Work’s over – now it’s action time! Make the most of your freedom every day with our hot list of the best post-work fun
1 Smash your boss’s face in Take out all your frustration after a hard day’s work with some Muay Thai boxing – while getting in shape, rather than fired. Colosseum Muay Thai (04 337 2755; www.colosseumuae.com.) Dhs400 for 12 sessions of any class; 12 sessions of personal training Dhs1,500. Muay Thai (050 475 2928; email@example.com.) Hayya Gym, Meadows Sun and Fri 6pm, Tue and Sat 7pm; Angsana Spa gym; Marina Thu 6pm. Dhs50 members; Dhs60 non-members at Hayya, Dhs65 at Angsana.
2 Shoot your friends Feeling frustrated after being stuck at your desk for hours? Grab a few friends (maybe not those you’re close to) and release your inner animal via the vehicle of a paint gun. Warning: it hurts. Pursuit Games Paintball Dubai (050 651 4583; www.paintballdubai.com) Next to Wonderland Park. 10am-10pm. Dhs85 for two hours with 100 paintballs.
3 Chuck paint around Are you a frustrated Picasso? Find out at this airy Al Quoz warehouse, where you can get a canvas, paint, brushes and a few hours of chilled art therapy. Thejamjar (04 341 7303) Al Quoz, open until 9pm. Dhs195 for a four-hour painting session.
4 Get with the lingo In a city of so many tongues those with just one can feel inadequate. Enrol on a language course and you’ll get to make funny noises all afternoon. And at Eton you can even attend one lesson for free. Alliance Française (04 335 8712; www.afdubai.com) Opposite American Hospital, Umm Hurair. 9am-1pm, 4pm-8pm, seven-week term for Dhs1,000. Eton Institute of Languages (04 360 4482/www.eton.ac) Knowledge Village Block 4, F13.
5 Play sweet music Expel the office blues by playing your heart out. What could possibly better promote a harmonious state of mind than a melodious pastime? The Music Institute (04 390 0786; www.themusic-uae.com), Jumeirah. Individual lessons at Dhs140 each for all ages. Centre for Musical Arts (04 341 8872; www.cmadubai.com) Sheikh Zayed Road, 12 weeks term fees for Dhs1,350.
6 Make a splash It might be hot outside, but Dubai’s temperature controlled pools offer year-round cooling comfort. And it’s one of the very best ways to stay fit, am or pm. Excel Sports Services (050 794 3656; www.excelsportsuae.com) Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, and across Dubai.
7 Stare at the sea OK, so the concept of sitting for hours staring out to sea hoping for a bite might not be everyone’s kettle of fish, but you’ll feel the thrill when you catch something. Soolyman Sportfishing Charters (04 348 8925) offers night fishing charters, up until 9pm, later when there’s a full moon. Dhs2,300 for four hours.
9 Avoid getting sand in your sandwiches You might not know it, but the beaches are buzzing during summer – just not during the day. Come sunset there are hordes of people snacking on Spinneys salads, strolling or having an evening swim. Jumeirah Beach Park (04 349 2555) Sun-Wed 8am-10:30pm, Thu-Fri 8am-11pm. Al Mamzar Beach Park (04 296 6201) Alexandria Street, 9am-6pm daily.
10 Pretend you’re a big snowball Head over to Dubai’s famous indoor skiing arena, and forget about the sweaty temperatures outside. Instead, go snowboarding, skiing or just have a snowball fight with some pals. Ski Dubai (04 409 4000; www.skidxb.com) Mall of the Emirates.
11 Find your inner child Release the prankster in you after a long day filled with meetings, water coolers and coffee cups. Go to any of the arcades in various malls. You won’t seem so corporate when you’re screaming your head off on the rides. Magic Planet (04 341 4444) Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre. Sega Republic The Dubai Mall, opening soon.
12 Bend over backwards Feeling frazzled post-6pm? Get to the park or a beach, watch the sun go down and join a yoga group session. Feeling better? You certainly will do. Try out classes by Core Direction as they have classes in Safa Park and on the JBR Beach for Dhs500 for 10 classes. (055 789 7968; www.coredirection.com) Every Sun and Wed at 9pm, Mon and Wed at 7pm. Check out the Body and Mind section for more yoga venues.
13 Strike it lucky Ten-pin bowling’s a great way to use a little spare cash. Bring along a few workmates, they’ll be bowled over by the fun. Maybe invest in some kitsch bowling shirts, Happy Days-style. Just remember to ditch the shoes before you leave. Dubai Bowling Centre (04 339 1010) Al Quoz, Sun-Thu 5pm-12 midnight, Dhs15 per person; weekends 10am-12 midnight, Dhs20 per person. Check out the Sports section for more bowling venues.
