During the month of July, the temperature in Bahrain is nothing short of sweltering – peaking at a merciless figure of 40 or even 45 degrees Celsius. This year, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) decided to put on an event that took the sting out of summer – creating an indoor snow event aiming to be the coolest summer attraction in the country, literally! BTEA wanted to provide an authentic and complete snow experience which allowed everyone to enjoy the magic of summer snow, drawing in visitors and increasing tourism revenue.
Pico were heavily involved in this unique event, providing event conceptualization, proposal and design services, along with event planning, organization and management, custom construction and installation, operational management and the sourcing and hire of international performers. This was a lot to do, but it was ‘snow problem’ for our experts!
Held at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre, the core concept was to create an immersive snow environment and winter landscape large enough to allow snow sports and winter thrill experiences. This 8,000 sq. m. ‘snowtopia’ included a real ski slope, a challenging cross-country ski track with an optional biathlon shooting zone, a fun-filled snow garden complete with polar animals, and a hi-tech ski and snow board simulator for virtual competitions. The icy activities even extended to classic winter fun like a snowball throwing competition and an ice climbing wall.
Live entertainment included an incredible ice sculpture show and brilliant local and international bands. A cinema helped augment the fresh and frosty atmosphere by showing snow and ice-themed animated movies, while international acts the Frozen Stilt Walkers and the Balloon Twisters added flavour to the event with their creative costumes and interactive acts.
The event was rounded off by kid-friendly activities like face painting, a gaming zone, inflatable games and rides for everyone to enjoy. Pico deepened the chilly atmosphere further by creating and producing three custom installations – The Snow Swirling Dervish, The Snow Globe and the Animatronic Polar Bear.
Technically, there was a lot for our crews to do behind the scenes. The snow production and feature areas included snow machines, snow shovels and rakes, while a liner and a pumping system were installed for the drainage of melted snow and water evacuation and recycling – requiring a lot of manpower to ensure the system operated optimally. The snow making machines operated on a 24 hour basis for 16 days straight, producing an astounding 150,000 tonnes of snow per day – around 2,400,000 tonnes of snow in total! Ice also had to be purchased on a regular basis for the replenishment of snow in the featured areas.
After 11 freezing days and 35,000 chilly but delighted visitors, the event came to a close, but not after grabbing a number of headlines – after all, snow in Bahrain is a once-in-a-lifetime event. But perhaps no longer: the client was extremely happy with the result and is now looking at holding this event annually, to be delivered and produced once again by Pico.
- 11 days
- 8,000 sq. m.
- 2,400,000 tonnes of snow
- 35,000 visitors
- 10 m high ski slope with a 25x10x3m ramp
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