Abu Dhabiâ€™s National newspaper has reported that a team of 114 German engineers have setting the stage and preparing to build the largest indoor snow slope in the world. When the project at Jebil Hafeet is completed by 2013, a 2.6 km (1.7 mile) long slope capable of hosting International Ski Federation sanctioned events.
That is five times longer than the existing longest indoor slopes in Holland and Germany and six and a half times longer than neighbour Ski Dubai. The full area of the slope will be 337,000 square metres, about ten times the largest indoor slope area at present and is expected to leave a minimal impact on the environment.
Reports say that sections of the slope, although possibly not all, will be indoors, with movable sections to allow different slope configurations. Parts of the slope will also be supported by stilts and there will be an indoor ski jump.
The development, called Jebel Hafeet Glacier, will also include a theme park, golf courses, two hotels and a retail area at the base of the mountain called.
Full construction work on what is reported to be â€œA massive green communityâ€ is scheduled to begin in October at Jebel Hafeet, the best known of Abu Dhabiâ€™s mountains. A solar energy farm at one corner of the mountain will provide an as yet undisclosed proportion of the energy requirements.
The is still waiting for governmentâ€™s stamp of approval because the mountain has historic sites and a hot springs area set up by the late Sheikh Zayed. Jebel Hafeet rises about 1,240 metres; the highest mountain in the United Arad Emirates is Jabal Yibir, which is 1,527 metres.
The development is being implemented by Tamouh, part of the Royal Group, a holding company owned by Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al Nahyan. Mr Joe Ong, chief executive of Tamouh Investments , described it as the eighth wonder of the world. Temperatures at the base of the mountain are currently around 45Â°C at midday.
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