62 amazing alcohol-free things to do in Dubai
Banish those blues with these fun activities…
Dubai is often synonymous with big brunches and never-ending parties, however, the city is home to an array of amazing activities that don’t involve drinking. From gorgeous beaches and outdoor activities to amusement parks and art classes, you will won’t have a second to spare in the city that has it all.
Here are 62 fabulous things to try…
Make your own Kimchi and Chilli paste with Tabchilli
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Run by its owner Maher who is greatly passionate about all things spicy and fermented, Tabchilli is a homegrown gem located in Dar Wasl mall, offering an array of gorgeous fermented products, as well as weekly workshops. Guests will be walked through the fermentation process, then will be getting down to business, making their own kimchi and chilli paste to take home. If you’re an avid spice lover or just have a hankering for fermented foods, then you need to make your way down to this workshop which costs Dhs400 per person.
Tabchilli, Dar Wasl Mall, Al Wasl, Dubai, Mon to Sat 6pm to 10pm, Sun 9.30am to 12pm and 6pm to 10pm. Tel: (0)58 584 3463, tabchilli.com
Stroll around Ripe Market
One of our favourite homegrown brands has a weekly outdoor market that runs all through the winter period. Following the guiding energy of the best sort of boss ladies, Becky Balderstone started Ripe because she couldn’t find fresh, organic, and seasonal produce in the UAE. This market has now expanded bring together an array of stalls which offer goodies from fashion or homeware to jewelry and accessories. While you’re there, you will not go hungry with the abundance of food vendors, and deli stalls where you can pick up delicious treats to fill your pantry.
Various locations in Dubai, every Saturday and Sunday, ripeme.com
Taking the city by storm, this experience is something you cannot miss – complete with 12 zones that boast their own unique themes and captivating elements. During Ramadan, this fully immersive world is offering for a limited time only, tickets for Dhs375 for a group of four or Dhs750 for a group of eight.
Aya, Wafi City Mall, Oud Metha, Dubai, 10am to 12am daily, group of four Dhs375 or group of eight Dhs750, Tel: (0)4 542 0300, aya-universe.com
Get cultural at The Abrahamic Family House
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His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi, announced the inauguration of the Abrahamic Family House — a mega project holding places of worship for the three Abrahamic religions — via Twitter last month. And now this very special beacon of love, tolerance and peace, located in the Cultural District of Saadiyat Island, is open to the worshipping and visiting public. Entrance is free and we highly recommend booking in advance to secure yourself one of the facility’s expert ‘storytellers’. They’ll help you get the most out of your Abrahamic Family House Experience.
Jacques Chirac Street, Saadiyat Cultural District, free @abrahamicfh
Explore the Mangrove Beach in Umm Al Quwain
Roughly an hour from Dubai, this secret beach opened to the public in 2020 and is perfect for a beach day. With public amenities you can rent kayaks, paddle-boards and when you get hungry there is a cafe you can grab a snack. You and your loved ones can paddle in the water, snorkel or just kick back and relax on the sand. It’s Dhs20 to enter with your car, and you can camp here overnight for a fee of Dhs100. If your wanting to make a proper day out of it, you can also BBQ here as long as you leave the beach untouched upon departure. Guests won’t have to leave their fur babies at home, with this beach being pet friendly.
Mangrove Beach, Um Al Quawain, Dhs20 for entry, Dhs100 to camp
Make a unique creation at The Mud House
All levels of potters are invited to this studio where everyone can play with clay. The Mud House is a diverse space, offering innovative classes, workshop space or somewhere to relax and have a coffee. Guests can enroll in their workshop programs with six sessions over a three-week period. For those interested in a membership, they start from a day pass to a week or even a month. If you’re in need of a new hobby, this is your cue.
Warehouse no.2, Street 4, Al Quoz Industrial 3, Tue 2pm to 8pm, Wed to Sun 10am to 8pm, Mon closed, Tel: (0)58 890 1500, themudhousestudio.com
Try a matcha making workshop with Megumi Matcha
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Owner Rie from Japan started Megumi Matcha one-year ago, selling ceremonial grade matcha and hosting tea-making workshops in Dubai. From the farm in Kyoto to the packaging, Megumi is completely run by women. Each month, Megumi hosts a matcha workshop at Vanilla Sukkar – a local mother-and-daughter-owned gem in Jumeirah. In two hours, guests can learn the history of the Japanese tea ceremony, how matcha is grown, how to make the perfect cup, and try matcha-infused sweet treats. A must-try experience for any matcha fans out there.
