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Last Updated: Friday, 2 December 2005, 18:36 GMT
In pictures: Dubai snowdome

A local skier stands in Ski Dubai park in Dubai

The largest snowdome in the world, containing the world's third largest indoor ski slope, has opened in the Gulf emirate of Dubai.

Ski Dubai complex

Ski Dubai, 85m high by 80m wide, has to cope with average outside winter temperatures of 25C and summer temperatures soaring above 40C.

A local Emirati man travels up the slope on the ski lift.

The temperature inside is maintained at -1 or -2C. Arabs who prefer to wear their traditional kandouras can hire black, knee-length padded coats.

People queue for a ski lift

The 22,500sq/m of piste are covered with 6,000 metric tons of manufactured snow all year round.

A man slides down the toboggan run

The $272m resort is the latest project in the emirate which is seeking to become a major tourism hub.

A local in a traditional Emirati Dish-Dash looks at the snowdome

"Snow in the desert is such a unique experience for locals who have never seen snow," said Ski Dubai's chief executive, Phil Taylor.

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