11 April 2015

Sandstorm, Little Chefs, and Ski Dubai

Could you guys believe the sandstorm we had two Thursdays ago? I honestly thought the they had overly exaggerated it in MI3, but when we looked outside the windows and saw how planet Mars-like everything was, we realized that the movie was actually spot on. From morning until early afternoon, we could barely see the nearby buildings; all we could see was sand, sand, and more sand. It was crazy!
Sheikh Zayed Road 
You can see more photos taken by Gulf News readers here.

Fortunately our General Manager gave the go signal for everyone to leave at 3pm. I sent the e-mail at 2:15pm, and within minutes, the surroundings began to clear. Of course he didn’t take back the announcement; it just gave us a chance to go home safely via clear roads.

Everyone was advised to avoid going out because the sandstorm was expected to last the entire weekend. This was a bummer because Hubby’s friend and her family were arriving that night and we had planned to take them out on Saturday. It was a good thing though that the weather and skies cleared, so we managed to push through with our plans.

And what a good time we all had…especially our eldest girls!

Even though it was their first time to meet, Caila and Esy instantly got along. As we headed from their hotel in Sheikh Zayed Road to Deira, they practically talked non-stop. And by the time we reached Al Ghurair Rayhaan, they were already buddies.
I had made a reservation for lunch at Liwan and we made sure to download the coupons for the hotel’s website, so we managed to enjoy the buffet at a lower price. Drinks weren’t included, though, but that was ok. Here’s the Easter-themed sight that awaited us:
I was abstaining from rice the entire Holy Week, but when I saw their selection of maki and sushi, I was tempted to fill my plate with them…thinking “it’s just a few pieces.” However, I stuck my ground and managed to stay away from the bar after this shot. Hurray!
An hour into the meal, the girls began to fidget and started chasing each other around the restaurant. Fortunately, the staff soon approached us to say that the Little Chefs activity was about to start. As soon as we told Caila and Esy, they screamed in delight and rushed to wear the uniforms provided by the restaurant. And then they excitedly started decorating the rabbit biscuits (bread? cookies? I wasn’t sure) with icing, marshmallows, gummy candy, and I don’t know what.
Of course the girls were pleased with their creations, especially when their badges and certificates were presented to them.
Since Sophie was too small to participate in that activity, she played at the Children’s Area where there was a small bouncy castle, television screen showing cartoons, and coloring materials.
When everyone was too full to eat anymore, we headed to Ski Dubai. On the way, the girls kept chanting “Snow park! Snow park! Snow park!” and asking “Are we there yet?” over and over. Finally, when I think our ears couldn’t take it any longer, we arrived at the Mall of Emirates.

Making use of the Entertainer voucher and an Emirates ID, I purchased the tickets for me, Hubby and Caila while Janice collected theirs which they had booked online. Since Sophie was under 3 years old, she couldn’t enter and had to stay with her nanny. However, when we had checked the website previously, it said kids under 2 years old weren’t permitted inside. Oh well. Zac, on the other hand, didn’t want to wear the outfit so Mike had to take care of him while the rest of us explored Ski Dubai.
The girls had a great time…just like the adults!
dragon ice sculpture
Attempting to build a snowman
Later, Hubby, Louise and Esy wanted to try the Giant Ball so the rest of us stood in line with them. Wrong decision because standing there in the long queue doing nothing but wait made us feel the cold more and more. We managed to go out of the queue, but again we were just waiting for their turn.

Finally, I could see that Caila’s nose was starting to run, it had become pink, and I almost couldn’t feel my fingers from the cold, so we left and headed out. It was a pity though because I really wanted to walk across the hanging bridge, try the Chairlift Ride, and the Snow Bullet (so I could cross off ziplining from my Bucket List). Oh well.
Hubby getting into the ball.
This was taken by Janice because Caila and I had already left
On the way, we noticed that a crowd had gathered; and peering over the shoulders, I saw penguins! Good thing we’re petite so Caila and I managed to squeeze in and find a spot near the front for the best view. A lady was asking questions and those who could answer correctly were given a chance to get up close and personal with the flightless birds for pictures. We didn’t know the answers, but that was fine…it was enough for us to actually see the cute residents of Ski Dubai.
The Super Pass we availed of was good for the whole day, but just 2 hours in there was all we could take. I guess if it weren’t for the long queue, we would have managed to bear the cold and explored the other attractions of the park. At least though, it gives us another reason to go back. And next time, we’ll make sure to take Sophie with us so she can also enjoy the winter wonderland in the desert.
 And also when we do, we’ll remember these things:
• Bring woolly hats, our own socks, and gloves or mittens. Although gloves and socks were provided, they were too thin.
• Wear thicker clothes. The outfits provided are ok, but thicker clothes will ensure that we’ll be able to bear the cold longer.
• It’s also advisable to bring/wear earmuffs
• Go early to take advantage of the Super Pass benefits and try all the rides. We arrived at Ski Dubai a little before 4pm, and considering it was a weekend, there were already so many people there…which resulted to queues and long waiting times.
• Bring our Emirates IDs to take advantage of the Resident’s Rate (Dhs160 per person) or use an Entertainer Voucher (Buy 1-Take 1 deal for Dhs225). Good thing we did this!

Oh, and before actually leaving Ski Dubai, make sure to return the cards at the machine to get the Dhs20 refund.
And last but definitely not the least...enjoy!
You could practically see the happiness on the kids' faces after a couple of hours in Ski Dubai


  1. HI Ms. Pam, nice post. I've only been to Ski Dubai once and it was really cooold! Caila is really pretty by the way. :)

    1. Thanks, Mauh! Yeah, the place was cold...pero nabitin talaga ako.
      Thanks for the compliment...mana-mana lang yan =)


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