As the temperature in Abu Dhabi continues to climb to somewhat uncomfortable levels, 17 NYUAD students recently traveled to Dubai to hit the slopes for a few hours of skiing and snowboarding. It all went down at the Mall of the Emirates, which houses Ski Dubai, the world's first indoor ski slope. The facility contains more than 22,500 square meters of real snow and five runs, the longest of which is 400 meters.
Despite feeling the sting of cold for the first time in quite a while (the facility is kept between -1 degrees Celsius and -2 degrees Celsius), the group kept warm in the provided winter attire, which consisted of a snowsuit and boots. Five students chose to hit the slopes right away, while the rest took a lesson in either skiing or snowboarding. Jihee Lim, NYUAD Class of 2014, a somewhat seasoned skier, said she found the indoor snow much easier to ski on than the slopes she had encountered in Korea. "There is no unexpected trouble such as logs lurking like at the outdoor slopes, and there were not nearly as many people in your way."
Novice skier Supatra Lee, NYUAD Class of 2014, found the sport challenging to get the hang of at first. "It was difficult to go straight. I kept leaning to the left!" In spite of her rough start, Lee did not fall at all during her lesson, a feat accomplished by few of the students, most of whom had never skied before. The snowboarders also took quite a few tumbles and admitted to being a little sore after their lesson, while the skiers found it difficult to master the "pizza" move, pointing the tips of the skis together in order to stop.
Despite the bumps along the way, Lim and Lee agreed they were up for the challenge of hitting bigger slopes in the future. Even in the artificial setting, Lim appreciated the opportunity to experience a bit of winter weather. "It is so cool we can go skiing in the desert!" she exclaimed.