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Sat 5 Jul 2008 04:00 AM

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Dubai Mall to put its skates on

Determined to defy nature and bring European winters to the desert, Emaar Malls Group has announced plans to bring an ice rink to the Dubai Mall.

Determined to defy nature and bring European winters to the desert, Emaar Malls Group has announced plans to bring an ice rink to the Dubai Mall.

Dubai Mall general manager Yousif Al Ali said the planned rink would have Olympic-sized proportions and could be used for multi purposes.

It will be visible to shoppers from three levels of the mall's main thoroughfares.

The Dubai Mall opens in central Burj Dubai later this year.

Located in a climate-controlled environment, the Dubai Ice Rink follows the ski slope in the Mall of the Emirates, to bring a sense of winter to the desert.

Ali said the Olympic-sized venue would be able to host events ranging from figure skating competitions to hockey matches and live concerts. Permanent seating would be provided for 350 spectators but temporary stands could accommodate larger audiences.

A built-in thermostat system will adjust the temperature differential needed to maximise competition-standard figure skating events or ice hockey matches.

Customised floor panels will cover the ice rink floor while doubling as an insulator to prevent melting. A 20m x 10m LED screen will double as a scoreboard and be integrated into the venue's overall multimedia system. While Dubai Ice Rink has permanent seating for 350 spectators, temporary stands can be erected to accommodate larger audiences, depending on the event, Ali said.

Dubai Ice Rink officials will offer programs tailored to all levels of skill and interest, ranging from basic classes to the more specialised figure skating and hockey camps. A team of instructors and educatin coordinators will provide a scholastic approach to learning, Ali said.

Dubai Ice Rink officials hope the venue will develop into a destination to host international ice skating and ice-hockey events with the professional hockey dasher boards and NHL-certified glass.

Built using the latest technology in indoor ice rink construction, Dubai Ice Rink will comprise a built-in thermostat system to adjust the temperature differential needed to maximise competition-standard figure skating events or ice hockey matches.

Dubai Ice Rink also serves as a multi-purpose venue for various events and private functions, with the ability to convert into a concert or festive venue hall. Customised floor panels can be installed to cover the ice rink floor while doubling as an insulator to prevent melting.

A 20m x 10 m LED screen will double up as a scoreboard, and will be integrated into the venue's overall multimedia system. While Dubai Ice Rink has permanent seating for 350 spectators, temporary stands can be erected to accommodate larger audiences, depending on the event, Ali said.

 "Dubai Ice Rink at The Dubai Mall will feature the world's most advanced systems in indoor ice rink design and execution to offer a world-class multi-purpose venue," Ali said. "A team of seasoned professionals from marketing to operations will be appointed to focus on maximising visitor interaction and event-related opportunities."

Dubai Ice Rink at The Dubai Mall will offer public skating daily at specified times. Skate and locker rentals will be available onsite, as is trained medical staff.

Dubai Ice Rink will also have general concession and refreshments stands, an arcade room, and a Pro-Shop for visitors to purchase hockey and ice skating equipment. An upper mezzanine level will be available for rental for private functions and events.

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