Happy (sweat-free) exploring…

As the sweltering summer season picks up, us Dubai folk are left with no choice but to retreat indoors, into shopping malls, restaurants, bars and air-conditioned spaces where the wrath of the sun and the weight of the humidity can’t reach us. But what must one do, when one is tired of being holed inside, craving for a spot of the outdoors and a bit of green to break up the concrete jungle? You visit these spots but entirely indoors for some indoor greenery.

Here are 4 spots that bring the outdoors inside.

Green Planet

This is practically an indoor jungle, and the top spot to visit if you need to stand under a tree and photosynthesize without burning to a crisp. Green Planet is the region’s only indoor tropical rainforest and is home to some 3,000 plants and animals. You can get up close and personal with the bio-dome’s stunning eco-system for a bit of a nature-themed break. Workshops, walkthroughs and fun educational sessions are held on the regular by the venue’s resident biologists, so you can learn as you go and if you’ve got little ones, they’ll have a blast for sure. This summer, the spot is hosting an exciting overnight camping activity perfect for the whole family – read more about it here.

The Green Planet by Meeras, City Walk Dubai, open Mon to Sat 10am to 6pm, closed Sun. Dhs120 on the door, Dhs110 online, Tel: (04) 317 3999, thegreenplanetdubai.com

Dubai Butterfly Garden


Dubai Butterfly Garden is located right next to the Dubai Miracle Garden. Unlike the Miracle Garden, it’s an indoor spot, and features 10 climate-controlled domes and an eco-system of indoor plants that make the perfect home for 15,000 butterflies across 50 different varieties – all different shapes, sizes and colours. Here, you can learn about the complete life cycle of the butterfly, witnessing the evolution of the delicate winged creatures through each stage. There’s also a Koi pond, where you can see the Koi fish in their natural habitat, as well as a butterfly museum and an area for birds as well.

Dubai Butterfly Garden, Dubailand, Sat to Fri, 9am to 6pm, general admission passes start from Dhs55, Tel: (0) 4 422 8902, dubaibutterflygarden.com

Underwater Zoo at the Dubai Aquarium

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While the Aquarium is a great activity, the underwater zoo is where you can interact with nature more. Here, you’ll be able to witness and explore the world of the aquatic creatures that inhabit both land and sea. The zoo has three zones – Rainforest, Rocky Shore and Living Ocean, which house all manners of aquatic wildlife from otters and piranha to lionfish, giant spider crabs, seahorses, garden eels, archerfish, water rats, paddlefish, cichlids and more in 40 individual aquatic displays. They even have experiences where you can encounter king crocodiles, go diving and swim with sharks. It’s a great family experience, and you’ll learn something new while you have a good time.

Underwater Zoo, Dubai Aquarium, The Dubai Mall, Dubai, Mon to Fri, 10am to 11pm, Sat and Sun, 10am to 12am, tickets from Dhs199, Tel: (800) 382246255, thedubaiaquarium.com

Quranic Park

Quranic Park

Located in Al Khawaneej, the Quranic Park is designed to give a better cultural and educational understanding of the Islamic heritage, while still being a fun place to visit for children, families and those looking to learn more about the Holy Quran. The 64-hectare park offer visitors a brilliant and intelligent insight into several areas of the Holy Quran and has a few attractions – The Glass House, the Cave of Miracles and the Park. Entry to the park is free, but you’ll have to pay Dhs5 for The Glass House and the Cave of Miracles. The Glass House is a gorgeous indoor greenhouse, growing all the plants mentioned in the Quran. Not only can you explore, but also learn.

Quranic Park, open Sat to Thurs 8am to 10pm, Fri 3pm to 10pm, Dhs5 per person to visit Cave of Miracles and The Glasshouse, dm.gov.ae

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