Ski + Snowboard

Ski Vacations for Beach Lovers

by Sarah Tuff

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Chill out: Everything is ridiculously over-the-top in Dubai. If you need proof, just check into the Armani Hotel, which is in the world's tallest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa. Then go stand on top of a snow-covered summit. Indoors. Surrounded by locals wearing long, flowing robes. It's wild, if not actually wild. People flock to Ski Dubai, located in the Mall of the Emirates, more for the gawking and the giddiness than the gliding, but there are five runs, all covered with a decent layer of man-made snow. You can ski, snowboard, tube, bobsled, ride a toboggan, or build a snowman. And then ride a flying carpet. Really.

Heat things up: It's not time to stash the snowboard yet. You'll need it—or at least some juice left in your legs—for sandboarding the Hatta dunes, about a 30-minute drive into the desert outside Dubai. (Most tour operators, including Desert Road Tours, will loan boards for the outing.) Since there are no chairlifts, or flying carpets, in the dunes, sandboarders simply climb up and slide down, reaching speeds of up to 60 miles an hour. Best to master the sport before attempting such feats, however; sand is a much less forgiving surface than snow.

Armani Hotel Dubai
Burj Khalifa
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: 971 4 888 3888
Rooms from $650

Ski Dubai
Mall of the Emirates
Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: 971 4 409 4000
Day pass, $81, including clothing and equipment

Desert Road Tours
Tel: 971 4 295 9429

Next: Discover the "curry powder" of Kashmir >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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