Try something new: 12 fun new things to do in Dubai

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

1. Put your skills to the test at TEPfactor

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There’s a fun way to test your physical strength and mental prowess – TEPfactor is a brand new adventure centre in JBR, and it features 21 challenges for you and a group of mates to take on. You’ll be expected to solve puzzles and work your way through obstacle courses – think slippery spinning poles, rotating inflatables and swinging balls – all before the clock runs out. Trust us, it’s harder than it looks…

TEPfactor, Bahar, The Walk, JBR, Sun to Wed 10am to midnight, Thurs to Sat 10am to 1am, Dhs80 per person per hour weekdays, Dhs100 per person per hour weekends. Tel: (04) 398 8438. More info on website.

2. Make a splash at a new waterpark

Dubai’s newest waterpark, Laguna, opened in mid-May to much fanfare. Inside you’ll find a water slide complex with five main rides, as well as a pool lounge, children’s zone and lazy river, direct beach access and cabanas. If you try only one ride, make it The Manta – you jump aboard a raft that’ll shoot you down a variety of twisting slides, before you’re dropped into a splash pool below. You even experience zero gravity for a few seconds on the way down.

Laguna Waterpark, La Mer, Jumeirah 1, daily 10am to 8pm. Dhs99 for residents, Dhs159 for visitors. Tel: (800) 637 227. More info on website.

3. 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.

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. Try out a brand new escape game

JBR is becoming quite the entertainment hub. As well as TEPfactor and Glowing Rooms, Bahar has a new escape game experience called Countdown Challenge. Although details of the games (and how to solve them) are being kept strictly under wraps, game names include Last Will, Escape Plan and Crime Evidence – so we suspect this one is not for the faint-hearted.

Countdown Challenge, Bahar Plaza Level, JBR, daily 3pm to 6pm, 8pm to 1am, from Dhs280 weekdays, from Dhs300 weekends. Tel: (056) 725 6730. More info on website.

6. Check into a newly re-opened hotel

The Address Downtown is finally back in business, two years after it was damaged in the New Year’s Eve blaze. Having undergone a total makeover, the hotel has a fresh and modern feel, with plenty of upgraded features – and of course, it still offers some of the best views of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain. New restaurants to look forward to include signature Address concept ‘The Restaurant’, Japanese restaurant Katana, a second serving of American steakhouse STK, Turkish restaurant The Galliard, and four more concepts which are still to be announced.

The Address Downtown, Downtown Dubai. More info on website.

7. 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.

8. Spice things up at a new Mexican restaurant

Love Mexican food? New outlet El Mostacho is now open in JLT, and its an eatery that its owners say will place an emphasis on a variety of authentic and lesser-known dishes, as well as classics like tacos and burritos. With prices in the Dhs30 to Dhs40 range, we might have just found our new favourite lunch spot.

El Mostacho, Gold Tower, Cluster I, JLT, daily 11am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 551 6679. More info on Facebook.

9. Hit up a new happy hour

You know that East End-inspired pub in The H Dubai, The Black Lion? Well, it’s undergone a bit of a makeover. It’s now called ‘The Lion’, and its new landlords are none other than homegrown culinary heroes Nick Alvis and Scott Price, aka Nick & Scott (the duo behind popular Madinat restaurant Folly). Happy hour runs from 4pm to 7pm Saturday to Thursday, and there’s an excellent Friday brunch celebrating the best of British food – think beef pudding with mash and sticky toffee pudding.

The Lion, The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Sun to Thurs 8am to 3am, Fri & Sat 11am to 3am. Tel: (04) 359 2366. More info on website.

10. Find your zen at a new yoga studio

In a city not short on yoga studios, Karma Yoga stands out as a tranquil new haven in the heart of Dubai Marina, with a varied class timetable boasting everything from yin and hatha to acro and swing classes and even yogic sleep.

Karma Yoga, Floor 33, Marina Plaza, Dubai Marina, Sun 8am to 9pm, Mon to Wed 7am to 9pm, Thurs 7am to 8pm. Tel: (04) 399 9301. More info on website.

11. 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.

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

12. Take a road trip to Ras Al Khaimah

Ok, so it’s not exactly in Dubai – but the good news is there’s now a free shuttle bus between Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. The shuttle bus arrives and departs from Dubai International Airport six times a day. It comes with free WIFI, water bottles and maps provided on board. It’s a 45-minute journey, and there’s plenty to see and do once you get there – like the UAE’s tallest mountain Jebel Jais, some cracking beachside hotels and the world’s longest zipline.

Ras Al Khaimah shuttle bus, June 1 to September 30, free. More info on website.

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