Spend the day at Surf House
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This idyllic homegrown gem, is perfect for all who want a homely space to catch up on a few emails, and sip on piping hot coffees, all with their dogs by their side. Opening in 1992, Surf House has been a hub for the water-loving community ever since. Here you can hop onto a paddle board to break up your busy work day, or try something new with a series of surf lessons. After which you can refuel on one of their iconic açai bowls, or a hearty nassi goreng, whilst stocking up on all your surf-related goodies
Surf House, Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah, Dubai, Mon to Sun 7am to 7pm, Tel: (0)50 504 3020 @surfhousedubai
Take a trip to the desert with Platinum Heritage
Class and luxury collide with culture and sustainability for this Platinum Heritage experience. Take your guests on a quintessential desert safari trip and visit the dunes in a traditional Land Rover. You can even opt for a hot air balloon experience or an overnight stay.
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. platinum-heritage.com
Have a local experience at Ravi’s
There are a number of must-not-miss restaurants in Dubai, but if you’re looking for one with no frills – go to popular dining and cultural experience Ravi Restaurant. It is located in the bustling neighbourhood of Satwa in Old Dubai where you can tuck into traditional Pakistani and Indian food for a pocket-friendly price. Since you’re here, go check out the Satwa Grand Mosque.
Ravi Restaurant, Al Satwa, open daily from 5am to 2am Tel: (0)4 331 5353, @ravirestaurantuae
Recently crowned What’s On’s favourite workout, Boxica, is serving ten days of unlimited classes for only Dhs300 throughout the holy month. With programs like boxing and HIIT, ride, sweat, strength training, and more, you will be in top shape this Ramadan. This offer stands till the end of Ramadan, so make sure not to miss out.
Boxica, Dubai Studio City, Dubai, Dhs300 for ten days unlimited classes. Tel: (0)55 483 8361, boxica.ae
Get creative at a new female-focused co-working space
Dubai now has a beautiful female focused co-working space, The Bureau. This light and airy co-working space is located in the heart of Dubai’s Gold & Diamond Park. The concept is co-founded by Dubai-born and raised sisters, Nikita and Rhea Patel, who shared the vision of creating a cosy, welcoming and supportive space. The Bureau offers a modern and light space with a co-working lounge, as well as private offices, meeting rooms, as well as a podcast studio and phone booth. This one-stop shop also incorporates a fitness studio called NAÕ, a vanity room complete with showers, and even a pumping room for new mothers. It’s important to stay fueled and hydrated, which is made easy thanks to an on-site Jones The Grocer, where you can stock up on coffee, snacks and wholesome meals.
The Bureau, Building 6, Gold & Diamond Park, Dubai, UAE, Tel: (0)54 583 3397, @thebureauae
Cha Cha Boats
Having set sail all the way from the Amalfi Coast, and docked in the waters of Dubai – Cha Cha Boats has welcomed the Gozzo Italian boats for a unique sailing experience. During the holy month, there are a variety of packages to choose from, all at half price, with the boats holding a maximum of eight people.
Packages from Al Seef Creek include, Dhs155 for 30 minutes, Dhs230 for 60 minutes, Dhs345 for 90 minutes, Dhs400 for 120 minutes and Dhs540 for 180 minutes. To cruise around Jumeirah, packages will cost Dhs175 for 30 minutes, Dhs300 for 60 minutes, Dhs450 for 90 minutes, Dhs525 for 120 minutes and Dhs750 for 180 minutes. Or, if you want to bask in the sunset and Dubai skyline, the Dubai sunset Marasi canal packages cost Dhs175 for 30 mins, Dhs300 for 60 mins, Dhs450 for 90 mins, Dhs525 for 120 mins and Dhs780 for 180 mins.
Take your pick and get ready to experience the wind in your hair.
Cha Cha Boats, prices start from 155 for 30 minutes, Tel: (0)52 102 2224. chachaboats.com
Travel 300 metres above the Palm on the Dubai Balloon
Thrill-seekers can now view the Palm and the Arabian Gulf from 300 meters above the ground. This unique aviation experience is located in Atlantis Aquaventure, which will offer unique views of the entire city. This 10-minute experience will lift riders into the air via a helium-inflated tethered balloon. For adults, it’s Dhs175 for a regular pass or Dhs75 for children. There’s also a fast pass ticket for priority boarding, as well as a complimentary beverage in The Dubai Balloon lounge, priced at Dhs275 for adults and Dhs125 for children.
