Visit the zoo, go on a Segway and more cooler evening summer fun
Al Ain Zoo Get your furry fix at Al Ain Wildlife Park, home to more than 4,000 animals, which is advising guests to make like its inhabitants and become more active in the twilight hours until the weather starts to cool down again. Located in roundabout-loving Al Ain, the zoo will open its doors from 4pm until 10pm until the end of September, with feedings scheduled throughout the evening. We recommend visiting from 6pm onwards, when the sun has set and temperatures have cooled slightly, as there’s still plenty of walking to be done if you want to see all the animals.
Visiting a zoo often inspires the urge for a tactile experience, especially among kids. Luckily, not only does Al Ain Zoo have a petting area, there is also the option to feed giraffes. Tickets can be bought on the door, and sessions take place five times a day – it’s an opportunity to get up close to these beautiful creatures and interact in a mutually safe way, not to mention take a souvenir photo for your Facebook profile. And after all that, you’ll be able to head back to your no-pets-allowed apartment, safe in the knowledge you’re not the one who’s going to have to do the clearing up. Dhs15 (adults), Dhs5 (kids aged 11 and under), free for kids under three. Open daily 4pm-10pm (Ramadan hours 6pm-midnight). Al Ain, www.awpr.ae (03 782 8188).
Horse riding Morning lessons and desert rides at Mushrif Park’s equestrian centre may have been put on hold for summer, but evening lessons and rides are still running from 5pm until 9pm. Riding through the park in the moonlight is one of the city’s most relaxing outdoor activities, and a surprisingly little-known pleasure. Dhs300 for 90-minute desert ride; packages from Dhs1,400, including eight rides to be taken in one month. Mushrif Equestrian and Polo Club, Mirdif, www.mushrifequestrianclub.com (04 257 1256).
Camel excursion Climb aboard a ship of the desert before learning about the important role camels have played in the history of the UAE and its people. While parading around the desert landscape, keep your eyes open for owls, foxes and other nocturnal wildlife. Dhs180 per person for a 90-minute excursion. Timings vary. Al Sahra Desert Resort Equestrian Centre, Dubailand, www.jebelali-international.com (04 427 4055).
Segway glide Take a trip around Downtown Dubai on two wheels as the sun starts to drop at around 6pm. Not only will you take in some of the city’s most impressive landmarks, but you’ll also have a chance to brag afterwards about how you mastered the ‘intuitive’ technology of the super-flash Segway. Dhs150 per person for 30 minutes, Dhs300 for 60 minutes. Open Tue-Sun 10am-7pm, closed Mon and during Ramadan. The Pavilion, Downtown Dubai (056 146 4093).
Evening desert safari These desert excursions still run throughout summer, with many offering tempting reduced rates. Once you’ve been picked up from your home or hotel, get ready for 45 minutes of dune bashing, which this particular operator promises ‘will make you scream’, followed by an opportunity for sunset photography. Once you’ve arrived at the desert camp, you can take a camel ride, smoke shisha, have henna applied to your hands or feet, take photos in traditional Arabic dress and watch two dance performances. An Arabic barbecue buffet will be served, and the package includes refreshments throughout. Dhs175 per person until August 31. 3pm-10pm. Desert Safari Dubai, various locations, www.desertsafaridubai.com (050 276 8111).