'World's largest indoor ski resort' coming to Shanghai
(CNN) — China’s latest import is snow. From Dubai.
Well, not quite. Dubai-based retail giant Majid Al Futtaim — the company behind Ski Dubai, the Middle East’s first indoor ski slope — has announced it is helping develop what it claims will be the world’s largest indoor snow and ski resort.
The company says the snow park, called Wintastar Shanghai, will be 90,000 square meters (nearly 1 million square feet) — or more than three times the size of Ski Dubai, the largest indoor ski resort in the world when it opened in 2005.
In a press release, Majid Al Futtaim say the Shanghai complex will feature three ski slopes, each with a different gradient, with one described as “Olympic standard for training.” What that entails is to be confirmed.
For those with an aversion to throwing themselves down a cold decline, there are 25 non-ski related activities also planned for the site.
A rendering of the ski complex, complete with cable car.
“We’re confident this represents the beginning of an extensive international footprint when it comes to indoor snow entertainment facilities,” said Ahmed Galal Ismail, chief executive officer of the ventures division of Majid Al Futtaim, in the press release.
The vast resort comes at an interesting time for snowsports in China. The Winter Olympics will visit Beijing in 2022, marking the first time the world’s most populous nation will host the event.
Skiers in Zhangjiakou, several hours drive northwest of Beijing, enjoy the clear runs during a sunny weekend.
The government has taken measures including school grants, plans for at least 600 ice rinks, and encouraged private sector expansion, all with the aim of having 300 million citizens involved in winter sports by 2025.
An estimated completion date for Wintastar Shanghai has yet to be announced.