Summer survival: 12 brilliant indoor activities in Dubai
It’s that time of year when air-conditioning units are your very best friend.
From indoor activities to summer-friendly terraces, here’s our pick of the best undercover fun in town.
01. Tackle a new bouncy obstacle course
Bounce has just launched its epic new X-Park Adventure Challenge. The indoor obstacle course has 16 different elements – think bouldering walls, trampolines, a zip line and more. It’s American Ninja Warrior, on trampolines.
Al Quoz, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur 10am to midnight, Fri 9am to midnight, Sat 9am to 8pm, Dhs80. Tel: (04) 3211400. Taxi: Al Quoz. bounce.ae
02. Ride a rollercoaster
IMG Worlds of Adventure, aka the world’s largest indoor theme park is full of Cartoon Network, Marvel and IMG-centred entertainment. There are summer deals to be had, too.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, near Global Village, Dubai, daily 1pm to 10pm, Dhs245. Tel: (600) 500962. Taxi: Global Village. imgworlds.com
03. Drag race your mates (safely)
Challenge your friends to a few laps around Kartdrome’s 620-metre indoor track. All karts are linked up to smart software that provides live timings on the big screens.
Dubai Autodrome, Motor City, Dubai, daily 9am to 11.30pm, Dhs110. Tel: (04) 4361422. Taxi: Motor City. dubaiaautodrome.com
04. Sip on something cold in a greenhouse
The outdoor terrace at Treehouse transforms into the Greenhouse over summer. Guests will find a huge air-conditioned glass tent lit up by fairy lights, making it the perfect evening retreat.
Taj Hotel, Business Bay, Dubai, daily 7pm to 2am. Tel: (04) 4383111. Taxi: Taj Hotel. treehousedubai.com
05. Take your dog for a stroll
The pavement might as well be hot lava for our four-legged friends in summer. Luckily, My Second Home, the biggest indoor dog park in the region, is the best place for your pooches to have a runaround. Spread across an area the size of 18 tennis courts, with two-thirds inside, there’s also a luxury pet resort and spa, play area, daycare, training and grooming areas.
Street 29, Dubai Investment Park, Dubai, daily 8am to 8pm, Dhs50 for dog park access. Tel: (04) 8818002. Taxi: Dubai Investment Park. mysecondhomedubai.com
06. Eat in the desert without passing out
It’s touted as an outdoor desert restaurant, so a dinner at Al Hadheerah doesn’t sound particularly appealing in sweltering heat. However, the crafty team have swathed the space in fabric and created an air-conditioned tent to house their extensive Arabic buffet and live entertainment for the coming months.
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, near Endurance City, Dubai, daily 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 8096194. Taxi: Bab Al Shams. meydanhotels.com
07. Just keep swimming
Avoid those harsh summer rays, but don’t forgo your daily swim at this eight-lane, 50-metre Olympic size swimming pool – surrounded by a grandstand for spectators to cheer you on. The day pass (Dhs150) at FitRepublik includes access to the entire facility: pool, gym, more than 350 studios classes, MMA facilities, grappling and wrestling mats, the cage and gymnastics facility.
FitRepublik Fitness Centre, Sports City, Dubai, Sat to Thur 5.30am to 11pm, Fri 5.30am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 5561800. Taxi: The Academies, Sports City. fitrepublik.com
08. Brunch at Barasti
Dubai’s ubiquitous beach bar might be better known as the go-to spot for Friday tanning on the beach, but it’s a different story in the summer. Barasti becomes The Lost World, a rainforest and wildlife themed ‘jungalow’ underneath a huge glass tent covering the entire middle deck – with the air conditioning on full blast at an agreeable 22 degrees. Best of all, starting Saturday July 1, Barasti is hosting its Wild Thing brunch inside The Lost World with extensive food options and house drinks between 2pm and 5pm.
Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort And Marina, Sat brunch 2pm to 5pm, ladies Dhs175, gents Dhs250. Tel:(04) 3181313. Taxi: Mina Seyahi. barastibeach.com
09. Putt and glow
Keep cool, play golf and glow in the dark. The indoor, fluorescent-drenched golf course is part putt-putt, part science fiction with extra terrestrial models dotted around the air-conditioned room.
Wafi Mall, Umm Hurair, Bur Dubai, Dubai, Sat to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thur and Fri 10am to midnight, Dhs75. Tel: (04) 3573290. Metro: Dubai Healthcare City. teeandputt.com
10. Try a skate park
Did you know Dubai Sports World has a skate park? The ultimate summer sports hub is a haven for anyone wanting to stay fit in the hotter months, and has everything from rugby pitches to trampolines.
Until September 2
World Trade Centre, daily 8am to 11pm, Dhs150. Tel: (04) 3064000. Metro: Trade Centre. dubaisportsworld.ae
11. Play football indoors
At the city’s first air-conditioned dome in Al Jaddaf, there are five five-a-side football pitches, with FIFA two-star astro-turf. Book a pitch with friends or join in on one of the tournaments.
Al Wasl Sports Club, Jaddaf, Dubai, daily 9am to midnight, Dhs400. Tel: (800) 56672. Taxi: Al Wasl Sports Club. kooradome.com
12. Rock climb inside
It’s been a good year for Dubai’s climbing community, thanks to the opening of Mountain Extreme. The new indoor climbing and bouldering facility is the largest of its kind in Dubai, with around 60 bouldering and 70 climbing routes. If you haven’t tried it yet, use the summer to take up a new sport.
Capital Golden Tower, Al Khaleej Al Tejari Street, Business Bay, Dubai, daily 9am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4466080. Taxi: opposite Sobha Sapphire Tower. mtnextreme.com