The Dubai Balloon, Aquaventure, Atlantis, The Palm, Mon to Thur 9am to 11pm, Fri to Sun 9am to midnight. thedubaiballoon.com / @thedubaiballoon
Take a day trip to Hatta and drink coffee at Under the Shade
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Nestled between the palms, this serene spot serves as a small sanctuary located in Hatta’s Heritage Village. This rustic venue’s charm lies in its simplicity and natural elements, transporting all coffee lovers to their own secret oasis. Guests can sip on a heartwarming coffee whilst basking in the sounds of chirping birds and trickling water. Bliss.
Under The Shade Coffee, Hatta Heritage Village, Dubai, 10am to 10pm daily, @uts.ae
Go to a board game cafe with friends
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Located in the heart of Circle Mall JVC, all game fanatics can get involved in over 1,000 board games, puzzles and mandalas, costing only Dhs40 for unlimited usage. Guests won’t get hungry or parched, with an extensive menu of salads, burgers, pizzas, snacks, sharing platters, smoothies, milkshakes and of course – coffee.
Dice Board Game Cafe, Circle Mall, Jumeirah Village, Dubai, Mon to Thur 10am to 10pm, Fri and Sat 10am to 12am, Tel: (0)4 582 0108, dice-cafe.com
Head to Hatta for a day of adventure
Hatta is one of our favourite spots for escaping the city with a myriad of adventures on your doorstep. From mountain biking to waterslides, a honey bee farm to a swan lake, it is the ultimate adventure haven. There’s an affordable new way to get to Hatta from Dubai: the Hatta Express Bus from Dubai Mall costs only Dhs25 per person and only takes one and a half hours. On arrival in Hatta, there’s the Hop On and Off bus from Hatta bus station to transport visitors around the main attractions, for just Dhs2.
Try something new at Katsuya
Using the influences of Japanese culinary masters, Katsuya Uechi and the legend Noby Matsuhisa, chef Pavel will be taking guests on an educational yet fun journey through the art of sushi making. Except to learn all the best techniques, tips and secrets of sushi making, with the best ingredients to create the perfect unity of flavour. Hosted every Sunday at Katsuya Hyde from 12pm to 8pm, this class will cost Dhs299 per person.
Katsuya, Business Bay, Dubai, every Sunday during Ramadan 12pm to 8pm, Dhs299, Tel: (0)4 871 1111, @katsuyahydedubai
Pamper yourself at Locks by Lou Lou
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Take some ‘me’ time this Ramadan, and pamper yourself with a new hairdo. With 30 per cent off all hair cuts, keratin treatments, colour, cut and finish, as well as 10 per cent off hair extensions, you will be looking glam in no time.
Locks by Lou Lou, JLT, Cluster K and Al Wasl road, Dubai, discount on selected treatments. @locksbyloulou
Take your four-legged friend to The Pointe beach
You and your furry friends are now able to take a romantic stroll on Pointe Beach. With stunning views of the Atlantis, The Palm, the crescent and palm fronds, this will be your new favourite dog walking spot. Make sure to keep your dog on the leash at all times and to not take a dip in the sea. After your walk, why not stop by one of the many dining outlets for a quick coffee or a wholesome meal?
Pointe Beach, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, open 10am to 11pm daily. thepointe.ae
Zipline or hike at Jebel Jais
The world’s longest zip line is conveniently located in the UAE, where all daredevils can soar over the Jebel Jais mountains. Whilst you’re here, you may also want to explore Jebel Jais’ two hiking areas, which are home to a total of six hiking trails. The lower segment has five trails for varying abilities, starting from 0.7km (Farfaar trail) up to 6km (Samar trail). Hikes are well marked out but if you prefer to have some supervision, Beyond Action (beyondaction.ae), Challenging Adventure (challengingadventure.com) and Adventurati Outdoor (adventurati-outdoor.com) all offer guided tours. The upper trail is a bit more demanding with a steep start. However, the track is well defined making it difficult to lose your way.
Ras Al Khaimah Jebel Jais Zipline, Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, Tel: (0)50 828 9923, rasalkhaimahzipline.com
Go thrift shopping at Thrift for Good
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This enterprise is putting Dubai’s old clothes to good use: re-homing preloved items to reduce waste. Thrift for Good welcomes all clothes as they are committed to repairing or recycling old items or materials. Go to any of their outlets to find your perfect thrift find, or to donate all of those clothes you have been hiding at the back of your cupboard. All profits go to helping children around the world, in partnership with Gulf for Good.
