Bucket list: 28 of Dubai's must-try indoor activities
Summer is here so it’s time to trade the outdoors for indoor activities…
It’s almost mid-June which means the temperatures are sweltering and that humidity is on the up. That means it’s time to trade lazy afternoons spent by the pool to enjoy some of Dubai’s most epic
Here are 28 of Dubai’s must-try indoor activities…
1. 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…
Unit P24, Bahar Plaza Level, JBR, open daily 2pm to 1am, Dhs110 adult, Dhs90 children aged 5 to 12. Tel: (04) 565 7621. 3d-blacklight-minigolf.ae
2. Be a big kid with bowling, arcade games and more
Brass Monkey is set over a gigantic two-story space complete with a 12-lane bowling alley, arcade, pool tables, two dining concepts and so much more. Downstairs you’ll find the bowling alley and old arcade games. Upstairs there’s three pool and snooker tables, basketball machines, a dedicated game room with more arcade games including Pac-Man to take you on a nostalgia trip. Bowling is priced from Dhs65 per person, per game.
Brass Monkey, Bluewaters Island, Dubai0, open daily 4pm to 1am, bowling priced from Dhs65 per person, per game, play cards start from Dhs100 and don’t expire. @brassmonkeysocial
3. Get snap-happy: Dubai’s largest 3D ‘selfie’ museum
Get ready to get snap-happy as Dubai’s largest (and amazing) 3D trick art museum or ‘selfie museum’, 3D World, has tons of different artworks that, when you pose for a picture with them, create a cool optical illusion. If you’ve ever seen those mind-boggling pictures of people seemingly sat down a long tunnel or framed in a fish bowl, you’ll know what we mean.
3D World Selfie Museum Dubai, Behind Mashreq Bank, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Al Quoz 4, Dubai, open 10am to 8pm daily, Dhs65 adults, Dhs45 children. Tel: (0)50 987 6511. @3dworlddxb
4. Get creative with an art class
Sketch Art Cafe & Sketch Studio is a brilliant spot to find your inner artist in Mattar bin Lahej Gallery on Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah. Whether you’re a complete beginner or have always had a bit of artistic prowess, there’s no pressure here, just a relaxing atmosphere to get your creative juices flowing. Choose from drawing, painting, sculpting, mosaics and even printmaking and unleash your inner artist.
Sketch Art Café & Sketch, Mattar bin Lahej Gallery, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, open from 6pm to 1am daily. Tel: (04) 271 2603 mattargallery.ae
5. Step inside some amazing animated films
Step into a world of your favourite movies at Motiongate. Fun for both young ones and adults, you’ll find Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda from Dreamworks, check out a Smurf Village and more. Whilst it’s too hot to enjoy the outdoor rides, there are plenty of indoor rides to satisfy that need for speed.
Motiongate Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts, open Sat to Wed 2pm to 10pm, Thurs & Fri 2pm to 11pm, from Dhs140. Tel: (0)4 820 0000. motiongatedubai.com
6. 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. reelcinemas.ae
7. 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, 6.30pm or 9.30pm daily, from Dhs249. Tel: (04) 437 0123. laperle.com
8. 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 Dhs75.
The Smash Room, Umm Suqeim Street, Al Quoz Industrial 4, Sun to Wed 12.30pm to 10.30pm, Thurs to Sat 12.30pm to 11pm, from Dhs75. Tel: (058) 198 2323. thesmashroom.ae
9. 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.
VR Park, Level 2, The Dubai Mall, 10am to 12midnight daily, from Dhs100. vrparkdubai.com
10. 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 11am to 2am, Thurs to Sat 10am to 3am, from Dhs130. Tel: (055) 929 8571. nowayout.ae.
11. 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 12 midnight. Tel: (04) 306 4000. dubaisportsworld.ae
12. 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 Wed 12pm to 10pm, Thurs, Fri & Sat, 10am to 10pm, prices start from Dhs99 for 60 minutes. Tel: (800) 759 9663. skyzone.ae
13. 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, with a trial session priced from Dhs50.
