Try something new: 15 fun new things to do in Dubai

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From long-awaited openings to fresh dining spots and destinations, we bring you our monthly round-up of new things to do in Dubai.

1. Visit a new lakefront destination

A brand new destination called The Yard has just opened in Dubai’s Al Khawaneej area. Blending a rural farm environment with urban accents, The Yard is home to a rustic courtyard, a farmers’ market, a bakery, a lake and shaded walking trails. There’s also some awesome street art to be found, and even a ‘Promise Bridge’ where you can hang love locks. Definitely one for Instagram.

The Yard, Last Exit D89, Al Khawaneej. More info on website.

2. Witness the Burj Khalifa light show

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If you didn’t manage to catch the record-breaking Burj Khalifa light show on New Year’s Eve, the good news is that it’s been extended until March 31. You can watch the seven-minute ‘Light Up 2018’ show at 8pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, and 10pm on Thursday, Friday and on public holidays.

Burj Khalifa Light Show, Downtown Dubai. More info on website.

3. Check out Dubai Frame

After much anticipation, Dubai’s newest – and most picture-perfect – landmark is finally open. Located in Zabeel Park, Dubai Frame consists of two 150-metre high towers, connected by a 93-metre glass bridge at the top. An elevator takes visitors up to the bridge, where you can admire the panoramic views over old and new Dubai. There’s also a museum on the ground floor that showcases the city’s transformation from fishing village to thriving metropolis.

Dubai Frame, Zabeel Park, daily 10am to 7pm, Dhs50, Dhs20 for children, free entry for elderly, kids under 3 and people of determination. More info on Instagram.

4. Enjoy bowling and beers at this new licensed spot

A licensed bowling alley has just opened at The Westin in Al Habtoor City. The 44 Dubai is a sports bar inspired by retro gentlemen’s clubs, and it’s also home to a double lane bowling alley. At 44 floors high, it’s also the tallest bowling alley in the world. Strike!

The 44, The Westin, Al Habtoor City, daily 12pm to 2am. Minimum spend of Dhs300 per group on food and drink up until 7.30pm, Dhs600 from 7.30pm until 2am. Tel: (054) 5811 758. More info on Facebook.

5. Take a tour of Dubai Safari

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Dubai Safari is another long-awaited attraction that opened its gates in December to much fanfare. The wildlife park is currently home to 2,000 animals representing 250 species from all over the world, with more to arrive in the coming months. You’ll also find the world’s first drive-thru crocodile exhibit, the UAE’s largest aviary exhibit, and the UAE’s only drive-thru hippo and tiger exhibit.

Dubai Safari, Al Warquaa 5 district, opposite The Farm, near Dragon Mart, daily 9am to 9pm, tickets priced from Dhs20 to Dhs85, free entry for elderly, kids under 3 and people of determination. More info on website.

6. Get your dose of culture at The Louvre Abu Dhabi

Ok, so it’s not in Dubai (click here for our handy guide on getting from Dubai to Abu Dhabi) – but after 10 years in the making, we could hardly leave out the eagerly anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened its magnificent doors in November. The Saadiyat Island art museum, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, is the first foreign outpost of the iconic institution in Paris, and boasts more than 600 artworks, including 300 on loan from 13 museums in France.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Cultural District, 10am to 8pm Sat to Wed, 10am to 10pm Thurs and Fri, closed Mon. Dhs60 regular adult tickets, Dhs30 ages 13 to 22, free for those under 13. Tel: (600) 56 55 66. More info on website.

7. Party hard at a new superclub

Brand new nightlife concept Soho Garden is now open within the grounds of Meydan, and already it’s one of the city’s hottest places to see and be seen. The first phase of the project features a daytime pool area and four bars – a Glasshouse Bar, Bellini Bar, Tiki Bar and Negroni Bar. But there’s still more to come. When fully operational, Soho Garden will also have a 10,000 capacity concert stage, nightclubs, pools and several other restaurants and bars. Definitely one to keep an eye on, party people.

Soho Garden, Meydan, Dubai, 5pm to 3am, every Friday, free entry. Tel: (056) 82 22 559. More info on Facebook.

 8. See the Dubai Fountain up closer than ever before

It doesn’t matter how many times we see them – we still love the Dubai Fountain shows (our favourite is the Enrique Iglesias ‘Hero’ show – gets us right in the feels). Now you can enjoy the best possible view of the action, thanks to the opening of the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk. The 272-metre floating viewing platform lets you watch the show from just nine metres away (and considering the water show reaches heights of 152 metres, that’s mighty close).

