We have not yet been on a family ski holiday, although it is on our to-do list, so we had to visit Ski Dubai during our holiday, which is the world famous indoor ski resort in Dubai. It also felt surreal to be able to go to the snow when it was a sweltering 44 degrees outside!
Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square metres of indoor ski area and is one of the largest in the world. It is located in the Mall of the Emirates, which is one of the largest shopping malls in the world.
As you walk up to the entrance of Ski Dubai you get a glimpse through the windows at just how big this place is, which added to the excitement. The mountain is 85 metres high and has 5 slopes for every level of skier including the world’s first indoor black run and a snow park for kids and non skiers.
We booked the tickets in advance, and using the Ski Dubai Mobile app we had an offer where we only paid for 3 tickets.You can choose to either play in the snow park or to ski. We chose a Polar Express Pass which included all the activities in the snow park plus a penguin encounter.
Apparently, Dubai is the only place in the world where visitors can actually hug, touch or even kiss real penguins and as my younger child loves penguins it was a no brainer for us to pick this package and give the girls a chance to have such an amazing encounter.
We went on a Friday morning which is the first day of the weekend in Dubai. We arrived at 9.30am and the park was quiet which allowed us time to collect our snow jackets, boots, socks and helmets. The hire of equipment is included in the ticket price. The penguin pass also operated as a locker key to store your belongings whilst inside the attraction.
We bought ski gloves from Snow Pro, the shop within Ski Dubai. There was a voucher included with the tickets for 25% off and 4 pairs of ski gloves came to 100 AED = £20. We also brought hats with us from the UK but if you forget you can purchase from the ski shop here, but they are quite expensive.
Once we were all kitted out we were ready for the snow. As you walk through the main entrance turnstiles into Ski Dubai you can instantly feel the change in temperature, as it is a chilly -4 degrees.
You first enter a snow cavern and see a fabulous ice dragon that is beautifully lit up and a cave area for exploring.
However the girls were eager to get into the 3000 metre square snow park at Ski Dubai. It is so well themed you could imagine yourself at an alpine-themed winter wonderland, as if the snow had recently fallen overnight and the park had just opened.
As the snow park was quiet the girls got to experience so many snow activities with no queues. They had so much fun playing with snowballs, making snowmen, getting pulled around the snow park on a sledge and making beautiful snow angels.
The snow park contains lots of attractions to keep children and adults entertained including a rope climbing wall, a bobsleigh/luge run where you travel quickly down the course, and a fantastic donut carousel ride for children.
You can also roll down the frozen hillside in a giant inflatable snowball. The staff at Ski Dubai were very friendly and helpful and even took the time to learn the children’s names.
Another favourite of ours was the tubing, where we could sit in either a one or two seater ring and travel down one of the three courses.
As you may get tired pulling the rubber rings back up the hill there is a handy conveyor belt that transports you back up the hill to ride again, which we did many many times as it was so much fun!
Although we were not skiing we were still able to ride the chairlift which transported us to the top of the 85 metre slope and back down again which provided some spectacular views.
This was just amazing and one the girls thought was fantastic as we were transported at great height whilst watching skiers travel back down the slopes.
The snow park at Ski Dubai is a truly wonderful place for families to enjoy the snow, especially if you have never experienced snow before.
We spent around two hours in the snow park which was long enough due to the cold temperature we had a penguin encounter which was booked for 12.30pm.
As you need to attend a short video and personal briefing, you need to arrive ten minutes before your allocated time. This was a lovely and very unique experience.
We had the opportunity to meet Pumpkin the Gentoo penguin and his trainer learning a bit more about penguins. The Gentoo penguins do not like to be touched but we were able to have a photograph taken with him.
We had a fabulous experience meeting Asheet and Walle the King Penguins and we were able to hug, smooth, kiss and the children loved to feed fish to the penguins. It is the only place in the world you can experience such a personal penguin encounter.
We missed the March of the Penguins, which happens a few times daily from 2pm where the penguins are brought out to walk along the snow.
If you are visiting Dubai then Ski Dubai is a must do on you family vacation. It is a unique experience that should not be missed.
Have you been to Ski Dubai? Share your experience in the comments!