Summer bucket list: 24 of Dubai's must-try indoor activities
Get these activities ticked off your summer bucket list before the kids go back to school…
With the kids heading back to school in September, there’s one more week to keep them entertained before normal life resumes. With the hot weather showing no sign of abating yet, make their last week of summer extra fun with these awesome indoor activities in Dubai.
Here are 24 of Dubai’s must-try activities…
Try your hand at glow-in-the-dark mini golf
Love a game of mini golf? We do too. But we’ve never seen a course quite like this before. 3D Blacklight Minigolf is a mini golf experience set in the dark, illuminated by neon blacklighting 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…
3D Blacklight Minigolf Dubai, daily 12pm to 1am, from Dhs110. Tel: (04) 565 7621. facebook.com/3DBlacklightMinigolfDubai
See a film in 270 degrees
The first of its kind in the UAE, you’ll find ScreenX at Reel Cinemas in the Dubai Mall. The 170-seater cinema boasts a 270-degree screen, which wraps around three of the cinema walls, leaving movie-goers feeling like they’re part of the film at times. The films are adapted to suit the screen, and although not all of the films will be shown in the 270-degree format, the parts that are really leave viewers feeling thoroughly immersed. For the highest impact, pick a seat towards the back.
ScreenX by Reel Cinemas, Dubai Mall, various timings, from Dhs68. reelcinemas.ae
Navigate an urban maze
Jumble combines the element of logic and puzzle solving that we’re used to from other escape rooms in the city, and throws in an extra dose of physical exercise and exertion. Teams of three to six people must work through the series of baffling rooms (there are 12 in total to choose from and over 100 puzzles to try). You’ll find yourselves crawling through tunnels, scavenging for clues, and scratching your head at blank walls, while a timer counts down to your doom.
Jumble, Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 10am to 10pm, Dhs175 for two-hour pass, Dhs225 for four hour pass. Tel: (800) 586253. jumble.ae
See a stunning water show
La Perle is a must-see for theatre and stunt show fans alike. The 90-minute show has been conceptualised by Franco Dragone, who is behind huge world-renowned productions like Le Rêve in Las Vegas and The House of Dancing Water in Macau. During the performance, acrobats and athletes dive from 25 metres into the changeable aqua-stage filled with 2.7 million litres of water, and fly around the theatre at 15 kilometres per hour.
La Perle by Dragone, Al Habtoor City, Tuesday to Friday 7pm and 9.30pm and Saturday 4pm and 7pm. Tel: (04) 437 0123. laperle.com
Relieve stress at a 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 (perhaps while imagining your boss). Packages start from Dhs99.
The Smash Room, Umm Suqeim Street, Al Quoz Industrial 4, Sun to Wed 11am to 10pm, Thur to Sat 9am to 11pm, from Dhs99. Tel: (058) 198 2323. thesmashroom.ae
Check out a virtual reality theme park
Another great activity for the hotter months is VR Park, the virtual reality attraction at The Dubai Mall. The park contains 21 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. For Dhs119 you can get seven rides at the theme park, and for Dhs169 you’ll get seven rides, plus Dhs100 credit.
VR Park, Level 2, The Dubai Mall, 10am to 11pm Sunday to Wednesday, 10am to 1am Thursday to Saturday, from Dhs119. vrparkdubai.com
Brave a terrifying 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. nowayout.ae.
Work up a sweat at Dubai Sports World
We’re trading our al fresco adventures for sports indoors from now, and Dubai Sports World is back at Dubai World Trade Centre to keep us active indoors. The space offers activities including basketball, gymnastics, football and badminton, and entry is free – although you’ll have to pay to use certain facilities.
Dubai World Trade Centre, daily 8am to 1am, open to September 10. Tel: (04) 306 4000. dubaisportsworld.ae
Burn some serious energy off at Sky Zone
This brand-new activity park at Ibn Battuta Mall has everything you could need to blow off steam without being outdoors. With a Wipe Out zone, warrior courses, zip line, climbing wall, dodgeball court, trampoline park, toddler zone and giant warped walls, this 35,000 square foot centre is the place to be this summer.
