• Client:
  • Undisclosed
  • Location:
  • Jebel Hafeet, UAE
  • Partners:
  • Wenzel+Wenzel, Arup, AGU Transsolar KlimaEng ecosign; Locke-Carey
  • Status:
  • Definitive Design, 2008


An eco ski resort embraces the strongest of contrasts: desert meets ice, solar power generates snow, fire touches water, innovation builds on tradition. Water unifies the resort design, which, inspired by a glacier, integrates the slope into the desert mountain.

Solar energy is harvested, transforming water into snow. A high-performance skin, derived from reptile skin and Arabic patterns, allows natural filtered light and minimises heat loss and evaporation in the indoor ski slope. A green oasis at the bottom of the slope filters the melted snow closing the ecological cycle.

The luxury Al Ain Peak Hotel, inspired by a glacier iceberg, has 150 rooms directly linked to the ski dome and offers panoramic views. Two knotted towers touch each other at the top with the façade transparency increasing gradually. Sunken ice lounges, large spaces, high ceilings, and a deep glacier fissure fuse ski slope and lobby.

Melting snow inspired the Al Ain Boutique Hotel. Fluid spaces and curvaceous forms submerge guests in minimalist spaces whilst white translucid surfaces and curvaceous furniture give a futuristic sense of escape from the ordinary. A sinuous ramp dominates the atrium that seamlessly connects to the ski slope with panoramic views.

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Design: Toko / Development: Damien Aistrope