Skiing…in the Alps and … inside?

Ici la piste ou ma petit garcon fait du ski:


Which is to say, my twelve-year old son is currently skiing in the French Alps–and I have to say, that’s a sentence I never in my life thought I would write. Let me hasten to add that his French is no better than mine…and his skiing is even worse.

And by “worse” I mean that the only ski slope Liam has been on in his life is this one:


What’s that you say? That the lighting on that slope looks odd…and furthermore, you think you’re seeing something that looks like a…roof?

Yes. That is a roof, and no, I don’t mean the roof of heaven.  I mean the roof. Of the mall. Wherein there is a ski hill. With a chair lift, five runs, a bunny hill, and a “snow park” for people who don’t want to ski. Also? There’s a little enclave inside the snow park where you can gambol with penguins.

That’s right. My son prepared for the Alps on the climate-controlled slope of Ski Dubai, which is essentially a huge metal tube plopped down on the roof of the Mall of the Emirates:

ski_dubai_05image source

I mean, how handy is that? You can pick up a pair of Chanel sunglasses, browse the racks at Harvey Nichols, check out the furniture at Crate & Barrel, and then hit the slopes.  Apres-ski, you can hang out in the chalet overlooking the slopes and have fondue, just like they do in the Alps. , which I’m sure is exactly what Liam is doing even as I type this.

Some might say something about what happens when people have more money than sense, but I’m not going to say anything of the sort. Why shouldn’t a desert-dwelling people learn how to ski?  I mean, if the states of Florida and Arizona can have hockey teams, then why can’t a country where the temperatures routinely hit 40C have a ski slope? Let’s not be winterist about sports, ‘kay?

The place is extraordinarily well-run, I have to say: you can rent everything except winter hats and gloves (both of which are available for purchase at the gift shop, natch).  Snowsuits, jackets, helmets, ski pants…even full-length down coats for abaya-clad women who don’t want to ski but want to watch their kids play in the snow park.

Liam, Caleb, and two friends (also heading to the Alps, also utter beginners on skis) had two lessons during their sojourn in Winter and as a result their “passports” indicate that they’re ready for the intermediate slopes.IMG_6354

When a friend of mine asked Caleb about Liam’s trip to the Alps, Caleb replied, with utter confidence, “oh, Liam totally knows how to ski. His passport says so.”

I’ve often said that one of the reasons we moved to Abu Dhabi (besides things like, you know, jobs and money) is because I am tired, tired, tired of winter.  As far as I’m concerned, winter should be a choice, something you can visit and then leave behind.

I suppose, then, that Ski Dubai is the closest I’m going to get to winter without buying a plane ticket and using an actual passport.

And really, who needs fresh Alpine air and the scent of pine trees, when  you can have Prada and the delicate odor of. . . Shake Shack?


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10 Responses to Skiing…in the Alps and … inside?

  1. Halala Mama February 18, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    How timely – I JUST showed the 60 minutes clips on Dubai to my seventh graders. When we get to the part about Ski Dubai they always emit an audible gasp. I tell them, “when you have crazy money like this,, anything is possible!!” Even skiing in a metal tube in the desert!
    Halala Mama recently posted..Maybe we aren’t ready for a pet, quite yet.My Profile

    • Deborah Quinn February 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      TOTALLY! Maybe the people who designed it had a different idea, but I swear to god, it translates to “how can we spend our dirhams…” and voila! Ask and the answer will come to you: build snow in the desert. Sheesh. So nice to see you here, Halala!

  2. Bright Side of Life February 18, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    I have heard about the ski slope… All I can say is *wow*, what will they think of next. It certainly is a great idea if you want to get some training in before you hit the slopes for real. Me? I am so not a skier and like you, prefer warmer climates! 🙂

    • Deborah Quinn February 20, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

      can you imagine? it’s too funny and kind of… not funny, all at the same time.

  3. Arnebya February 19, 2013 at 1:10 am #

    I find it positively fascinating that you’re surrounded by such possibilities. I’ve only skied once (and did fairly well, thankyouverymuch.) My older daughter has had the opportunity to ski multiple times and turned it down each time. Next year when the school offers, I’m going to insist that she go.
    Arnebya recently posted..SometimesMy Profile

    • Deborah Quinn February 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

      I imagine you were hell on skis – I’ve seen you walk in some precarious heels & I figure if you can navigate the stage at BlogHer in those, then a black diamond slope wouldn’t even be a sweat. When I skied a few times as a kid (on the “hills” of Wisconsin), it was fun…but now I’m too old & too AFRAID. I’ll stay flat, thanks. Do they have cross-country skiing in the Alps?

  4. Nancy Horwich February 19, 2013 at 2:49 am #

    Nothing better for a child than learning how to ski, and swim, and ride a horse and a bike. If they don’t learn when they are kids they will never enjoy it as an adult. And even if they don’t love it, they can say: been there, done that. You are giving your children EVERY OPPORTUNITY. What a good mother.

    • Deborah Quinn February 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      I *AM* being a good mother. Now if only they remember that fact when they’re in their teens. And twenties…and thirties…

  5. Lady Jennie February 25, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    My husband told me about the mall ski slope. But wait – are you in France?
    Lady Jennie recently posted..Life in the Trenches – Chapter 8My Profile


  1. My Son, the Skiing Scofflaw | MaNNaHaTTaMaMMa - February 20, 2013

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