Sipping a cup of hot chocolate beneath a heat lamp on the deck of the cozy mountainside Avalanche Café, it's easy to forget that you're in the middle of the desert in Dubai. That is, until you see a pack of bearded men gleefully whizzing down the slope, white tunics billowing like sails behind them.
Any excursion to Ski Dubai, which purports to be the world's largest indoor ski area, is filled with this sort of incongruity. Though the air outside routinely tops 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer, the temperature inside the 22,500 square meter facility remains just below freezing all year round. The structure that encloses the ski slope is as tall as a 25-story building; its flagship trail, the first indoor black diamond ever built, is longer than three football fields. There are four other runs of varying difficulty, as well as a chairlift, a freestyle snowboarding zone, and of course, the aforementioned café.
Gallery: Ski Dubai