The Dubai Fountain Boardwalk, next to the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, 5pm to 11pm daily. Dhs20 per person. More info on website.

9. Check out Dubai’s beautiful new beachfront destination

First look: We take a tour of Dubai’s new beachfront destination, La Mer… #lamer #dubai #beaches #visitdubai

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La Mer, the beachfront development in Jumeirah 1, has opened its first phase to the public. When complete, the seaside spot will be made up of three areas: La Mer South, La Mer North and The Wharf. The areas you can check out right now are La Mer South and La Mer North, which will eventually be home to more than 130 shops, cafes and restaurants – new ones are opening all the time.

La Mer, located between Pearl Jumeira and Jumeira Bay. More info on website.

10. Swing by this new art cafe in Barsha South

Everyone’s talking about Cabin. Run by a charismatic British artist named Jonathan Gent, Cabin is a part-studio, part-cafe that serves up really great food (like cheeseburger and chili burger sliders and salmon tacos – yum), including a mean all-day breakfast. Dogs are also welcome.

15 Maisan Towers, Al Barsha South, Monday to Sunday 7.30am to 7pm. More info on website.

11. Lose yourself in a new urban maze

Feel like you’ve tackled every escape room in town? Here’s a brand new challenge for you. Jumble is described as the “world’s first indoor urban maze”, promising all sorts of twists, turns and mind-bending challenges. Teams of three to six people must work together to progress through a series of rooms, each one containing a physical challenge or problem to solve.

Jumble, Al Barsha 1, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Sun to Wed 2pm to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 2pm to midnight. Dhs149 per person two-hour pass, Dhs199 per person four-hour pass. More info on website.

12. Soak up the sun at a new beach club

We love a good sunbathing spot in Dubai, and this new luxury beach club looks like an absolute treat. Located in the swanky One&Only Royal Mirage, DRIFT is described as a destination where “luxury beach chic meets casual simplicity”. There’s an infinity pool, 1km of prime beachfront real estate, and a restaurant and bar serving up Provencal cuisine and interesting cocktails. Don’t mind if we do…

DRIFT, One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh. Pool and beach open daily 10.30am to 7pm, restaurant open daily 12.30pm to 7pm. Packages start from Dhs250 for sunlounger with beach and pool access Sun to Thurs, Dhs300 Fri and Sat. Tel: (04) 315 2200. More info on website.

13. Visit Dubai’s new cultural district

Al Seef has opened on the shores of Dubai Creek, and it’s a shopping, dining, and entertainment destination that will eventually be home to 500 shops, floating restaurants, and an authentic souk. While just a handful of vendors are open right now (including Lebanese-Armenian restaurant Mamikonian, The Brass Coffee & Community, and the flagship Bellamia gelato store), this is definitely an area to keep an eye on, as plenty more should be setting up shop in the coming months.

Al Seef, Dubai Creek, adjacent to the Al Fahidi historical district. More info on website.

14. Book a table at a stylish new restaurant

We expect this cool new eatery in DIFC won’t stay under the radar for long – it’s simply too good to be a secret. BB Social Dining sits in a space that used to be an art gallery, serving up a mostly Asian-inspired menu that is split into Bs – bao, bites, bowls and BBQ. Every dish is designed for sharing, which is where the “social dining” theme comes in. Pop in for a delicious bao and a cocktail, or sit down for a full-blown meal with a group of friends (the shabu-shabu is a great option).

Gate Village 8, DIFC, Dubai, Saturday to Wednesday noon to midnight, Thursday and Friday noon to 1am. Tel: (04) 407 4444. More info on website.

15. Head to a garden themed pop-up bar

Le Royal Meridien in Dubai Marina is launching a new pop-up bar called The Garden. Expect plenty of plant-based cocktails and a botanical theme overall, plus, on Tuesdays, there will be a “Potting Shed” night, where guests can enjoy a terracotta pot filled with bread, cheeses, pickles and bottles of cocktail for Dhs90 per pot.

The Garden by DXB Experiments, Le Royal Meridien, Dubai Marina, 6pm to 11pm, Tuesday to Thursday, February 6 to April 30. More info on Facebook.

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