7 reasons to enjoy the summer in the UAE
From wallet-friendly deals to making the most of the mornings…
Yes, we know it’s hot. The scorching summer temperatures have firmly put a lid on some of the best bits of living in the UAE: alfresco dining, afternoons on the beach, and days spent at outdoor attractions.
But it’s not all bad news. The summer has its positive points too, like brilliant deals at top hotels, less tourists meaning more incentives for residents to spend their days at the city’s attractions, and it’s the perfect time to plan a road trip to discover a new slice of the UAE coastline.
If you’re staying put this summer, here’s 7 reasons to enjoy spending summer in the UAE.
‘Tis the season for staycations
With many of the city’s top restaurants and bars dotted throughout the UAE’s top hotels, it’s not uncommon for residents to spend much of their free time hopping between five-star hotels. But if you’re dreaming of checking-in to one of them, this is the time to do it. Top summer staycation deals in the UAE right now include 30 per cent off the best available rate at Caesars Palace Dubai, 20 per cent off plus a Dhs200 dining credit for three-night stays at Atlantis The Royal, and discounted rates from Dhs1,195 at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara.
Family-friendly fun at a fraction of the cost
With the kids off school for what feels like an endless amount of weeks, there’s only so many times you can suggest soft play. But summer in the UAE often means free entry for little ones at an array of top attractions. Dubai Parks and Resorts’ duo of theme parks, Motiongate and Legoland Dubai are both inviting children under 12 to go for free this summer. The only catch? There needs to be one paying adult. If you’re taking a taxi, Dubai Parks & Resorts are offering free rides to the destination all summer for bookings of a minimum of four tickets. When you book, you will receive a two-way Careem transfer for the day on top of the free tickets for the kids.
In Abu Dhabi it’s a similar story, with brilliant deals on attractions for families. Yas Island has a whole summer full of stand-out savings to take advantage of — with kids under 12 staying and playing for free. To take advantage of the offer, you’ll need to book a stay on the yasisland.com website. The free part kicks in for every child under 12 with a paying adult. The child is also entitled to the same meal plan as the one booked for the parent, and — with the ‘Stay and Play’ deals — entrance to one (or two with some hotels) of the Yas Island Theme Parks is included per night of stay.
While the cities bake in the summer heat, the UAE’s mountain regions and rugged coastline benefit from being several degrees cooler. When the city slows down, it’s the perfect opportunity to pack up the car and head out of town on a day trip. On Sharjah’s east coast, half way between Dibba and Fujairah, Khorfakkan offers plenty to see and do: head out on the water for kayaking or sailing, embark on a morning hike, or enjoy an evening stroll along the corniche. Or head a little further across the border and make for the mountainous peninsula of Musandam. Hop aboard a traditional dhow and sail through the majestic fjords, spotting the local pods of dolphins as you go. Companies like Musandam Sea Adventure offer full and half day dhow cruises, or options to create multi-day packages for those looking to maximise their adventure time.
ALSO READ: 7 great UAE day trips for escaping the city
Try something new
With a little more free time on your hands and a slower pace of life across the city, summer is the perfect time to learn a new skill. Whether it’s a hobby you’ve been thinking of taking up for a while, or a new creative outlet to unleash your talent on, there’s plenty of places across the UAE to try something new. Have you yet to familiarise yourself with the local lingo? Then yalla, it’s time to learn Arabic. The Eton Institute (etoninstitute.com), based out of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, promises that you can master the basics of conversational Arabic in just 30 hours over a duration of three weeks (two hours a day, five days a week). Sign up for the Foundation group course, which next begins on July 3, for Dhs1,512.
Keen to get creative? Master the art of music with guitar lessons at Melodica (melodica.ae). Classes for all levels are offered across Dubai and Abu Dhabi, whether you’re just starting out or keen to improve upon your existing skills. or why not give improv a go? Dubai’s The Courtyard Playhouse’s (courtyardplayhouse.com) next workshop for adults begins on July 16, and over six weeks of sessions will bring you out of your comfort zone and teach techniques to make you more comfortable on the stage and beyond. It’s priced at Dhs1,950.
Embrace the great indoors
When the winter weather is so inviting, it can almost feel like a waste to spend time indoors. But once the summer heat sets in, it’s the time of indoor pasttimes to enjoy their moment in the sun. In Dubai, that might mean heading to a new indoor entertainment centre like Glitch at Al Ghurair Centre in Deira, home to more than 30 fun things to do; or getting creative at Wild Paint House in Al Quoz, where budding artists can graffiti the walls, unleash their creativity on a spinning blank canvas or make a UV masterpiece.
There’s lots to do indoor in Abu Dhabi too. At Al Qana, a trio of attractions include an exploration into the underwater world at The National Aquarium; the thrilling entertainment emporium, Adrenark Adventure; and Pixoul, the largest gaming hub of its type in Abu Dhabi. There’s also Xtreme Zone on Al Maryah Island, which offers 44,200 sqft of recreational adventure; Yas Island’s Central, home of great American fast food, on site bowling within striking distance of the licensed bar and a collection of modern and retro arcade games; and newly opened Snow Abu Dhabi, the real ‘piste’ de résistance of 1.2 billion US Dollar mega project, Reem Mall.
Make the most of the mornings with some watersports
The summer is the perfect opportunity to exercise being a morning person. Wake before the sunshine and start your day with some watersports. In Dubai, Ignite Watersports (ignitewatersports.com) offer rentals from as early as 6am through the summer, with kayaks and stand up paddle boards available both for independent hire as well as lessons for novices. If you’re looking for watersports in Abu Dhabi, Sea Hawk (sea-hawk.ae) offer rentals of kayaks and stand up paddle boards for morning sessions (6am to 9.30pm) as well as night hire at 8pm, with independent rentals as well as guided tours available in Eastern Mangrove National Park.
Snap up a bargain
Now in its 26th edition, Dubai Summer Surprises from Thursday, June 29 to September 3 – that’s 67 days packed with plenty of fun for the whole family. For those who love to shop, there are great retail promotions and raffles at some of the most iconic malls; while foodies will be able to satisfy their cravings with a number of diverse gastronomy options. You can check out the full schedule of events via dubaisummersurprises.com.