The words “skiing” and “desert” aren’t often used in the same sentence. But that’s changing in Dubai, which appears to be on a mission to have the “biggest” of everything, including extravagant shopping malls, towers, and, now, ski slopes.
Gulf News reports that the oil-rich country is planning a project that will cover 3.67 million sm (39.5 million sf) and include a shopping mall, civic plaza, a 4-kilometer canal, a marina with 100 boat slots, and what’s being touted as the world’s longest indoor ski slope.
The developer, Meydan City Corporation, states that this project should be completed before 2020, the year that Dubai hosts the World Expo 2020. While the developer didn’t disclose what this project might cost, The Guardian reports estimates of up to 25 billion dirhams (about $6.8 billion).
The Dubai newspaper Al-Bayan reports that this project would extend from the Meydan racetrack to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower.
The shopping mall component of this project, called Meydan One Mall, alone will cover 25,000 sm (269,000 sf), and include a retractable roof measuring 150 x 80 meters. The mall will be adjacent to the 1.2-kilometer (4,922-foot) long ski slope. (The Emirate already holds the record for the largest indoor ski slope, at 400 meters long, which runs year-round inside the Mall of the Emirates, according to The Guardian.)
At the base of the ski slope will be 25,000-sm Meydan Arena, which will seat up to 8,000 people, and could be used for a variety of sporting contests and live shows.
This project also includes the construction of The Dubai One, a 711-sm-tall building that would be the tallest residential tower in the world. It will have 885 apartments and a five-star hotel with 350 rooms, as well as a conference center, a 655-meter observation deck, and skytop restaurant.
Residents and visitors will be able to avail themselves of more than 5.3 kilometers of bicycle and hogging trails, a 300-meter-long beach, and a heritage village that could house up to 78,000 people. The project will also feature a 420-meter-long “dancing” fountain, also said to be the world’s largest.