- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 18, 2007

If you’re planning to hit the ski slops this year, you might be disappointed by the lack of options. The weather has not been exactly cooperative in Europe and North America. Most ski resorts did not get enough snow just yet and some slopes are still closed. But there is another option to consider for adventurous skiers and snowboarders: The Middle East!

Yes, it does snow in the Middle East and they have ski resorts too. Israel opened for the season its only ski resort, the Northern Mount Hermon — situated in the Golan Heights. Lebanon also has great ski resorts, such as the Faraya Mzaar. “… However, Lebanon has had its six major ski resorts suffer a dearth of foreign vacationers, not through lack of snow, but as a result of the 2006 hostilities with neighboring Israel,” wrote the Middle East Times. Syria also plans to build a ski resort on the eastern and northern slops of Mount Hermon.

But if you are looking for a unique experience, head to Dubai, where you are guaranteed snow year-round! Ski Dubai, built in the Dubai Emirates Mall, is the third largest indoor ski resort in the world. Even though the slops are fake, the snow is real. In fact, a second artificial ski resort is being built, which probably means skiers are enjoying it.

So, erase that image of deserts and camels. The Middle East might be “cooler” than you think.

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