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

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

1. Hop aboard the QE2

After being docked in Dubai for almost a decade, the legendary Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship has been given a second life as a floating hotel. You can enjoy a nostalgic staycation onboard the famous liner, with guest rooms starting from around Dhs600, or you can check out some of the ship’s original restaurants – including English pub The Golden Lion, which has been restored to look exactly like it did during QE2’s sailing days.

Queen Elizabeth 2, Mina Rashid, Dubai. Tel: (04) 526 888. More info on website.

2. Catch a film at Dubai’s first licensed cinema

As temperatures continue to climb in the UAE, you’ll find us retreating to the air-conditioned comfort of a cinema. The good news is, a dine-in cinema by celebrity chef Guy Fieri has just opened in the Jebel Ali Recreation Club (and it’s licensed, too). You can either dine from the a la carte menu in the cinema restaurant, or tuck into the two-course dine-in experience for Dhs160, which includes a movie ticket.

Guy Fieri Kitchen & Bar and Dine-in Cinema, Jebel Ali Recreation Club, Dubai, daily 9am to midnight. Tel: (04) 459 5100. More info on website.

3. Make a splash at a new waterpark

If you’ve visited La Mer recently, you’ve probably noticed a whole lot of construction going on at the end of the promenade. That’s because an epic waterpark is being built there – and it’s opening this month. Laguna Waterpark will feature a water slide complex with five main rides, as well as a pool lounge, children’s zone and lazy river. Visitors will be able to purchase a day pass, which means you can come and go as you please.

Laguna Waterpark, La Mer, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, daily 10am to dusk, from Sat May 12. Tickets from Dhs99. More info on website.

4. Challenge your friends to a round of glow-in-the-dark golf

Love a game of mini-golf? We do too. But we’ve never seen a course like this before. Glowing Rooms is a mini-golf experience set in the dark, illuminated by neon backlighting and 3D effects that completely cover the walls and floor of the indoor course. Expect some epic visuals, from orange-hued desert scenes to the vibrant world beneath the sea. We’ve already got our eye on those neon golf clubs.

Glowing Rooms, Unit P24, Bahar Plaza Level, JBR, daily 2pm to 11.30pm (last entry), Dhs110. Tel: (04) 565 7621 More info on website.

5. De-stress at Dubai’s first smash room

Feeling a bit stressed out? Well, how’s this for a unique therapy session. The Smash Room lets you smash out all of your frustrations in a safe space – it’s essentially a rebel’s version of a day spa. The room is filled with old furniture, TVs, laptops, and mannequins, and you get to choose your weapon and show those objects who is boss.

The Smash Room, Umm Suqeim Street, Al Quoz Industrial 4, Sun to Wed 11am to 10pm, Thur to Sat 9am to 11pm. Tel: (058) 198 2323. More info on website.

6. Witness the new Burj Khalifa light show

First, it provided a canvas for the record-breaking New Year’s light show. Now, the Burj Khalifa has revealed its latest extravaganza – a dazzling LED show by Hungarian 3D dance troupe Freelusion, who are known for their creative use of video mapping technology. The group won a competition to have their designs beamed onto the world’s tallest building. You can catch the light show every night after sunset until May 31.

Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, daily after sunset until May 31. More info on website.

7. Check out a new celebrity restaurant

Japanese celebrity chef Masaharu Morimoto – the star of cooking show Iron Chef – has opened a restaurant in the Renaissance Downtown Hotel. The restaurant, which is located on the 23rd and 24th floors of the hotel, includes a 24-seat sushi counter, live teppanyaki counter, and spacious terraces (with incredible Downtown views). Morimoto has mastered the art of marrying western and Japanese food traditions, so expect plenty of innovative, tasty dishes like tuna pizza and hamachi tacos.

Morimoto Dubai, Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Downtown Dubai. Daily 6pm to midnight. Tel: (04) 512 5577. More info on website.

8. Shop up a storm at the new Dubai Mall extension

Just when you thought The Dubai Mall couldn’t get any bigger, it’s gone and added space for more than 150 luxury shops. The long-awaited Fashion Avenue extension is now open, housing a number of high-end brands including Gucci, Mikimoto, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, Rolex and Cartier. We must say, it looks pretty fabulous.

