Thursday, April 05, 2012

Ski Dubai

We didn't travel anywhere this Spring Break. Instead, we went to Ski Dubai yesterday and called it good. It was the first time our family has been there together (Miriam went with Jeremy when we first moved here, and then Miriam went again in December on a school field trip).

It was so much fun! I get that it's pretend, and manufactured, and ridiculous, and fake, or whatever other adjectives you sometimes hear applied to Ski Dubai (and to Dubai in general). But anyone with a shred of childlike joy in their heart will enjoy Ski Dubai. Really, how can you not? In the middle of the desert, someone built an indoor snow park. That is awesome. They connected it to the Mall of the Emirates, so when you're in that part of the mall, you can look "outside" at the snowy landscape. Connecting to another side of Ski Dubai is the Kempinski Hotel. Some of the rooms have windows opening up onto the snow, which I think would be pretty neat. In other words, Ski Dubai a great way to pretend that it's cold and snowy outside when it's really 100+ degrees and sunny. That is my kind of amusement park.

We had such a great time with the girls. Miriam got right into things because she remembers living in Ithaca and how to play in snow. Magdalena had to rely more on the cultural snow norms she's observed when watching movies or home videos of Ithaca. She knew that it was a thing to pick up snow and throw it at people. However, she didn't know you're not supposed to throw it at strangers. Good thing she's so cute - people forgave her right away.




On a more thoughtful level, Ski Dubai was a lesson in contrasts. There was the fact that we played in the snow all morning and then, when we got home, hung out our wet things to dry in the 90+ degree heat. Similarly, it was strange to look up every once in a while at the spectators on the other side of the window, dressed in their light, warm-weather clothing. Were they outdoors, or were we? It was easy to forget at times. Also, I will never, ever get used to the sight of people in abaya/hijab + snowsuit, or kandura + snowsuit. In the changing area afterward, we even saw a lady emerge from her snowsuit in a full-fledged sari. Even more varied than the styles of dress were the languages we could hear. I notice this wherever I go in the UAE, but at Ski Dubai it seemed even more pronounced since we were all calling out to friends and kids. There are so many people from so many places here, it's like we're living in some post-national future. I love it.

And I love Ski Dubai! If you have the chance to go, go, preferably with a 2-for-1 coupon from the Entertainer book.

4 comments:

Shari said...

How fun! Do they provide the snowsuits?

Bridget said...

Yes, but you can wear your own. We have some snowgear but not a complete set for Magdalena, as you can see.

Liz Johnson said...

Weirdly, I am jealous of your ability to play in the snow, even though I have it virtually half of the year. The novelty is probably part of it. I'm also consistently jealous of the tourists scuba diving in that aquarium. Sheesh.

Crys said...

Winter fun without the cleanup, the driving woes, or the freezing wind! Love it!

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