Winter wonderland

Work is now under way on the $1 billion Snowdome project at Dubailand, following a ground-breaking ceremony last February. The project, the diversified multinational 32Group, is expected to be the first comprehensive snow resort in Dubai at par with the leading international ski resorts.

To create this winter leisure park, boreholes nearly 200 m deep are being drilled to tap geothermal energy and allow support of the enormous load of the biggest freestanding dome in the world, says a spokesman for the 32Group.
 The dome – measuring more than 220 m in diameter and 75 m in height – will include a huge revolving ski slope, going through and around an artificial mountain range.
Besides the colossal dome, the 1.4 million sq ft Snowdome complex will include a deluxe hotel, designed to look like an iceberg creating an authentic winter feeling as well as several other attractions that are designed to make the project a unique tourist destination.
“Snowdome is posed to become one of the main anchor attractions of Dubai in 2008,” says Majid Pishyar, president and CEO of the three-continents based 32Group.
The unique Snowdome project will offer a leisure winter wonderland experience with attractive features for visitors of all ages and will have all the adventure attractions of a snow and ice leisure park.
“Creativity has always been central to the success of any of our projects,” says Pishyar. “We are delighted to announce that the scope of the project has been expanded since its announcement to the public in 2000 to include more attractions, entertainment, high-quality residential apartments and condominium hotel units. All components of the project will be linked to the dome by a link building – the ‘Volcano’ – featuring retail, food and beverage outlets among others.”
The entry road takes the visitors down to themed car parks – shaped like deep-blue grottos with ice lifts – which are constructed around the Snowdome. Lifts bring them to a series of train stations around the Snowdome at ground level and then a themed tramway/mini train called ‘The Shuttle’ brings them to the ‘Volcano’.
“All the interiors of the various facilities, attractions and lodging components will be architecturally integrated within the entire concept of winter experience to give the tourists.
Snowdome will also feature snow that is not chemically-produced. Skiing will be made possible in a pleasant ambient temperature of around 10 deg C. Skiers will be taken up by a cable lift to the top of the ski slope.
All these exceptional technologies makes the project unique and different to others in the same league.
“The Snowdome will use several state-of-the-art patented solutions, which will complement other projects in Dubailand and is expected to be the one of the world’s most comprehensive and largest tourism, leisure and entertainment developments,” adds Pishyar.