't it?

    Ian

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  5. I was at Ski Dubai during last summer (40C+ outside) and took some pics:

    The (quite surreal) view of the Ski slopes from the food court area of the mall: http://www.flickr.com/photos/96443330@N00/178379759/

    A mall sign that shows the way to the ATM, toilets, a huge Carrefour store, the (Islamic) prayer room, and the ski slopes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/96443330@N00/178381122/

    The outside structure of the ski slope:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/96443330@N00/178383824/

    The outside structure again:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/96443330@N00/178383824/

    I was impressed by how child-friendly the Ski Dubai setup was. I marked it down as a place to bring my son sometime. But, I was disappointed that they do not sell "Ski Dubai" wooly hats [they should take a leaf out of Emirates airline's book on merchandising].

    Obligatory SOA/government comments: The Dubai Emirate is doing some great e-Gov projects and my company (Vordel) is involved as a vendor of the management/security framework that underpins this. It isn't just a case of "the oil running out" since Dubai was never as dependent on oil as, let's say, Abu Dhabi, but historically is more based on trade and it's geographic position as a natural intermediary.

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  6. Nice photos. Must be weird skiing with a roof over your head, whether in MK or Dubai.

    Dubai always was dependent on oil - in 1980 65% of GDP was oil-related but now, with all of its infrastructure change and shift of focus (Dubai Internet City, Media City, Financial Centre etc), only 10% of GDP is oil (according to figures from the Dubai government itself - http://www.dhcc.ae/Admin/Content/File/Documents/Dubai_Economic_Profile.pdf). That said, could it have made all of the investments it has made without oil money, most of which came from Abu Dhabi? I doubt it. Not complaining about that, the rulers of Dubai have done an incredible job over the last 15 years or so (it's about 8 years since I first went and even in that time, progress has been nothing short of stunning).

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