Multiple locations, Mon to Fri, 10am to 10pm, thriftforgood.org
Try your luck at Padelx
With padel taking the world by storm, we have seen many venues dedicated to this fast-growing sport pop up across the city. Adding a classic Dubai twist, you and your besties can now have your weekly padel match on a floating court in JLT. Padelx has made some changes for Raman, with extended hours from 1pm to 11pm, so players can catch a game after iftar between 9pm to 12am. During this month, their monthly membership has also seen a reduction, to just Dhs600.
Padelx, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Cluster I, Dubai, prices from Dhs200 (per hour), open daily from 6am to 11pm, bookings required. Tel: (0)58 894 4631.. @padelx_official
Bask in gorgeous views at The View
If you’re just looking for views, and views alone, the Palm Tower has an observatory-style viewing point called The View, which can be accessed from 9am to 10pm. Here you will be able to overlook the Islands, the city skyline and the glittering Arabian Gulf.
The View at The Palm, Palm Jumeirah Rd, The Palm Tower, Dubai, Mon to Thur 9am to 10pm, Fri to Sun 9am to 12am. Tel: (8)00 843 8439, theviewpam.ae
Indulge in therapy at The Smash Room
The Smash Room is full of experiences that will unleash an inner beast you didn’t know you had in you. From printers, washing machines and crockery to much ‘softer’ bubble wrapping experiences, this Ramadan, this crazy venue is offering 15 per cent off between 1pm to 6pm. Alongside this, their Ecstacy and Euphoria packages are also at a 15 per cent discount, allowing you to break glass items, CPU’s and printers.
The Smash Room, Mon to Thur 1pm to 6pm, 15 per cent off selected packages during Ramadan, Tel: (0)4 339 7810, thesmashroom.com
Watch a camel race
You may think of camels as lumbering beasts but in fact, they can reach speeds of 65km per hour. See them thunder along a racetrack with mini robot jockeys on their humps in April at Al Marmoum Heritage Festival.
Dubai Camel Racing Club, Al Ain Road, Al Marmoom, Dubai, Tel: (0)4 718 8888, dubaicrc.ae
Tuck into gorgeous Mexican at Lila Taqueria
This hidden gem is a cosy home-grown taqueria serving up the finest flavours from Mexico. The brains behind this project is Chef Shaw, a warm and passionate woman who is dedicated to embodying sustainability and community in her venue. This homegrown spot only opened two months ago but has already caused a stir among Dubai foodies, making it one of the hottest new neighbourhood hangouts. Lila Taqueria utilises traditional cooking methods and authentic wood-fired ovens to create incredible flavours – sourcing all ingredients locally and ethically. All are welcome at Lila’s including your furry friends.
Lila Wood-fired Taqueria, 786 Jumeirah St, Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah 3, Dubai, Tues to Sun 9am to 10pm, Mon closed, Tel: (0055 560 1778, lilataqueira.com
Brave a terrifying escape room
Deep Dark Dubai is an escape room for those horror-movie fans and is a neat spot if you want to scare yourself silly. There are live actors and it all takes place in a pitch dark villa (gulp). You can pick from ‘Paranormal’ or ‘The Sinner’. Book here.
Deep Dark Dubai, Al Meydan Street, KML Business Center, Villa 7, Dubai, prices vary, Tel: (0)55 954 9282. deepdarkdubai.ae
Reach your fitness goals by joining a running club
If you’re looking for a source of fitness motivation or just wanting to try something new, there are a number of running clubs in Dubai. Each club operates in different areas and focusses on different aspects, so there definitely will be one that suits your goals and lifestyle. Join the Desert Road Runners, 5.30am Run Club, Dubai Creek Striders, Dubai Trail Runners DXB, ABRaS, Adidas Runners or Mirdif Milers to kickstart your fitness journey. Check out the full list of running clubs available in Dubai.
Various clubs in Dubai, UAE
Face your fears at The Storm Coaster at Dubai Hills Mall
The Storm Coaster is a thrilling, first of its kind indoor coaster combining a vertical drop and an immersive pre-ride experience. The aptly name coaster places guests in the exciting world of storm chasing. Daredevils will be lifted high above the Dubai skyline and then will be plunged into the heart of an epic mega-storm using real-world footage with cinematic special effects. Do note, riders need to be at least 130cm in height to hop onboard.
