In a remarkable stroke of decontextualization, our favorite developers in Dubai have concocted the largest indoor snow park in the Mall of the Emirates, itself one of the largest malls in the world.
Ski Dubai, as it is called, comes complete with ski lifts, tobogganing hills, a twin track bobsled ride, and a snow cavern with interactive, multimedia delights. There is even a Swiss chalet. We haven't seen any images of it yet, but we imagine it to be straight right out of Heidi. And for all the migrant workers and petrocrats unaccustomed to frolicking in the snow, there is the Snow School, the first in the region.
And all of these will be chilled precisely to -2˚ Celcius.
The snow will be 100% real, we are told, meaning you can build real snow men, have real snow ball fights, make real snow angels and perhaps even get real frostbites. We imagine it falling as soft, gentle flurries on suntanned cheeks. It may even bring back fond memories, if you've got some, of winter wonderlands from childhood.
But they should also program a Midwestern zero visibility blizzard and a New England Nor'easter ice storm (you would need defoliated trees for this, preferably ones that break easily for that recognizable twig snapping and crashing sound), and even a Swiss avalanche to match the quaint alpine cottage.
A totality of tundral experience like nowhere else: you've just been on a Lawrence of Arabia desert tour, under the sun for a week, lips blistering and peeling and there's sand in every crevices of your body; you then shower, put on a jacket and a pair of boots; and a mere hour after getting off a camel, you're tearing down the slopes of the Matterhorn.
Even during the bitter winters here in Chicago, it would be quite a chore to replicate most of what you can do at Ski Dubai.
Dubai via Archinect, Los Angeles Times and The New Yorker, or: Post-Oil Middle East, Part III
Here Comes The Rain Again, or: Post-Oil Middle East, Part II
The Palms, or: Post-Oil Middle East