Saturday, October 29, 2005

It's Snowing in the Middle East

It's Snowing in the Middle East, originally uploaded by !efatima.

Get your skis ready, it's going to snow in Dubai
By Daniel Bardsley, (Local news Reporter)

Dubai: Thrill-seekers in Dubai will be able to enjoy the Middle East's first ski slope in little more than a month's time.

Real snow is already being made at Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates and icicles are hanging from air conditioners and the chair lift that skiers will use.

Younis Al Mulla, general manager of Mall of the Emirates and Ski Dubai, and Frostbite, the Ski Dubai Mascot, announce the upcoming opening of Ski Dubai, the region's first in-door snow resort.

Two-hour tickets for the ski slopes will cost between Dh100 and Dh130 including clothing (1 USD = 3.65 Dhs).

"This is not the first ski dome in the world there are about 15 that use real snow and it's not the longest, but it's the best because of the technology being used to make the snow," said Francois de Montaudouin, chief executive of the mall's developer MAF Investments.

The snow, which covers 22,500 square metres or three football fields, will be made every night at minus 8C after the mall opens.

During the day when skiers are using the slope, the temperature will be slightly warmer at minus 2C.

"This is real, wild snow we are creating. It feels like rain but it is actually snow. It means visiting Ski Dubai will be like having a beautiful day in the mountains, except that conditions will be perfect all the time," he said.

There are five different slopes of varying difficulty and length, with the longest one being 400 metres.

A maximum of 1,500 people will be able to use Ski Dubai at any one time and 500,000 visitors are expected each year.

A team of instructors will be on hand to teach novices how to ski.

Skiers and snowboarders will slide on top of a layer of snow and ice that is about 50cm thick, with the top 3cm being renewed daily.

Thirty tonnes of snow will be made each night and to improve energy efficiency, the cooling effect from melting the old snow will be used to air condition the mall.

The water from the old snow will be sprinkled on the mall's gardens.

Managers say this energy-efficient system means that just 10 per cent of their running costs will be for fuel.

Cooler brings temperature down to minus 8C

The snow is made using a cooler that brings the temperature down to minus 8C.

Snow guns then create a cloud of water vapour and this cloud is sprinkled with tiny particles of hard ice.

Snow crystals form around the ice particles and fall out of the cloud 20 metres onto the ski slope.

A cooling system under the snow builds up a base of ice to create what are described as "perfect snow conditions".


Post a Comment

<< Home