Infinite Ski,123 – 4 26th St, Al Quoz, Dubai, Sun to Thurs 10am to 9pm, Fri & Sat 9am to 9pm, from Dhs110 per session. Tel: (04) 235 3408. infiniteski.com
14. 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, daily 10am to 6pm, online Dhs89, on the door, Dhs120. Tel: (04) 317 3999. thegreenplanetdubai.com
15. 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, Sun to Wed 10am to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 10am to 11pm, from Dhs169. Tel: (800) 382246255. thedubaiaquarium.com
16. 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 12pm to 9pm, weekends 12pm to 10pm. Tel: (800) 382246255. kidzania.ae
17. 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, Sun to Wed 2pm to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 8am to 12am, Dhs137 per person for 15 minutes. Tel: (04) 367 8700. dubaiautodrome.com
18. Defy Gravity
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 12 noon to 10pm, Friday & Saturday 10am to 11pm, from Dhs149. Tel: (04) 231 6292. theplaymania.com
19. 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
20. Skate around
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, 10am to 11.45pm daily, from Dhs63.65. Tel: (800) 38224 6255. dubaiicerink.com
21. Ride Rollercoasters
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, Sat to Wed 12pm to 8pm, Thurs & Fri 12pm to 9pm, from Dhs245 for UAE residents (limited time offer), general admission from Dhs299. imgworlds.com
22. 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 Dhs420 per hour (maximum 6 guests) or Dhs70 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, open 12pm to 11pm daily, bowling from Dhs70 per person. Tel: (04) 426 2626. atlantisthepalm.com/wavehouse
23. B-B-Bounce Around
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 Thurs 1pm to 9pm, Fri 10am to 9pm, Sat 10am to 8pm, from Dhs85. Tel: (04) 321 1400. bounce.ae
24. Take bouncing to the next level
BOUNCE-X is brought to you by the same people as Bounce Trampoline Park. This concept is the world’s first ‘freestyle terrain park’, complete with two storeys of trampolines, parkour elements and ninja courses. The 5,000 square metre space is described as a ‘giant adrenaline playground’ and will be filled with exciting challenges, superhero-style freestyle features and brand-new obstacles.
BOUNCE-X, Dubai Festival City Mall, open Sun to Thurs 1pm to 10pm, Fri & Sat 10am to 10pm, from Dhs90 for one hour. bounce.ae
25. 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 TEPfactor. 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, Sun, Tues, Wed 4pm to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 12pm to 12am, Mon closed, one hour pass Dhs99 adults, Dhs79 children aged 8 to 12. Tel: (056) 404 0802. tepfactor.ae
26. Have hours of fun at this huge inflatable park
Air Maniax is the ultimate fun for young children through to adults. There’s five awesome zones with a giant inflatable area with an obstacle course. There’s a wrecking ball, climbing walls and even an inflatable wipe out area – that ought to ensure their energy is all burned out by the time they get home.
Air Maniax, 16/Street, Al Quoz Dubai, Saun to Wed 12pm to 8pm, Thurs 12pm to 9pm, Fri & Sat 10am to 9pm. Tel: (04) 438 8981. airmaniax.com
27. Check out a freestyle parkour jump park
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Street Maniax is the brand new concept brought to Dubai by the people behind Air Maniax – the hugely successful indoor adventure park in Al Quoz. It will open near to its sister venue in the same area. Whilst Air Maniax is aimed at every age, from toddlers to adults, Street Maniax has been designed with older kids and adults in mind, and combines freestyle parkour and trampolining along with activities such as dodgeball, zip-lining and a cool VR game.
Street Maniax, 19/Al Khail Street, Al Quoz 3, Dubai, Sun to Wed 12pm to 8pm, Thurs 12pm to 9pm, Fri & Sat 10am to 9pm, from Dhs85 for one hour. Tel: (04) 348 8981. facebook.com/airmaniax
28. Zoom in ekarts at Dubai Mall
Ekart Zabeel recently opened in Dubai Mall‘s new extension, adding to its ever growing list of fun attractions. The thrilling experience will see riders race through the track on the latest generation of electric go karts, to see who can log the fastest time. Helmets and jumpsuits are provided to ensure maximum safety for riders, then its down to you to beat your fellow e-karters to the finish line.
EKart Zabeel by Emaar, The Dubai Mall Zabeel, Downtown Dubai, Sun to Wed 4pm to 10pm, Thurs to Sat 4pm to 12am. ekartzabeel.ae