Dubai in December. Highs of 26°C, overnight lows of 14°C, and the occasional shamal – perfect conditions for skiing, snowboarding and ice-skating.
Not quite Whistler, but Dubai still has options for those who like their sports served cold. Ski Dubai, the region’s first indoor ski resort, offers private lessons, and a challenging black run for experienced skiers. Over the festive period it has a dedicated sledging hill and winter wonderland.
Beyond Ski Dubai’s eternal winter, the city also has three ice skating rinks, two of which are Olympic sized. Head to Al Nasr Leisureland, Oud Metha, for ice skating classes for kids and adults. It’s also home to the Dubai Mighty Camels men’s league. The Dubai Mall’s rink has lively skating discos and the Dubai Ice Rink Skating Academy. The Hyatt Regency Dubai Hotel, Deira, uniquely has a rink within the hotel, offering skating lessons and party packages. So if you want to dash through the snow, you don’t need to leave the country.
Learn to ride the slopes or just freestyle at Ski Dubai. Courses include instruction on basic safety, how to turn (what usually leads to smacking the snow), and advance freestyling. Kids can learn from the age of 8.
From Dhs150 (discovery lesson). Daily 9am-1am. Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, www.theplaymania.com/skidubai (800 386).
Dubai has three amateur competitive ice hockey leagues. The Dubai Mighty Camels League, based at Al Nasr Leisureland, has 12 teams and over 250 members (www.dubaimightycamels.com). The six-team Emirates Hockey League and the Dubai Night Hockey league for beginners and improvers, both play at Dubai Ice Rink, The Dubai Mall (www.hockey.ae).
Derived from the snow sports of tobogganing and snowboarding, sandboarding doesn’t take long to master. Beginners sit or kneel on a board before going on to standing and trying out stunts.
Dhs250 per person (with transport, refreshments and 30 minutes sand boarding). Daily 8am-noon. www.desertrangers.net (04 456 9944).