Dubai Hills Mall, Dubai Hills Estate. @dubaihillsmall
Take a ride on an abra across the Creek
For centuries, these 20-person wooden boats have served as water taxis across the Creek. Take the eight-minute trip and get a peek of Dubai as it was, for a single Dirham. They are a great way to explore both sides to the historic old town – from Deira to Bur Dubai. Many locals use the boats to get from point A to point B and avoid traffic but it is a charming experience, especially if you go around sunset.
Abra Station, Bur Dubai
Try out a new neighbourhood cafe
Jumeirah is full of hidden cafés waiting to be found and this is one of them. The beautiful Seven Seeds is surrounded by a green garden, water features, a conservatory for when summer comes along, and a trendy indoor space. On the menu, guests can tuck into healthy bites like sandwiches and smoothie bowls, sweet treats, burgers, and delicious coffee.
Seven Seeds, Villa 15 51st St, Jumeirah 1, Dubai. Daily, 8am to 11pm. 7seeds.ae
Visit a cool gallery in Al Quoz
The Efie Gallery opened its doors in March 2022 in the heart of Dubai’s cultural centre, Al Quoz. Specialising in the representation and advancement of African art, The Efie Gallery hosts a diverse range of artists, exhibitions, as well as a dynamic residency program that promotes collaborations with local artists, institutions, and community members. Make sure to keep track of their socials as they are always hosting vibrant and interesting new exhibitions, showcasing up and coming talents.
Efie Gallery, Al Khayat Art Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, Tues to Sun 11am to 7pm, Mon closed, Tel: (0)42 524 182, efiegallery.com
Try a delicious ramen from Daikan Ramen
A noodle soup is one of our go-to comfort meals. No matter what type of broth we go for, it always hits the spot. And when that ramen-craving hits, it’s important to know where the top spots serving Ramen in Dubai. This restaurant aspires to bring you delicious, yet simple Japanese cuisine. They offer a variety of broth bases from soy to miso, spicy and veggie. Pick from a number of delicious toppings that are available to add in. There are many bites to go along with your meal such as kimchi or gyozas.
Multiple locations across Dubai, @daikanramen
Spend the day at Mamzar Beach Park
One of Dubai’s best-kept secrets is Mamzar Beach Park. With pristine white beaches stretching alone the blue shores guests can dip in the water, BBQ with friends or take a gentle jog along the 4km running track, whilst basking in the gorgeous scenery. With amazing views of the Downtown Dubai skyline, this spot makes for a perfect day out. Be aware that BBQing is not permitted on the beach and only in the dedicated BBQ areas.
Al Mamzar Beach, Deira, Dubai
Full fill all your cravings at Wingstop
Fulfil all your chicken needs at Wingstop this Ramadan, with an unbelievable offer, giving customers wings in 10 different flavours for only Dhs2 per wing. This deal is available in all locations (except IMG), from 4pm to 8pm, until Monday April 24.
Wingstop, multiple locations in Dubai, Dhs2 per wing, 4pm to 8pm, until Mon April 24. @wingstopuae
Marvel at Dubai Miracle Garden
One for the Dubai bucket list is definitely a trip to Miracle Garden. This incredible place features hundreds of flower displays in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, including a newly designed three-dimensional clock, a floating rock with a fountain, floral peacocks, as well as two floral exhibits inspired by favourite characters: a Genie and a flying magic carpet. Don’t forget to check out the iconic Emirates A380 (the world’s largest flower structure), the floating lady, teddy bear and more.
Dubai Miracle Garden, Dubailand, Dubai, for adults above the age of 12, it’s Dhs55 and for children in the age range of three to 12, it’s Dhs40. Book your tickets here.
Kickstart your morning with sunrise SUP yoga
Dubai is not all about living in the fast lane, so make sure to slow things down and find ‘zen mode’ with a paddle boarding session. Located outside Riva Beach Club, guests will be able to paddle with views of the Palm Jumeirah fronds, Burj Al Arab and even (on a clear day) the Burj Khalifa. The sunrise yoga session will help you feel centered and to connect with nature. There’s also moonlight beach yoga available if they are more of the night owl type, or regular paddle board rentals which are available throughout the day.
