Tubing and skiing in the middle of the desert
Sunkid completes construction on an extravagant indoor amusement center in the United Arab Emirates
Right at the meeting point of Dubai, Oman and Abu Dhabi, the enormous BAWADI MALL was opened in the desert city of Al Ain last year. To offer visitors an even more attractive shopping experience, part of the mall was designed as an amusement park. Sunkid received the assignment from the project managers, along with its partner Neveplast, to construct a first-class indoor tubing and skiing facility.
The United Arab Emirates has made a name for itself in recent years as a showcase for extraordinary structures. These include the artificial palm-shaped island "Jumeirah", the Burj Al Arab – one of the most luxurious and expensive hotels in the world – and the current world record holder for tallest building, the Burj Chalifa.
Following this trend, even shopping is now a true experience in the country. A great example is the BAWADI MALL in Al Ain. The desert city of Al Ain is located in the country's interior, at just over 200 meters above sea level, and has an area approximately equal to that of Paris with over 350,000 residents. However, the BAWADI MALL lies at the edge of the city.
In the 140,000 m2 "shopping shrine", over 400 shops share the space with a 10,000 m2 "Family Entertainment Center". As a special highlight – in addition to a roller-skating rink, a bowling alley, and numerous restaurants as well as eight cinemas – a "Fun Ski Village" was integrated into the project. Sunkid received the assignment, in cooperation with its partner Neveplast, to construct a first-class indoor tubing and skiing facility.
The 50-plus meter wide indoor "ski resort" is located on the second floor of the mall and extends from there to just under the roof of the building. To transport tubers and skiers, three Sunkid Wonder Carpets were installed, with an incline between 16% and 20% and an overall length of over 100 meters. By using a 5.5 kW motor, the Sunkid Wonder Carpets have a theoretical capacity of over 3,000 passenger trips per hour. The Sunkid Wonder Carpet meets all common international requirements for fire prevention.
1.000m2 ski slope and 3 tubing tracks
Right in the middle of the shopping mall
Two nearly 1,000m² ski slopes with different slope conditions give both beginners and intermediate skiers the chance to enjoy a few exciting curves in an extraordinary setting.
The three tubing tracks are designed with different characteristics, and with an overall length of more than 140 meters. The highlight is the so-called Kamikaze tubing track, which starts at a near vertical angle before dropping almost ten more meters into a swill with an upward slope.
The concept of using an amusement park to encourage visitors to a shopping mall to stay longer is not new. The idea to include such an investment in the BAWADI MALL goes somewhat beyond ordinary boundaries, however – and reflects particularly on the goals of the operators. This attraction not only increases the time the visitors can enjoy the shopping experience, but also extends the area from which visitors are drawn to the mall.
The operators are particularly pleased with the minimal maintenance costs. This system requires no daily slope maintenance and is operated without any artificial snow, cooling conduits, or water supply. The result is that the fixed costs are very low, and the investment reaches returns very quickly. These advantages create numerous additional opportunities for implementing similar projects in both indoor and outdoor settings, such as hotels and restaurants, indoor amusement parks, leisure parks, urban parks, and other locations. The possibilities are endless.
More information about Sunkid summer tubing is available here...