14 Get booked in How many times have you told friends that you love reading, but simply can’t find the time to do it? The answer could be a book club. Peer pressure will have you finishing the novels super-quick. Then you can discuss the novels you’ve read with a brand-new bunch of friends. Because you need a bit more pressure in your life. KutubClub Meets at The Third Line Gallery, Al Quoz readkutub.wordpress.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seal Book Club Contact email@example.com.
15 Cook out Tired of coming home to a ready meal and a can of pop? Then why not learn to make sushi and master the world of fine wine? It should make for interesting dinner parties. Cin Cin (04 311 8316) The Fairmont, 7:30pm-9:30pm, the first Wednesday of each month, Dhs185. Learn all about wine and get un-limited cheese samplings. Nobu (04 426 0760) Atlantis, 9am the first Saturday of every month, Dhs1,250, learn to make sushi and chocolate box and eat our own work.
16 Chute up Ditch the men for a Thursday night and go to Wild Wadi, when it’s only open for women. What could be better than a water park? A water park without blokes! Men, cease your whining. You can use the park on every other day. Wild Wadi (04 348 4444; www.jumeirah.com/Hotels-and-Resorts/Wild-Wadi). Open from 9pm-1am.
17 Get crafty Work out your stresses with a little creativity on the potter’s wheel or a box of beads at a craft class. It’ll soon take your mind off the robotic routine of your day. Bead Palace and Accessories (04 395 2771) Villa 5, Jumeirah Beach Road. Café Ceramique (04 344 7331) Jumeirah Town Centre.
18 Enjoy a movie experience Spend the night relaxing with pals at the flicks in a pool! Movies & Munchies at The Desert Palm and Drive-In Movies both offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy re-runnings of classic films, in comfort. The perfect after work plan we think. Drive-In Movies (04 390 5600) The Montgomerie Residents and children under 15 Dhs 15, resident’s guests Dhs25, adults Dhs45. Movies & Munchies (04 323 8888) Desert Palm Resort & Hotel Admission Dhs30. Cine-Splash (04 361 8811) The Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club Admission Dhs35.
19 Climb up the walls Since you can’t plan on going mountain climbing any time soon, try out the climbing wall at Wafi, which offers an air-conditioned alternative that can satisfy the closet adventurer in all of us. Novices need not fret, there are climbs for all. Pharoah’s Club, Wafi (04 324 0000) Group lessons available. Dhs40 per two-hour session. Check the sports section for more places with climbing walls.
20 Feel the power of bhangra The latest fitness craze brings together bhangra tunes and a fun workout. It’s great for your hips and tummy, not to mention great fun. Palladium, JLT (04 341 1040; www.powerbhangradubai.com) Sunday 7:30pm, Tuesday 7:30pm Dhs600 for a six- week package.
21 Glide on ice Few things are more liberating than a graceful glide round the ice and, if you’re not particularly good, you can still have a laugh just trying to stay upright. Watch those fingers, though. Dubai Ice Rink (04 437 3111; www.dubaiicerink.com) The Dubai Mall, Dhs50 for skate hire and two-hour session.
22 Get quizzical It could be group bonding, the chance to settle a few scores, or just an opportunity to prove you’re ridiculously brainy. Plenty of Dubai’s institutions offer quiz nights and they’re the perfect way to augment your evening tipple. Player’s Lounge (04 398 8840) Bur Dubai, 9:30pm, Monday nights. Easy Tiger Quiz show (04 332 2400) Fibber Magee’s on Sheikh Zayed Road, 8pm, every Tuesday night.
23 Be a Scrabble rouser Is wordplay your forte? Know a few strange words full of Qs and Zs? Then we suggest you spend your nights playing the greatest word game of them all: Scrabble. The Dubai Scrabble Club holds regular events, but does move around. To find out about future meetings and venues you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
24 Dance the night away Let yourself loose on Dubai’s (studio) dance floors. You’ll find classes for all types of dances from salsa to Bollywood dance moves. Sign up with friends so you won’t be nervous and uncoordinated all alone. Nora Dance Group (050 875 0111; www.noradancegroup.com) Kadomoz Studio, Dubai Marina Mall. Hip-hop dance classes for adults. Mondays at 7pm-8pm. Salsa at Malecon (04-346 1111) Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa, Sun 8pm-10pm, Dhs35.
25 Laugh Out Loud! Comedy Institute A horse walks into a bar, the barman asks: ‘Why the long face?’ If this is your best joke it’s time you sought professional help. Get down to Ductac – and try tapdancing if the jokes don’t get any better – they teach that too. Ductac (050 927 3621; email LOL@vivadubai.com) Saturdays.
26 Go happy Smart drinkers in the city time their nights out with military precision… to hit happy hour. Any number of bars in Dubai offer such promotions – often, strangely, for more than hour. Check out Time Out’s Bars section to find out what deals are going on.