Sky Zone, Persia Court, Ibn Battuta Mall, Sun to Weds 10am to 10pm, Thurs & Fri 10am to midnight, prices start from Dhs105 for 60 minutes. Tel: (800) 759 9663. skyzone.ae
Learn to ski or perfect your technique at this new dry slope
Booked that ski holiday but just missing one vital ingredient – knowing how to ski? Infinite Ski is the first of its kind dry-ski slope in the UAE, based in Al Quoz. You’ll ski or snowboard on a revolving belt, which simulates a real ski slope and you can adjust the gradient as you go. It’s perfect for those learning the ropes or for perfecting your existing snow skills.
Infinite Ski,123 – 4 26th St, Al Quoz, Dubai, 12pm to 10pm, Sunday to Thursday, 10am to 10pm, Friday & Saturday, from Dhs110 per session. Tel: (04) 235 3408. infiniteski.com
Step into a rainforest at The Green Planet
It’s hard not to be impressed by nature at this tropical rainforest, home to over 3000 plants and animals. Little ones will be fascinated with activities such as The Sloth Encounter, The Bat Cave, The Sugar Glider Encounter and the new Australian Walkabout. There is also a wonderful variety of tropical fish to gaze at and, those feeling brave, can even hold a Python!
The Green Planet, City Walk, Dubai, Sunday to Wednesday 10am to 7pm, Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 8pm, online Dhs99, on the door, Dhs115. Tel: (04) 317 399. thegreenplanetdubai.com
Step under the sea with Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Some 33,000 fish, sharks and rays call Dubai Aquarium home. The 10-million litre tank is filled with marine life, and as well as being able to admire from the outside, Dubai Aquarium offers a number of experiences to get up, close and personal with the creatures that call the aquarium home, from feeding sting rays to swimming with sharks.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, daily 10am to midnight, Dhs130 online, Dhs175 on the door. thedubaiaquarium.com
Game your way around Hub Zero
The UAE’s first immersive entertainment park, Hub Zero is a huge indoor facility with 18 awesome rides and attractions including climbing zones, virtual reality and games areas with adrenaline-filled activities like laser quest. Even if you haven’t got kids, this is a great place to head for a fun alternative birthday party. It’s a gamer’s heaven.
Hub Zero, City Walk, Phase 2, Dubai, Saturday to Wednesday 12pm to 11pm, Thursday & Friday 12pm to 12am, from Dhs165. Tel: 800 637227. hubzerodubai.com
Let them get into character at Kidzania
Designed for children aged 4 to 16, Kidzania is a 7000 square metre city of fun with more than 60 activities for children to tackle. Inside, children can tackle real-life scenarios, role-play different jobs and even earn special ‘Kidzania’ currency.
Kidzania, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, weekdays 10am to 10pm, weekends 10am to 11pm, Dhs75 adult, Dhs185 child. Tel: (800) 382246255. kidzania.ae
Satisfy your need for speed
Dubai Autodrome is an exciting day out for all ages offering the chance for people to discover their racing driver dreams. Their indoor sKartdrome is perfect for when the weather is too hot, and the younger ones can enjoy it too, with carefully monitored karting sessions for kids aged 7 to 12.
Dubai Autodrome, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 9am to 9pm, daily Kartdrome from Dhs105, Tel: (04) 367 8700. dubaiautodrome.com
Ever wondered what it’s like to skydive but never want to step straight out of a plane? Then make your way to iFLY. You’ll be taken up 4-meters in the air where you’ll go against gravity, held up like you’re free-falling.
