Where else but Dubai can you stroll along the beach in the morning and go skiing on real snow in the afternoon? A winter wonderland in the middle of the desert, Ski Dubai (+971 4 800 386) at Mall of the Emirates boasts the world’s first indoor black run, a waddle of people-friendly penguins and is the de facto destination for skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing. Don’t fret if you haven’t packed your salopettes, as you can hire clothing and equipment on-site. Be sure to catch the penguin parades between 2pm and 8pm daily. Open from 10am-11pm Sun to Wed, 10am to midnight on Thur, 9am to midnight on Fri, and 9am-11pm on Sat.
An Olympic-sized rink, Dubai Ice Rink (800 38224 625) at The Dubai Mall is the perfect spot to cool off with public sessions for beginner and intermediate skaters. Catch a snowflake on your tongue at one of the regular snowfall sessions, with Penguin Pal skating aids available for little ones (minimum one metre tall) and Snowmen for wobbly adults or kids 12 years or above. Plus, you can have a cycling showdown with friends on the IceBykes – they're like tricycles that glide across the ice – which get rolled out for evening fun. Check for session timings.