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


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. Get your adrenaline fix at a new theme park

The hotly anticipated Warner Bros. theme park has just opened its doors, so why not be one of the first to check it out? The world’s first Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park, it will be home to a total of 29 rides and attractions based around six lands. Tickets to the theme park are now available on the website, priced at Dhs295 for adults, and Dhs230 for children (under 1.1 metres). An annual pass costs Dhs695.

Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, from July 25. More info on website.

2. Party hard at a new nightclub

Industrial Avenue (previously used as an events and pop up space) has had a makeunder, and is now bringing cool London warehouse party vibes to The Westin Mina Seyahi. Open three nights a week on Wednesday to Friday, club goers will be treated to a house night on a Wednesday, old-school hip-hop and grime night on a Thursday, and a mashup of all genres on a Friday.

Industrial Avenue, The Westin Mina Seyahi, Dubai Marina, 9pm to 3am, Wednesday to Friday. Tel: (052) 293 5907. More info on website

3. See a movie at a new licensed cinema

Reel Cinemas second serving of licensed cinema experiences comes courtesy of a collaboration with Rove Hotels, bringing the first hotel cinema to the region. The boutique cinema only has one screen, with an intimate 46 seats upholstered in a kaleidoscope of colours. Included in the Dhs70 price tag is a soft drink and popcorn in inventive flavours such as wasabi and strawberry and cream, as well as having, but you can also order alcoholic drinks and more hearty cinema snacks before you go inside. Seats are cushy and comfortable and snacks are brought to your seat when they’re all ready, causing minimal disruption to the movie.

Reel Cinema, Rove Downtown, various timings, Dhs70. Tel: (04) 449 1903. More info on website

4. Throw it back at a House Party Bar

The House Party Bar has taken over a large portion of the space formerly occupied by Cirque Le Soir, and is serving up house party vibes that will take you back to the nineties. Cleverly split into a series of rooms you’ll find a games room complete with beer pong and table football upstairs, adjacent to the children’s playroom, where revelers can dive into a neat ball pit. Downstairs, there’s a kitchen (where you’ll find the bar), a living room, garden, bedroom and even a bathroom complete with tub and toilet. Served up alongside a cheesy soundtrack of 90s and 00s pop hits and a small list of bar bites, it’s a must-try for a novelty night out.

The House Party Bar, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Mon and Thurs 6pm to 3am, Sun, Tues, Weds and Sat 6pm to 2am, Fri 4pm to 3am. Tel: (050) 995 5400. Metro: World Trade Centre. More info on Facebook

5. Escape the city to a stunning new eco lodge

Not found a reason for a desert adventure yet? Here’s one for you – a stunning eco-lodge has opened in Sharjah. Located in Kalba city, way out on the UAE’s east coast, Kingfisher Lodge by the Sharjah Collection overlooks the Indian Ocean and features 20 luxury tents complete with private plunge pools. While you’re there head to the mangroves for kayaking or bird watching, or book in for a massage at the spa. Rates start from Dhs1,100 for two.

Kingfisher Lodge, Kalba City, Sharjah, from Dhs1,100. Tel: (054) 701 9356. More info on website

6. Sample some top brews at a cider festival

The Scene by Simon Rimmer is launching three months of back-to-back summer festivals at their urban indoor garden, perfect for keeping cool through the hot summer months. August is dedicated to the ‘Cider Social’, where apple enthusiasts can get their fix with a limited-edition range of craft ciders starting from Dhs35. While you’re there, check out the apple based-cocktails as well as a nostalgic selection of The Scene’s snakebites served from the newly installed pop-up bar, with five beverages priced at Dhs175.

The Scene by Simon Rimmer, 4th Floor, Pier 7, 8am to 2am, Cider Social Aug 1 to 31, Vinefest Sept 1 to 30, Gin-asium Oct 1 to 31. Tel: (04) 422 2328. More info on website

7. 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.

8. Liven up your Friday with an upscale new party brunch

The Dim Sum Disco powered by Candypants is the brunch that everyone wants to be at. Taking over upscale Asian restaurant Maiden Shanghai, it’s a high-end, high-energy dining experience serving a sleek a la carte offering of sharing dishes paired with an array of beverages which includes cocktails and bubbles, and an up-tempo soundtrack of vocal house and commercial tracks spun by popular Dubai DJ Adam Graca. After brunch, a ‘Drunch Disco’ offers three drinks for Dhs100 from 4pm to 6pm.

Dim Sum Disco by Candypants, Maiden Shanghai, FIVE Palm Jumeirah, 1pm to 4pm, Fridays, Dhs395. Tel: (050) 220 4638. More info on Facebook

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. Check out a new restaurant by a celebrity chef

Back in May we brought you news that celebrity chef Todd English was bringing his popular Food Hall concept to Dubai, and now we can reveal it’s opening its doors today in the Dubai Mall. Covering an impressive 12,000 square feet, there’s no less than 12 open kitchens inside, serving food from eight different sub-restaurants.

Todd English Food Hall, Fashion Avenue, Dubai Mall, now open.

13. Work up a sweat with a new work out

A new high-energy fitness class from the US has landed in Dubai – OrangeTheory Fitness hosts an hour-long, heart-rate based intervals session that the organisers claims will leave you burning extra calories even after it’s finished. Expect a workout combining endurance and strength using a variety of equipment including treadmills, rowing machines, TRX suspension training and free weights. The class is scientifically designed workout that is based around five heart rate zones, with the orange zone being your maximum heart rate.

OrangeTheory, Times Square Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Sun to Thur 6am to 8pm, Fri to Sat 10am to 1pm, monthly Dhs499. Tel: (04) 324 4424. 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.

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

15. 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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