27 Hit the pool (and snooker) Exercise some of those workday blues through that age-old method of hitting stuff with a stick. There are plenty of places to play pool across Dubai, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Cue Club is one of the latter, though it’s not the ritziest place in town. Rock Bottom Café (04 398 3888), Bur Dubai, 12 noon-3am daily. The Underground Pub Stop (04 399 5000), Habtoor Grand Hotel, daily. Cue Club (04 336 5551) Opposite Lamcy Plaza, Bur Dubai.
28 Perfect your harmony Get in tune with your fellow Dubaians every Tuesday by joining Dubai Harmony. Join the group to sing out the sorrows of your working day, and find satisfaction in a city where most things don’t sound quite so, well, harmonious. Jumeirah Primary School (056 690 7052, email@example.com) Rehearsals Tuesdays 7.30pm-10pm.
29 Form a band You don’t live to work, you work to live – right? And what’s life without a little creativity? So spread your musical wings and fly out onto Dubai’s musical scene. And don’t worry if you don’t have any pals to play along with just check out the ‘Band Together’ section in our Music pages for potential bandmates. Need a place to rehearse? No problem. The Fridge (04 347 7793) Al Quoz, Dhs100 per hour Early Bird (04 338 7090) Al Quoz, Dhs100 per hour, Dhs300 for four hours.
30 Face up to it Look like a clown after slapping on the mascara? You could do worse than learning a few tips from the professionals at Cleopatra. The Cleopatra and Steiner Beauty Training Center (04 324 0250; www.cleopatra-steiner.com/csbtc/index2.htm) Wafi Complex Faces Free make over with helpful tips on what make-up to use. (04 368 5594; www.faces-me.com) Book in advance, in various locations throughout Dubai.
31 Shoot to thrill Arrange an office outing where you get to snipe your colleagues with lasers in a neon-lit dungeon-like maze. That’s what we call light entertainment. Dubai Autodrome (04 436 1422; www.dubaiautodrome.com),2pm-10pm Tue-Sun, Dhs80 for 15 minutes; membership is a single payment of Dhs10.
32 Learn your grapes If Frasier has taught us anything, it’s that sounding intelligent is as simple as listing off some hoity-toity wine labels. Build your vino vocabulary after hours at a wine tasting. If you’re worried about sounding dumb, just talk about the bold tannins, as long as it’s not a white, obviously. Oscar’s Vine Society (800 276 963 (CROWNE)). The Crowne Plaza, Sheik Zayed Road. Wine tastings, Wednesdays from 7pm-9pm. Free, Cin Cin (04 311 8316). The Fairmont. Wine tastings the first Wednesday of every month, 7.30pm-9.30pm. Dhs185.
33 Sing like a star In Japanese ‘karaoke’ literally means ‘hollow orchestra’, so why not try orchestral manoeuvres for a lark? Harry Ghatto’s is Dubai’s karaoke hub, of course, and its come-one-come-all attitude means that singing in a group is positively encouraged – great for the shyer vocalists. Harry Ghatto’s (04 319 8088) Jumeirah Emirates Towers, 8pm-3am daily.
34 Horse around Go out early in the morning while it’s cool for a quick ride to clear your mind. Once the weather improves you can also go straight from work for a trot round a field or over some sand dunes. Just don’t forget to bring your chaps. Desert Palm (04 323 8888), On Hatta Road past International City Al Ahli Racing Club (04 298 8408) Al Qusais Bab Al Shams (04 364 7530) Follow signs from Sheikh Zayed Road, junction four.
35 Be a cheap date Dubai is full of early-bird meal offerings, here’s a selection. Spectrum on One (04 311 8316) The Fairmont. Get 50 per cent off your dinner and drinks bill if you call ahead and quote ‘offer TOD 50’. Offer is valid on week nights until Sep 17. Teatro (04 312 2202) Towers Rotana Hotel. Get 50 per cent off your dinner bill every day between 6pm-8pm (last order at 7.15pm). Az.u.r. (04 319 4000) The Harbour Hotel & Residence. Enjoy unlimited drinks and food for Dhs290 from 7pm-11pm.
36 Picture this Don’t just take home an album full of grinning/gurning mates taken in random bars around Dubai – get out there and take a wander to really look at the city you live in. Digital Dubai (www.uae-photo.com), Dubai Lomographic Society (firstname.lastname@example.org).
37 Be a drama queen Release your inner diva with Dubai Drama Group. Amateur thesps unite regularly at Ductac, where you can lose yourself for a few hours in the spotlight. Ductac, (04 333 1155; www.dubaidramagroup.org) Mall of the Emirates.
38 Take art Scope out new artistic talent or minesweep for free drinks. Either way nothing breaks up your week like the opening of an art exhibition.
40 Eat all night Nowhere to go? Grab some friends and soak things up at a 24-hour diner. And, really, what better way to express your independence from the system than over a 4am bowl of chilli? Counter Culture: (04 319 4000). The Harbour Hotel & Residence. Zaatar w Zeit: (800 922 827). Various locations. Al Reef (04 396 1980). Karama, near Karama Post Office.