The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, Sun to Weds 10am to 11pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to midnight. Tel: (800) 38224 6255. More info on website.

9. Book a table at a cool new restaurant

Food and travel are two of our favourite things, so we were very excited to check out this brand new spot in The Dubai Mall. Somewhere is a restaurant that recently opened in the mall’s Fashion Avenue, and is described as “a concept celebrating the thrill of travelling and exploring the unknown”. The menu features Middle Eastern dishes with an international twist – think chicken shawarma bao and kunafa croissants. Yum.

Somewhere, First Floor, Fashion Avenue, The Dubai Mall, daily noon to 11pm. More info on website.

10. Explore La Mer

La Mer, the new beachfront district in Jumeirah 1, is looking amazing. There are so many cool restaurants, cafes and shops open there now – check out our guide to all the new openings here. We recommend heading along for a late afternoon dip in the sea, and staying for dinner – it looks beautiful in the evening when the area is lit up with fairy lights.

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

11. Check out the new virtual reality theme park at The Dubai Mall

Another great activity for the hotter months is VR Park, the new virtual reality attraction at The Dubai Mall. The park contains 18 experiences with different thrill levels – from a “dune bash” in the desert featuring encounters with camel spiders, scorpions and snakes, to a “Burj drop” which sees you propelled down the side of the Burj Khalifa. Entry to the park is free, with each experience ranging in price from Dhs15 to Dhs45.

VR Park, Level 2, The Dubai Mall, 10am to 11pm Sunday to Wednesday,  10am to 1am Thursday to Saturday. More info on website.

12. Brave a terrifying new escape room

Escape room specialists No Way Out have ditched their family-friendly themes in favour of some seriously scary games. The most freaky of the lot is undoubtedly The Ring Room – yes, based on the horror film – which even features real-life actors. Shudder. How bad can it be? Put it this way – the room comes with its own health and safety clause…

No Way Out, HDS Business Centre, Cluster M, JLT. Sun to Wed noon to 11pm, Thurs to Sat 11am to 1am, from Dhs125. Tel: (055) 679 3362. More info on website.

13. Have a cuppa at an adorable new teahouse

Watch out, Instagram: Dubai has a brand new cafe that is set to blow up your feed. Tania’s Teahouse has just opened on Jumeirah Beach Road, and it’s as much of a feast for the eyes as it is for the tastebuds. It boasts a huge selection of custom-blended teas, which come in flavours like apple pie, cookie dough, and cherry blossom. With fashion pop-ups, workshops and even board game nights planned for the next couple of months, we can see ourselves spending a lot of time here.

Tania’s Teahouse, Villa 779A, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai. Sat to Weds 8am to 10pm, Thurs and Fri 8am to midnight. Tel: (04) 324 0021. More info on website.

14. Pamper yourself at a lush new spa

The ultra-luxurious Six Senses Spa has landed in Dubai. Located in the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, the spa is home to six treatment suites that are each dedicated to a different sense – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and “beyond”. Our favourite was the taste suite, where we worked with our therapist to create the perfect body scrub from a selection of herbs, spices and florals, which was then used in a blissful hammam treatment. Throughout the month of May, book a 60-minute hammam and you’ll automatically get upgraded to 90 minutes for the same price.

Six Senses Spa, Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai, daily 10am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 512 5566. More info on website.

15. Make the most of a new karaoke deal

Lucky Voice was crowned Best Karaoke Venue at our first ever What’s On Nightlife Awards, and it’s no wonder, with deals like this one. Every Thursday, the Barsha Heights party spot offers singing superstars a private karaoke pod and two hours of free-flowing bubbles for just Dhs99. The deal is valid from 6pm to 10pm and for a minimum of four guests, so it’s a great option to elevate your post-work drinks. Trust us, with more than 15,000 songs to choose from, two hours won’t be enough.

Lucky Voice, Grand Millennium Hotel, Barsha Heights, Dubai, two-hour session valid from 6pm to 10pm, Thursdays, Dhs99. Tel: (800) 58259. More info on website.

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