Will Smith proves it’s possible to go skiing in the middle of the desert in Dubai
When Will Smith isn’t attending Hollywood film premieres and brushing shoulders with his A-list pals he’s out and about living a life only Will Smith can. His recent escapades in the Middle East prove the 50-year-old is still the fun-loving Fresh Prince of Bel Air we all know and love, visiting Dubai’s indoor ski resort, in the middle of the desert.
From the moment the giant slope is revealed through his hotel curtains to him riding the indoor chairlift, Smith is just like any winter sport enthusiast would be, overly-excited about being able to play in the snow when there’s a scorching hot desert outside.
“It’s just weird what it does to your mind to be skiing when you know it’s over 100ºF outside,” says Smith.
“It’s freezing in this beast,” he shouts, dressed head to toe in a camo-inspired outfit the Fresh Prince’s wardrobe department would be proud of.
Smith is a regular visitor to what he calls “Dubai, the city of surprises”, but seems utterly blown away by the indoor winter wonderland. Ski Dubai was the Middle East’s first indoor snow-sports facility when it opened in 2005. There are five ski runs, the longest being 400m in length, a 22,500 square metre snow park and a residential colony of Gentoo and King penguins.
However a new development might be about to to steal its snowy Middle-Eastern crown, as plans are in place to build a new 1.2km slope in Dubai as part of the elaborate Meydan One project. The development will span 3.67 million square metres and the first stage is due to be completed by 2020, with an estimated cost of $8.6 billion. This will be the latest in a long line of weird and wonderful indoor slopes popping up all over the world, including the world’s largest, spanning 90,000 square metres, set to open in Shanghai, which will be run by Majid Al Futtaim, the company behind Ski Dubai.
The venue hosts lessons, cooperate entertainment and even global sporting events. The World Para Snowboard World Cup season kicked-off on November 7 at the Dubai slope, with 36 athletes competing from 11 countries, including Winter Olympic medallists, so Smith is in good company.
As his video footage proves Smith is no pro-skier but that doesn’t stop him making the most of the indoor ski resort and in a hilarious twist he takes a turn in one of Ski Dubai’s giant zorbing balls – you’ll have to watch the video to see how the Fresh Prince got ‘flipped-turned upside down.’