A different time while waiting for the Poma lift (it was a busy day) in Ski Dubai (yep, still totally ridiculous) I chatted with a kid who was fully decked out in new snowboard gear. He was from Scotland, but his family moved to Dubai a few years back when his dad got a job "doing something with oil or something. I don't really know."
He liked living in Dubai and didn't think twice about the fact that his twice weekly after-school activity was to snowboard in a mall in the Persian Gulf. (Or maybe that's Arabian Gulf? Never mind, it's a touchy subject.) "I mean, it's a fun place and my friends are here and we like to hang out. Plus, when we're done we can get snacks at the food court." This made perfect sense to me and we high fived in agreement.
Later I was talking with one of the Ski Dubai employees who was standing at the bottom of the "hill" next to a SLOW sign. Apparently, some people are able to get enough momentum from their 85 meter decent that a sign is necessary to remind them to slow down. It wasn't really a concern for me. Anyway, I noticed that the guy wasn't wearing any gloves and seeing as Ski Dubai is kept at a constant 28F year round (yes, even when it is 110F outside) I asked if his hands were cold.
He looked down at his hands as if just noticing them for the first time. "No, I'm never cold in here. I'm from Nepal." That was enough of an explanation and we both laughed.
Perhaps that is the best description of Dubai I can come up with. It is a city state where you can find a Nepalese man staying warm in an artificial ski dome inside one of the world's largest malls inhabited with expat children whose parents do something with oil or something.