Desert Skiing


In The New York Times, Seth Sherwood visits Dubai, the booming city-emirate that's transforming itself into an archipelago of malls and other, stranger proprietary communities. Here's the conclusion:

Across town, in the Moroccan-themed Tangerine, a 20-something woman in a white miniskirt hung on to the sleeve of a 60-something man in an ill-fitting tweed blazer as both leaned jauntily against a wall. Whatever they spoke about, mouth to ear, was obliterated by the deafening, chest-crushing hip-hop beat that resounded off the carved wooden screens and mosaic tile floor.

In a dark corner nearby, a beanpole-like bald man from Liverpool looked at the odd old-young crowd and ersatz North African decor and made a remark that is probably repeated at least once every day in Dubai. "The whole thing is totally fake," he said to his date, "but no one seems to care."

Along those lines: The latest odd project to hit the city is Ski Dubai, probably the world's only ski resort located in a scorching desert. The indoor slopes, AFP reports, are "being built within [the] billion-dollar Mall of the Emirates, partly to lure people to what will be the third largest shopping centre in the world, and to make it different." When completed, the building containing the faux mountains will be 25 stories tall.