Ifly Dubai, Third Floor, Play Nation Area, City Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Sunday to Thursday 12pm to 10pm, Friday & Saturday 10am to 11pm, Dhs220. Tel: (04) 231 6292. theplaymania.com
Tackle the slopes
Arguably the coolest attraction in the city, the 22,500 square meter ski park set in Mall of the Emirates has loads of activities, including a ski slope for skiiers and snowboarders, a ‘Snow Park’ with a giant zorbing ball, ice cave, and ‘Mountain Thriller’ ride. Animal lovers can even see a penguin show. If you’re planning a ski trip, the ski school is available to help you learn the basics. Afterwards, warm up with a hot chocolate at the Avalanche and Ice Café. Ticket prices vary on your choice of activity.
Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai, daily, 10am to 11pm. skidxb.com
Swoop and glide (or try to) across the ice at Dubai Ice Rink with their daily sessions for all levels. They’ve also recently introduced mini-golf on ice, so if you think you’re at the top of your mini-putting game then why not give this a go?
Dubai Ice Rink, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, daily 10am to 1am, Mini-Golf on Ice, Dhs40. Tel: (800) 38224 6255. dubaiicerink.com
IMG Worlds of Adventures packs out an impressive 1.5 million square feet of indoor space, and is divided into five zones; Marvel, Lost Valley, Cartoon Network, IMG Boulevard and Novo Cinemas. Within each area, there’s a host of themed rollercoasters and rides, as well as a 12 screen cinema dining and shopping. You can even meet some of your favourite Cartoon Network or Marvel characters.
IMG Worlds of Adventure, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Rd, Dubai, Sun to Wed 11am to 8pm, Thurs to Sat 11am to 10pm, from Dhs285. imgworlds.com
Bowl your way into the week
Wavehouse has certainly earned its stripes in terms of entertainment, and is a go-to for something different to your normal bar or restaurant scene. Set in the glow of neon lights and funky decor, try your hand at their four lane, ten-pin bowling alley from Dhs360 per hour (maximum 6 guests) or Dhs60 per person per game (walk in only). There’s also pool, arcade games, soft play and the Wave Rider, plus a bar and restaurant.
Wavehouse, Atlantis The Palm, Saturday to Wednesday 12pm to 1am, Thursday & Friday 12pm to 3am. atlantisthepalm.com/wavehouse
Bounce at X-Park Dubai is not only insane fun, but a serious workout too. The super sized trampoline park is filled with obstacle courses, dodgeball, zip line, climbing walls, speed slide, slam dunk area and, of course, trampolines galore.
Bounce Trampoline Park, 4B Street, Al Quoz, Dubai, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs 10am to 12pm, Fri, 9am to 12pm, Sat 9am to 9pm, Dhs85. Tel: (04) 321 1400. bounce.ae
Tackle TEP Factor
Think of the 1990s TV show The Crystal Maze and you’ll have some idea of what you’re getting yourself into at TEP Factor. You’ll be trapped inside a closed chamber. Your strength can’t help you and there’s no assistance from the outside. Only your mind holds the key as you solve clues, puzzles and riddles against the clock. It’s brilliant fun.
Bahar Plaza, JBR, Dubai, Dhs80 on weekdays, Dhs100 on weekends. Tel: (056) 404 0802. tepfactor.ae
Unleash the adventure at Mountain Extreme
Mountain Extreme is an indoor climbing and bouldering facility, and is the largest of its kind in Dubai with around 60 bouldering and 70 climbing routes. On the weekends, they also run children’s classes and collaborative games to emphasize teamwork, leadership skills, and goal setting in a dynamically fun and supportive environment. It’s worth noting that the facility is open to children four years and older.
Capital Golden Tower, Al Khaleej Al Tejari Street, Business Bay, Dubai, daily 9am to 11pm. Tel: (04) 4466080. mtnextreme.com
And one in Abu Dhabi…
Get your adrenaline fix at an indoor theme park
The world’s first Warner Bros. branded indoor theme park is home to a total of 29 rides and attractions based around six lands. Tickets to the theme park are 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, Dhs295. wbworldabudhabi.com.