With highs of nearly 50 degrees centigrade, you may find yourself wasting the time away in front of the TV, but we’ve got the rest of your summer season sorted! Here are 23 ways to keep you busy this summer (and maybe just a little cooler).

01. Become an Instagram whizz 


We can’t promise you lots of followers on social media, but there is a way to take your smartphone photos to the next level. Sign up for the Gulf Photo Plus smartphone photographer workshop – you’ll learn all about lighting, editing, composition and more. Instructor Kate Hailey will ensure that you never post a blurry, lacklustre shot of #avotoast again.

July 18

Gulf Photo Plus, Alserkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz, Dubai, Fri and Tue 7pm to 9pm, Mon 9am to noon, Dhs250. Tel: (04) 3808545. Taxi: Alserkal Avenue. gulfphotoplus.com

02. Master the basics of off-roading

arabian tour - off roading

It might be getting too hot to camp out in the dunes, but a four-hour 4×4 off-roading lesson from Arabian Tours will let you explore the sands in air-conditioned comfort, and leave you with impressive off-roading skills for the cooler months.

Al Aweer Desert, Dubai, daily 9am to 5pm, Dhs1,500 with own car, Dhs2,500 with Arabian Tours car. Tel: (04) 3432288. Taxi: Al Aweer Desert. arabiantours.com

03. Learn to cook Emirati dishes


Dubai is known for its diverse dining scene, with restaurants from all over the world, but how much do you know about the local cuisine? Brush up on your knowledge at Culinary Boutique, which is offering classes in Emirati cooking all month.

Jumeirah Beach Road, Villa 56, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, daily 10am to 9pm, Dhs475. Tel: (04) 3450023. Taxi: Culinary Boutique. culinaryboutique.com

04. Get on your (dirt) bike

If you’re a bit of an adrenaline junkie and off-road driving isn’t quite thrilling enough, get in touch with Just Gas It for their KTM dirt bike tours. If you’re new to the sport but have some bike experience, the two-hour newbies tour will be enough to familiarise yourself with the bike and gain some off-road riding skills.

Al Aweer Desert, Dubai. Tel: (055) 9031664. Taxi: Al Aweer Desert. justgasit.net

05. Get your PADI qualification

Having a PADI (a diving instructor qualification) can be a passport to some of the best diving sites (and jobs) around the world. With Prodive Middle East, you can get your PADI qualification through an Open Water Diver course with just two days of diving, provided you’ve completed all the e-learning materials online. Check the website for more details.

Prodive Middle East, JA Hotel And Resort, Jebel Ali, Dubai, Dhs1,850 (plus Dhs580 for e-learning course). Tel: (04) 3995711. Taxi: Jebel Ali Hotel. prodiveme.com

06. Learn the ropes on the slopes at Ski Dubai


If you’re planning a wintery holiday on the slopes this year, prepare by booking in for the Ski Dubai Alpine Package. You’ll get six hour-long private lessons, a 50 per cent discount on the seventh lesson, and half price slope access. Plus you get a free hot chocolate to warm up after you’re done.

Mall Of The Emirates, Al Barsha, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to midnight, Thur 10am to 1am, Fri and Sat 9am to 1am, Dhs3,025. Tel: (800) 386. Metro: Mall Of The Emirates. theplaymania.com

07. Run up the walls at Bounce


Join the wall-running academy at Bounce and master one of the most challenging trampoline park moves. In just three hours the instructors will have you defying gravity with Spider-Man-like skills that are sure to impress during your next Bounce session with friends.

4B Street, Al Quoz, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur 10am to midnight, Fri 9am to midnight, Sat 9am to 8pm, Dhs360. Tel: (04) 3211400. Taxi: Bounce, Al Quoz. bounce.ae

08. Learn to kiteboard


Ever tried kiteboarding? Watercooled boasts the UAE’s first official kiteboarding school, so you know you’re in the best of hands to ace this challenging water sport. If you’re new to the sport, sign up for the Zero To Hero package, which covers nine hours of coaching.

JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Dubai, daily 9.30am to 7pm, Dhs350, Dhs2,800 for nine-hour package. Tel: (04) 8876771. Taxi: Jebel Ali Golf Resort. watercooleduae.com

09. Learn a new language


Of course, if you’d like to broaden your horizons even further, the Eton Institute offers a huge range of courses, from French to Cantonese, that you can take throughout the summer. You can choose from group, private and semi-private lessons. Prices start at Dhs1,550.

Block 3, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai, Sun to Thur 8am to 9pm, Fri 10am to 6pm, Sat 9am to 6pm.
Tel: (04) 4386800. Metro: Dubai Internet City. etoninstitute.com

10. Become a yoga teacher


It’s no secret that the yoga scene in Dubai has grown massively in the last few years. If you think you have what it takes to get in front of the class, or just want to deepen your practice, check out the 200-hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training course, led by renowned yogi Erica Blitz.

July 8 to August 1

Big Daddy Gym, Al Zarouni Building, next to Ibis Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, Dhs14,500. Tel: (050) 3289642. Taxi: Ibis Hotel Sheikh Zayed Road. yogalatesblissindubai.com

11. Learn to salsa

If there’s one life lesson we learned from the film Dirty Dancing (and there were many), it’s that few skills are as instantly impressive as the ability to bust a move. Try James And Alex Dance Studio, where every month they host a four-week beginners’ course to help you learn the basics of salsa dancing.

James And Alex Dance Studio, 8th Floor, Concorde Tower, Dubai Media City, Dubai, Sat 5pm to 6pm,
Tue 7pm to 8pm, Dhs280 for one class per week, Dhs425 for two classes per week. Tel: (04) 4470773. Metro: Dubai Internet City. jamesandalex.com

12. Conquer your CrossFit fears


CrossFit gyms can be intimidating, with their confusing lingo (what’s a WOD anyway?) and muscly trainers. If you’re getting started, we recommend the 28-day transformation plan at Iconic Fitness. The thrice-weekly classes and strict meal plan are a perfect healthy kickstart.

Damac Waves Tower B, Dubai Marina, Dubai, Sun to Wed 6am to 9.30pm, Thur 6am to 8.30pm, Fri 9am to 11am, Sat 9am to 11.30am, Dhs800, Dhs200 for members. Tel: (04) 5586507. Metro: Nakheel. iconicfitness.ae

13. Become a pastry whizz


Nothing quite impresses dinner guests like a fabulous dessert, so why not learn to make your own? At the International Centre For Culinary Arts, you can do a Fast Track Patisserie course and learn how to make bread, pastries, European desserts, and even chocolate.

July 16 to August 13

Dubai Knowledge Village, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, Sun to Thur 8am to 5pm, Dhs16,700. Tel: (04) 4578811. Metro: Internet City. iccadubai.ae

14. Do a basic first aid course


A new course for parents and nannies (but open to everyone) will give anyone in charge of children first aid skills to keep little ones safe. Run by Health And Safety Solutions, this four-hour course covers CPR, bites and stings, heat exhaustion and more. If six or more people sign up together, they’ll come to your home or office.

Ontario Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, Sun to Thur 8.30am to 5.30, Dhs350. Tel: (04) 3689980. Metro: Business Bay. hss-me.com

15. Train your dog


Man’s best friend is adorable, but not always the most obedient. If your dog could use some discipline, sign up for the Obedience Training at Dog Walk Dubai. You can bond with your pet and teach it to obey basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘walk on a leash’. The course is designed within the lines of the British Kennel Club Good Citizen Test.

Warehouse 1, Street 4, Al Quoz Ind 4 (near Umm Suqeim Road), Dubai, Sat to Thur 7.30am to 7.30pm, Dhs350, Dhs2,750 for 10 sessions. Tel: (04) 3474147. Taxi: Street 4 Al Quoz (near The Auction House). dogwalkonline.com

16. Learn to swim


Whether you’re prepping a triathlon in the winter or (like one member of the What’s On team) just never quite mastered the skill, now is a perfect time to get some swim training in. Merle Talviste of Tri Swim Dubai offers weekly swimming sessions as well as a six-week block of lessons. The next cycle starts in July – keep an eye on the Tri Swim Dubai website to find out more.


