Until recent times, the scorching day time temperatures of Abu Dhabi made any formation of large bodies of frozen water an extreme improbability. But for this city that extracts black gold from its sands to become one of the wealthiest cities in the world, the improbable is not impossible! The Ice Rink of the Zayed Sports City is an example of how such deeds can happen in this oasis at the edge of the Empty Quarter.
The ice rink is one of two in the country, and is the largest of them, with a capability of seating 1,200 people. Recreational skating times are open to the public while time slots are allocated for ice hockey and figure skating teams. The rink is becoming an increasingly popular attraction with not just tourists but locals as well, many of whom have never even laid eyes on snow. The special ‘Learn to Skate’ programme offers coached lessons – individual and group – for beginners of all ages. Although you may fall down a couple of time in the precarious edges of skates, a few lessons with professionals are sure to have you gliding on ice, like it was second nature.
Once you are on your feet and moving smoothly, skating enthusiasts can try out figure skating. The Abu Dhabi Figure Skating Team, based at the rink, teaches the artful yet athletic movements to members. They can prepare you for the Desert Open Figure Skating Championship and other such local and international competitions or just appreciate the graceful musical interpretations for fitness.
The gigantic structure of Zayed Sports City is also where you will find the Abu Dhabi Ice Sports Club, an amateur group of ice hockey players. The youth programmes are open for youngsters with all levels of skill to learn and enjoy one of the fastest and most exhilarating sports in the world. Skating in the Olympic size rink will transport all from the blazing heat of the desert into a winter wonderland.
This and other wonders of the Middle East can be enjoyed in style if you stay at one of the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Middle East. These elegant and luxurious Middle East hotels provide an ideal setting for exploring the exotic and extravagant region. Situated in convenient locations these properties are ideal for travellers in search of well placed UAE hotels for business or leisure.