30 things to do in Dubai before summer 2018 kicks in
We check out where you to head before the heat arrives
We check out where you to head before the heat arrives
1 Al fresco brunching at Bubbalicious Before brunches move inside for the summer, make sure you leave a Friday free for this Dubai institution – a splendid way to kick-back and relish in an unlimited serving of food and drinks. With live cooking stations, a massive selection of food, mixology counters, a live band, kids’ entertainment and more, you’ll need a few Fridays to get through all there is to eat Bubbalicious. Dhs480 per person (soft beverages), Dhs580 per person (sparkling grape), Dhs680 per person (bubbly), free (kids under 12). Fri 1pm-4pm.The Westin Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street (04 511 7139).
2 Admire the views from The Penthouse While there are plenty of places in Dubai that showcase our beloved city’s towering skyline, it would be hard to beat what The Penthouse has to offer. Featuring incredible vistas of Dubai Marina, this is one of the best rooftops to dine and drink on before you’ll want to take shelter indoors. With service and mixed drinks as slick as the venue itself, get in the views with a fancy beverage in hand before the heat sets in. Don’t miss the ladies’ night either, it’s the best in the city and picked up our 2018 gong at the Music & Nightlife Awards for its efforts. City View Lounge: open daily 11am-1am, Bar Terrace: open Sun-Wed 4pm-2am, Thu-Sat 4pm-3am. FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai (052 900 4868).
3 catch some camel racing Have you ever seen a camel run full pelt? Dubai’s traditional camel races are a spectacle to watch, so make sure you head down to Al Marmoum Camel Racetrack before the stands become too hot to cheer on your chosen camel. Free. 6pm onwards. Al Marmoum Camel Racetrack, Al Ain Road (600 555 559).
4 Check out the beachfront at La Mer This beach development by Meraas is the hottest destination in town at the moment, but it will get a whole lot hotter over the next few weeks, so why not take a look before things heat up a tad too much? From bouncing around on Hawa Hawa’s dune-shaped trampolines to checking out new restaurants (including Stars ’N’ Bars, with its hops vending machine), there’s heaps to do. Open Sun-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri-Sat 10am-midnight. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (800 637227).
5 Chill at The Beach We know one of the main reasons to head to a beach is to soak up the sun, but when the sand is red-hot and the sea is like a bath, it’s less fun. Sunbathe at The Beach at JBR, one of the most popular beaches in Dubai, before it gets too toasty, and if you’re a little melty, head to one of the ice cream parlours handily located right by the sand to cool off. Open 24 hours. Opposite JBR (800 637227).
6 Cool Down at a swim-up pool bar Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah’s pool is the perfect place to escape the heat. Its sheer size (1,200 sq m) and quality swim-up bar are enough to reel you in, but the views of the beach and palm-lined gardens only make each sip from your cold drink that much sweeter. Dhs300 (pool and beach access for two). Open daily, 10am-7pm. Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah (04 444 2000).
7 Cool off at the Ice Park Garden Glow season three is coming to an end for the hotter months. Before it does though, make sure to take in the unique ice sculpture park made with 5,000 tons of ice. Talented artists have put together a mini Dubai, an ice age exhibit and even a children’s play area to fully embrace the chilly atmosphere. Perfect to feel one last chill before the summer arrives. Dhs60 (adults), free (children under three). Open Sat-Wed 4pm-midnight, Thu-Fri 4pm-1am. Dubai Garden Glow, Gate 6 and 7, Zabeel Park (052 478 5605).
8 Cycle at Al Qudra lakes Cycling during the summer can be a miserable experience. To get all that pedalling out of your system, take on Al Qudra’s cycle route. Widely regarded as the foremost cycling area in Dubai, it has almost 100km of paved track in the desert. Don’t have a bike? Not to worry, as the Trek bicycle store rents them out so there’s no excuse not to get your pedal on. Free. Open 24 hours. Trek Bicycle Story: Daily, 6am-10pm. Al Qudra Cycle Course, Al Qudra Road (04 832 7377).