SUP Yoga, RIVA Beach Club, Palm Jumeriah, Sat from 6.30am to 7.30am, Dhs100, or Dhs75 for regular paddle board hire, Tel (0)52 249 5311, ignitewatersports.com
Be a big kid with bowling, arcade games and more
Brass Monkey is one of those indoor activities in Dubai you have to try with mates. Downstairs you’ll find the bowling alley and old arcade games while upstairs there are billiard tables, and a dedicated game room with more arcade games including Pac-Man to take you on a nostalgia trip. Sorry, little ones, this spot is only for the big kids above the ages of 21.
Brass Monkey, Bluewaters Island, Dubai, Tel: (0)4 582 7277. @brassmonkeysocial
Get your creative juices flowing at Meraki
Workshops here mainly focus on resin and how to become a master manipulator of this material. Guests will be taught how to choose and blend to create aesthetic patterns. For Dhs225 you can create resin coasters in two hours – a perfect gift for a friend. Meraki’s activities range from DIY painting sessions to neon art attacks, there is something for everyone here.
Al Quoz Industrial Area 3, Tues 12 to 7pm, Wed to Sun 10am to 7pm, Mon closed, Tel: (0)55 507 4321, merakiartstudio.ae
Explore the nearby shores of Khorfakkan’s Shark Island
Located on the South Eastern side of Khorfakkan’s bay, this spot is for those who have a flare for adventure. All beach dwellers must make their way to the Khorfakkan port, at which point there will be plenty of boats that will take you to the island. Here, you can bask in the crystal clear waters that surround the stoney island formation. Shark Island is perfect for those who have a hankering for snorkeling, as the waters are home to a phenomenal variety of sea life. Boat rides typically cost between Dhs60 and Dhs100 depending on how many people are in your party. Be sure to pack all your essentials before reaching the island as there are no amenities available, as well as a form of ID for the boat trip.
Shark Island, Khorfakkan.
Get snap-happy at this 3D selfie museum
Get snap-happy at Dubai’s largest 3D trick art museum. There are tons of different artworks that, when you pose for a picture with them, create a cool optical illusion. Go with phone batteries fully charged as these snaps will be a star on your ‘Gram.
3D World Selfie Museum Dubai, Behind Mashreq Bank, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz 4, Dubai, open daily 10am to 8pm daily, Tel: (0)50 987 6511. @3dworlddxb
Volunteer at K9 Friends
Animal lovers, this is your spot to volunteer in Dubai to make a difference. In operation since 1989, K9 Friends aims to rescue and rehome stray and abandoned dogs. This organisation is solely run by volunteers who are 21+ and can commit for at least six months. All individuals that are interested are invited to an informational coffee morning where they will learn more about the office, kennel and the tasks they will have to undertake.
K9 Friends, Dubai Investment Park, Sat to Thur 9am to 4pm, Fri 9am to 4pm, Tel: (0)52 593 0265, www.k9friends.com
Get the little ones involved with Pirates Surf
United in a mission to empower children, this company believes in fostering a like minded community that encompasses good, moral and hardworking athletes. The popular water sports and lifestyle program for individuals of all fitness levels, abilities, genders and ages. Created by Candice Fanucci in 2011, this program started with five children on Kite beach, and has since taken the city by storm.
Kite Beach, Dubai. Tues to Sat 10am to 7pm, Sun and Mon 7am to 7pm, @pirates.surf
Tuck in to fresh seafood
Whilst Dubai might be known for its abundance of fancy restaurants, those who are really in the know of the city’s hidden culinary marvels will have heard of Bu Qtair. Make sure your date is the get-stuck-in type, because a fancy restaurant this is not. This casual fish shack is known for some of the best fresh fish in Dubai. You’ll pick your catch, sourced by local fishermen, which is then cooked to perfection using Bu Qtair’s ‘secret recipe’. The prices are as humble as the place itself.
Bu Qtair, Fishing Harbour 2, Dubai, open daily 11.30am to 11.30pm. Tel: (0)55 705 2130. facebook.com
Take a boat trip to Seneyah Island
Located 19km from Umm Al Quwain, this island is easily reached by boat. It’s a sight for sore eyes with its lush greens and endless blues, and a good spot for anyone who is a keen bird watcher. With a plethora of flamingos, herons, terns and plovers to be seen from the mudflats, this great escape will also feature sightings of antelopes from the various islands. The mangroves and mudflats make this the perfect environment for nature to blossom thus making it an ideal day out for any nature enthusiast.
