Ice-skating in the desert? Well yes, in a shopping mall that is. Actually there are quite a few places in Riyadh and around the country where they have small ice-skating rinks inside the children's entertainment areas.
The problem is (if you're a Finnish woman craving to do some figure-skating moves) they don't allow women to skate. We've asked every place I know and they always told us no (after giving my husband very long looks).
We Finns have always been an Ice-loving nation. Be it figure skating, curling or ice-hockey, we have mastered it. This year Finland won the Ice hockey WORLD Championships. We beat countries like RUSSIA, U.S.A and CANADA. And we are only 5 million people. But the sweetest victory was winning against SWEDEN in the final. I just HAD to say that. Oh and did I mention it was 6-1.
One of my Finnish friends here has the same "calling" to find a place to go ice-skating. She managed to find a rink where they allowed her to skate in an abaya but that was in the more relaxed Jeddah. That's one more reason I will add to my long "why we should move to Jeddah"-list.
So you can imagine the EXCITEMENT when I randomly found this NHL-sized (well almost) ice-skating rink in Riyadh and best yet it allows women:No need for abayas!
Wait how can this be even possible? Wouldn't the infamous religious police have a say to uncovered women twirling around making obviously flirty movements?
Well the answer is of course, the rink can be closed off from view. That means you have to rent the whole place out for yourself, if you happen to be a woman that is.
So for any crazies out there who would share the passion of ice-skating in the desert, this place is in the upper floor of the ChinaMart next to the Carrefour. It costs 700 SAR per hour to rent including the skate rental.
I will be there soon practicing my "Camel Spins" and "Mohawk Turns".
Surely it will look something like this: