“Snowboarding in the Middle East? You’ve got to be crazy….” May be that respond will come up when I’m talking to most of my friend. But Actually, I’ve heard about this skiing information from my friend 6 months ago. Then, I forgot it and I think, it is not so as amazing as I see on the photo. Who believe it? I think, no one absolutely sure could have a skiing/snowboarding in the Middle East. But, when I see the reality, my opinion about that was totally changing. It’s located at Mall of the emirates, one of the largest shopping malls in the world, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The name of the place is Dubai Ski. It’s design to be as the real snow environment with 22,500 square meters of indoor ski area. It’s just beside the syekh Zayyed Road (Dubai-Abu Dhabi main road). I can see the dome/building of it almost a quater of this mall. Haha. It was pretty damn big! 😯
Actually I never tried snowboarding before, coz I live in Bandung, Indonesia which has tropical season. So, that impossible to have a snow environment, unless at the Cartensz pyramid, which is the top of Indonesia’s highest point in Sudirman Mountain in Papua. And also I never go to the snow country before. So snowboarding was really new experience for me. I was really excited when my friend from New Zealand asks me to come and join together with other EDP friends. Anyway EDP stands for Engineer Development Program, a training which designed for first year employee of my Company which takes place in Dubai (For Asia Pacific and Middle East). That’s what I was there for. I spend my week end by enjoying many strange places in Dubai one by one. A lot of interesting place can be found there. And one of the strange place what I’m taking about is the skiing facility in the mall. Really crazy!
To go there, we don’t need to make any reservation, we just need to go the the mall of the emirates and buy the ticket at the Dubai Ski main reception. For asian people like me, they would be asking weather I had tried it before or not. They said that snowboarding for beginner could be dangerous. They suggest me to take skiing package with a short course before. And that means I got to pay more…NO WAY! Everything there is so damn expensive! and I don’t wanna pay for that. Fortunately, my friend who really expert in snowboarding was telling me to say that I had tried it before. When the officer asking you about ur snowboarding experience, just answer: I HAVE TRIED IT BEFORE,,and just tell them a lil bit technique. And yes, they believed me that I did 😆 . so, I can enter easily to the snowboeard/skiing facility. Yuhu! Just paying 200 AED, otherwise I had to pay 275 for free pass package which include the short training. Mmm,,,no, I thought it just for skiing, there’s no package for snowboard as they said it’s only for anybody who have tried it before. Whoaaaa,,,lucky me! 🙂
Anyhow, you don’t need to worry about ski clothing or equipment either. Ski Dubai has thought of it all and offers guests the use of winter clothing, ski and snowboard equipment. Just tell what your size is and type of your board as well. After all of equipment are completely used, now we’re ready to go!!! 😎 Yeahhh,,,Snowboarding in the mall, my first experience in snow environment, although everything’s there is a man-mad. That’s ok!
When first time entering the skiing field…Wow! it’s damn cold! Extremely different with temperature outside. I’ve heard, an extremely efficient insulation system helps the facility maintain a temperature of −1 °C during the day and −6 °C at night when the snow is produced. the facility consumes 3000 gallons (almost 72 barrels) of oil each day and generating huge amounts of greenhouse gases. Wow,,that’s make sense. I looked around the building, it was so awesome! Crazy awesome! Man, it’s such a crazy man-made skiing facility! Everything is looks real. The snow is really snow (I don’t know what snow look like 😆 ). the slope is designed as the real slope in snowing mountain, the chairlift, the snow park, and everything! Oh my god, my nose start getting snotty, protest against the temperature. Well, it’s normal. It’s my first time exposed to cold temperature for pretty long time. Hahaha. but, It’s really fun!
Well, I don’t know what to do. But, Kris and Louise (My New Zealand friends) have promised to teach me at least the basic technique. They was teaching me (an others) in the ‘how do I called it?’ Let say”practicing zone”. First, try to slide. The key is “clam down”. But, it’s hard. I was falling down for several times! Damn! That’s so hurt! 😥 Especially my backside…and another problem come either. My hand was freezing! Damn, I forgot to buy a glove before get in. that makes me suffer much more serious than falling down. Well, 10 AED for a glove and feeling better afterward. Yeahh,,thanks God! FYI, when u stay at the”practicing zone”, the time won’t start counting down. It does when you enter the skiing slope. I spent about 40 minutes for practicing but no significant progress. Haha. They was leaving me (and Sophie as well) to start slide from the slope. Fortunately I heard somebody talk in Bahasa Indonesia. “eh, gua gak bisa kalau besok” he was talking to his woman partner. I’m surprised,,They must be Indonesian, Aha! Good idea! 💡 Then I moved closer and asked: “ Mas dr Indonesia ya?”. “Iya, sy dr Bandung”. “ kalo saya dari Pekalongan” the lady said following the guy. We were talking much and they teached me then for free! Yessss!! Now, I’m more confidence to try the slope…yuhuuuu. Thanks mas denny for the free snowboard lesson.
I started entering the slope zone, than automatically the time was counting down. 2 hours only for enjoying the slope. Well, that’s more than enough for me. I used the chairlift to go up and stop in the second slope. It has 5 slopes of varying steepness and difficulty, including a 400-meter-long run, the world’s first indoor black run, and a 90-meter-long quarter pipe for snowboarders. I was so nervous while everybody slides happily around me. Some of them are kids! Man, I’ll be shy when I fall down. They might be laughing at me! But, I DON’T CARE!! And now is the time! I was sliding slowly coz I didn’t try the straight one. It will be sliding so fast. I couldn’t control my self. I was just saying to myself “calm down,,,calm down,,,calm down. You can! You can!” and Gdebuk! I fell down just after enter the first slope…Oh no! It was so hurting me!! Oh my backside,,,I’m so sorry for that! And quickly stand up and continuing slides the rest. Yeahhhhh,,,finally I reach the bottom safely,,,,WOW! Kris even said: “That’s awesome man! A good slide to begin with”. I’m really happy. It’s unforgettable snow experience. You don’t need to worry about it. it’s not really as difficult as what I imagine before. Just calm down and everything’s gonna be okay! Then, I wanna try and try it more. I entered the chairlift gate while sticking the card to the sensor on it and automatically it gives me a warning.“Remaining time: 100 minutes” wow…cool!
While continuing slide the slope, my friend record a movie and take some picture. Yeah, he’s so expert on snowboard coz He has taken some course in his country and he often play snowboard. For me, a little movement of my shoulders causing serious problem which is fell down. I just need to stay calmly like a statue without moving any part of your body. Just follow the board will sliding to. I cannot hold any camera on my hand at all. So, I can’t record what amazing it is.
I had so much fun though I felt sore in almost a whole body. Damn, it was hurting me for a couple days coz I fell down for thousands time. Now, I wanna try the real snow. I don’t know where. But someday I got to try it. Amiiiin.
Yes, snowboarding is the “coolest” things to do in Dubai!