17. Create your own animated short film

Maybe Pixar’s masterpieces have moved you, or you’re inspired by all the comic book art at this year’s Middle East Film And Comic Con. Either way, the SAE Institute has short courses to suit you: try Digital Comic Illustration, where you’ll learn the basics of drawing, painting, animation and more.

Block 16, Dubai Knowledge Village, Al Sufouh, Dubai, Sun and Tue 6pm to 9pm, Dhs5,000. Tel: (04) 3616173. Metro: Dubai Internet City. dubai.sae.edu.

18. Ladies, transform yourself with Get Fit Chick Dubai

Get fit chick

So you’ve somehow gained the infamous Dubai Stone and have no idea how to getting rid of it. Enter Get Fit Chick Dubai, a ladies-only programme hosted at CrossFit Gold Box. You can read more about our experience on p76, but we highly recommend this combination of fun yet challenging workouts and a totally doable food plan. Eight-week cycles are held throughout the year.

CrossFit Gold Box, 3A Street, behind Noor Islamic Bank Metro Station, Al Quoz, Dubai, Sun to Thur 6am to 9.30pm, Fri 10am to 1pm, Sat 9am to 1pm, Dhs3,120. Tel: (04) 3387612. Metro: Noor Islamic Bank. crossfitgoldbox.com

19. Get healthy with U Energy

Boutique DIFC gym U Energy is partnering with Pret To Go to offer a 12-week programme to help you have a healthy summer. For three months you’ll get individually customised gym sessions and meal plans from Pret To Go, designed to meet your goals.

U Energy, Gate Village Building 4, Dubai, Sun to Thur 6am to 10pm, Fri to Sat 9am to 5pm, Dhs2,266. Tel: (04) 4228721. Metro: Emirates Towers. uenergy.me

20. Turn your life around

Feeling stuck in a rut? A session with a life coach can help you identify where you need to meet changes, break bad habits and improve your self-esteem. Maja Ask is a qualified life coach and a few sessions with her will leave you ready to take on the world. Sessions are held in the privacy of your own home and according to your schedule and cost Dhs700 per sessions or Dhs4,900 for seven sessions.


Summer activities for children

All the summer fun isn’t just for grown ups. Here’s our pick of the coolest summer activities in Dubai for children, tweens and teens.

21. Yadawei 


Age: seven to 11 and 12 to 16

Pottery centre Yadawei is collaborating with Soul Art Centre this summer to offer children (morning classes) and teens (afternoon classes) the chance to learn pottery alongside additional, optional classes in dance or painting, as part of two intensive two-week programmes. It’s the perfect camp for budding creatives and artists.

July 10 to August 4

8th Street, Al Qouz, Dubai, 10am to 1pm and 3pm to 6pm, Dhs1,700. Tel: (04) 3791312. Taxi: 8th Street Dubai (behind Times Square Centre). yadawei.net

22. Fit Republik


Ages: five to 14

If your little ones love to be active, or want to sharpen up their sporty skills over the summer, Fit Republik is a great place to start. The enormous Sports City gym is well known for its excellent summer camps, with everything from swimming to gymnastics to hip hop dancing on offer.

July 3 to August 25

Fit Republik Fitness Centre, The Academies, Dubai Sports City, Dubai, Sun to Thur 9am to 1.30pm, Dhs220, Dhs650 per week. Tel: (04) 5561800. Taxi:  Dubai Sports City. fitrepublik.com

23. Spanish Soccer School


Ages: five to 16

If the upcoming Euro 2016 has given your children serious football fever, sign them up for one of the five-day camps hosted in the air-conditioned Indoor Dome at Sports City’s Football Zone. There are other sports on offer too including rugby, archery and dodgeball.

June 26 to August 18

Indoor Dome, Dubai Sports City, Dubai, Sun to Thur 8.30am to 3pm, Dhs250, Dhs1,000 per week, Dhs7,000 for eight weeks. Tel: (04) 4481555. Taxi: Dubai Sports City. spanishsoccerschool.com

– For more about Dubai straight to your newsfeed, follow us on Facebook.

Images: Supplied