Visit the Love Lakes
This hidden gem is debatably one of the coolest things in Dubai. Guests can come here for a walk, run, cycle, or just bring a camping chair and enjoy the scenery. There are unpaved tracks running alongside the lakes and much wildlife in its vicinity, making this spot a peaceful getaway from the urban city landscape. These lakes are located in Al Qudra, which is about an hour’s drive away so plan your fitness schedule accordingly.
Love Lakes, Al Qudra, Dubai
Head down to Ski Dubai for a ladies’ night
At Ski Dubai, it’s ladies’ day every Wednesday from 4pm onwards. For just Dhs180 per gal, you can pick from one of three options: snow park with unlimited access to four rides, a sixty-minute discovery lesson (skiing or snowboarding) or two hours of slope time (for experienced skiers or snowboarders). The ticket includes winter gear (rental) and locker, followed by a well-deserved discount at Salero – Tapas and Bodega or a flat 20 per cent off at the North 28 Restaurant. Read more here.
Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, deal available on Wed after 4pm, Tel: (600) 599 905, skidxb.com
Go ice-skating at Global Village
Time to lace up! Global Village just keeps getting better and better, with a never-ending stream of entertainment. They recently opened their doors for Season 27, and as part of this have now launched their brand new eco-friendly outdoor Snowfest Ice Rink. Guests will be provided with all the equipment needed: skates, socks, and even a seal aid if you’re feeling a bit rusty. Tickets to go ice skating will cost you Dhs40 for 20 minutes of pure fun.
Global Village, Emirates Road Exit 37, Dubai, Sun to Wed 4pm to 12am, Thur to Sat 4pm to 1am, Tel: (0)4 362 4114, globalvillage.ae
Wander around Alserkal Avenue
Take a stroll down Alserkal Avenue to enjoy the artier and hipster side of Dubai. A cultural landmark, this avenue is home to numerous galleries, boutique shops and rustic cafés. Spend the evening strolling around being enriched by the international art on display and soaking in the cool vibes.
Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, open daily from 10am to 7pm, Tel: (0)4 333 3464, alserkal.online, @alserkalavenue
Spend the morning on a hot air balloon
The Dubai desert is somewhere we don’t visit enough, yet it’s right on our doorstep. At sunrise all adventurers will be able to drift peacefully over the emirate’s iconic desert where you’ll even be able to spot camels, gazelles and much more of Dubai’s cool wildlife. Tours will pick you up just before sunrise and transport you to the desert and arrange a drop off service after your dreamy morning.
Spot flamingos at Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is located just a few minutes’ drive from Dubai Mall. More than 20,000 birds of 67 species inhabit the area, which is most famous for its magnificent flock of flamingos. To see them, head to one of three viewing hides dotted around the perimeter of the sanctuary. The sanctuary is free to enter, and is open from 7.30am to 5.30pm during the winter season, and from 6am to 6pm between April and September.
Immerse yourself in art at Infinity des Lumieres
The immersive digital art space in Dubai Mall is said to be the biggest and most advanced digital art gallery in the GCC – a must-visit if you love art or don’t. It spans an impressive 2,700 square metres where stunning works of art will be bought to life through the use of 130 projectors and 58 speakers on a total surface projection of 3,300 sqm (walls and floor included). The hall will also be filled with supporting music making the whole experience very dreamlike.
Infinity des Lumières, Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, infinitylumieres.com
Check in for a staycation at Address Grand Creek Harbour
Dubai Creek Harbour’s second hotel comes from Dubai-born Address Hotels & Resorts. Guests can look forward to a spa and fitness centre, alongside an infinity pool which offers views of stunning sunsets as well as a kids pool and splash pad. Foodies can tuck-in to international fare at The Restaurant and Mediterranean flavours at Luma Pool Lounge.
Dubai Creek Harbour, Ras Al Khor Rd, Dubai, doubles from Dhs1,050. Tel: (0)4 275 8899, addresshotels.com
Meet the latest addition to the Museum of the Future
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The Museum of the Future has a futuristic new addition. Say hello to Robodog, the latest member of the expanding robot family. This new robotic four-legged friend joins the museum’s existing collection of advanced technology and robots, alongside the AI-powered humanoid robot Bob, the robot barista, a flying penguin, flying jellyfish and much more. This robotic pet is an advanced robot which uses machine learning to manoeuvre its surroundings with incredible ease and mobility. It embodies some of the most cutting-edge technology and AI systems that are currently available with 3D vision, 360-degree perception and movement through the use of 17 joints.
Museum of the Future, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Trade Centre 2, Dubai, 10am to 7.30pm daily, Tel: 800 2071, museumofthefuture.ae/en
Go for a romantic stroll in the Marina
The iconic Dubai Marina is breathtaking at night, when its glittering skyscrapers and majestic yachts are reflected in the silky waters. Enjoy a romantic amble around, with a walk of up to 3.8 miles. There are plenty of restaurants and outlets around to stop at if you get peckish.
Get in touch with nature with a hike in Wadi Abadilah
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Here in the UAE we are blessed with such beautiful and vast landscapes, and with this current weather there is no better time to gather your besties and go on an adventure. This trail has gained popularity with hikers that are all about the picturesque nature scenes. This trail is considered easy to moderate and will take you through agricultural farmland where you will spot banana trees, mango trees, date palms and more. As we’ve had a bit of rain this year, so you may be lucky to catch flowing streams and pools in the wadis. It is possible for little ones to do this hike but do keep an eye on them as a few rocks can be slippery.
Enjoy Levatine cuisine at a Michelin Guide listed restaurant
Salam Dakkak, the chef and owner of the Levantine restaurant Bait Maryam, has been named by World’s 50 Best as the Middle East & North Africa’s (MENA) best female chef of 2023. The Michelin Guide listed restaurant is known for its authentic flavours and home-style cooking and has won a legion of fans since opening in JLT in 2017. One of her signature dishes, Fatet Musakhan, consists of shredded chicken that has been cooked with onion, sumac and topped with a garlic yogurt and fried bread. Additionally Maryam Fukhara, consists of fried kebbe with pomegranate molasses and tamarind sauce. All her dishes are perfect for sharing with your loved ones, in classic family style.
Bait Maryam, Cluster D, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai, 10am to 11pm daily, Tel: (0)4 241 8447. @bait.maryam
Take an art class at The jamjar
Nestled in the heart of Dubai’s art scene on Alserkal Avenue, thejamjar is a community arts centre striving to grow Dubai’s art scene. It holds weekly art workshops for adults, teens and children. If you want an artwork space, thejamjar has you covered with its ‘do-it-yourself’ painting studio. thejamjar offers diverse art programs, educational initiatives and community projects, building and strengthening the Dubai art world. It’s open for all levels of artists.
Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, Sat to Thurs 10am to 7pm, Fri 1pm to 8pm, Tel: (0)4 341 7303, thejamjardubai.com
Spoil yourself at The SPA at Palazzo Versace
Looking for the perfect kickstart to your week? On Mondays, Palazzo Versace is inviting all ladies for a day of pampering. You will get 50 per cent off on all special treatments on the ladies’ day menu plus a complimentary drink from the spa’s beverage selection. Book your spot or find out more at email@example.com or call 04 556 8750. This sounds like the perfect treat for you hardworking lot.
The Spa, Palazzo Versace Hotel, Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai, ladies day every Mon, Tel: (04) 556 8888. palazzoversace.ae
Watch a film in the desert
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Oldy Cinema is a fun one-of-a-kind vintage experience that has recently launched at Dubai Mushrif Park. It takes you out into the desert of Mushrif Park where you and up to three loved ones can enjoy classic films from the comfort of a refurbished 1978 Ford Ranchero. The back of the car has been transformed and pillows and blankets added to make for a comfortable film-watching experience. The experience comes with popcorn, nachos, a bespoke candy stand and water. For the experience, you’ll have to splurge Dhs1,750 for the three-and-a-half-hour event – that’s around Dhs585 per person for a group of three, or Dhs437.50 for a group of four. Remember though, the event is entirely private and the cost includes all of the features mentioned above.
Oldy Cinema, Dubai Mushrif Park, Dubai, Dhs1,750 (inclusive of classic film snacks and drinks, blankets, bonfire experience), @oldytrip
Try a new beach in Dubai
This serene shoreline is an idyllic public beach, offering a more rustic beach experience compared to some of Dubai’s more built up beaches. Beach goers can enjoy kitesurfing, kayaking and paddle-boarding along this quiet coastline. Jabel Ali beach is free to enter, but you are not permitted to bbq or camp.
Jebel Ali Beach, Public Beach, Mina Jebel Ali, Dubai, next to Soul Beach Dubai, open daily
Images: Social and provided