9 Explore the souks Going on a bargain hunt in Old Dubai can be tiring, especially with the beaming hot sun shining on your face. Get in that daytime jewellery shopping spree at the Gold Souk before getting stuck into the spices. You’ll come away with some pretty decent deals, too. Well, if your bargaining skills are on point, that is. Open daily 9.30am-9.30pm. Gold Souk Dubai, Deira.
10 Fall out of a plane at Skydive Dubai If you don’t have a photo of yourself skydiving 13,000 feet above Palm Jumeirah, you haven’t truly been introduced to Dubai. Before you fry in a summer sky, make sure you get your adrenaline fix by hurtling towards the Earth at 190kph. It sounds terrifying, but once you set foot outside that plane, you’ll feel on top of the world. Quite literally, in a sense. Dhs1,999. Open daily 10am-6pm. Dubai Marina (04 377 8888).
11 Free Yoga at The Beach An outdoor yoga session in Dubai can be exactly what you need to de-stress and get some quality stretching time in. But we also don’t want to be singed to a crisp while doing it. Make sure you head down to the The Beach at JBR and really nail your tree pose or cobra. Best part? All you need is a yoga mat, a towel, some water and your Emirates ID, no registration required. The sessions last until Wednesday May 16, so stretch out before it finishes for summer. Free. Until May 16. Every Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat 7am-8am. The Beach, JBR (800 637227).
12 Get a history lesson at Al Fahidi Fort and Dubai Museum Officially opened in 1971 but built way back in 1787, Al Fahidi Fort is a great place to get to know a thing or two about Dubai’s past. Learn about the interactions between different people and civilizations through Dubai’s history, and see just how far our city has come over the years. There are also several free museums in the nearby Al Fahidi Historical District. Separate coin, camel, coffee and horse museums are all in ambling distance and will fill an afternoon if seen in one go. Let the learning begin. Dhs3 (adults), Dhs1 (kids under six). Open Sat-Thu 8.30am-8.30pm, Fri 2.30pm-8.30pm. Bur Dubai, near Dubai Creek (04 353 1862).
13 Go on a wild safari at Dubai Safari Park Have a good laugh with a hyena about how crazy the weather will be at Dubai Safari Park. You’ll want to go on the Safari Village driving experience, where visitors board a bus and embark on a 75-minute journey through “Africa” and “Asia” to marvel at the beautiful creatures originating from the continents. Dhs85 (adults, including safari), Dhs50 (adults, excluding safari), Dhs30 (kids, including safari), Dhs20 (kids, excluding). Open daily, 9am-9pm. Al Warqa 5, opposite Dragon Mart (800 900).
14 Have An Al Fresco brekkie at Baker & Spice Pretty much everything these days can be deemed “Instagrammable”, but the views of Burj Khalifa from the terrace of Baker & Spice Souk Al Bahar are the ideal. Winning Best Breakfast at Time Out Dubai’s Restaurant Awards 2017, don’t miss out on this al fresco dining venue for a scrumptious brekkie. Opt for poached eggs atop a prettily presented serving of avocado, all the while admiring the scenes. It’s time to get snapping. Open daily 8am-11pm. Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai (04 425 2240).
15 Ogle at the beauty of the Butterfly Garden Boasting more than 35,000 butterflies fluttering about the place, expect plenty of magical moments with these beautiful creatures landing on you. Although, before the summer kicks in of course, as you don’t want these delicate beauties landing on sweaty skin, do you? For just Dhs50, experience nine-custom made domes filled with beautiful greenery and flying wings of colour all around. Dhs50. Open daily 9am-6pm. Next to Dubai Miracle Garden, Al Barsha South 3 (04 422 8902).
16 OUtdoor cinema at Galleria Mall While watching the latest blockbusters under Dubai’s starlit skies is a great experience during cooler weather, the city’s summer will ruin it when you’re sweating buckets while watching some explosive action. Get that al fresco screen time in while you still can at the Vox Outdoor Cinema. It’s equipped with some of the best visual technology and has a Dolby 7.1 surround sound system to make sure no outside noise will ruin crucial dialogue. The first Vox outdoor cinema is the ideal place to kick back and relax in a lounge-style setting, with large comfy VIP couches and bean bags. It’s the perfect way to catch a movie. From Dhs137. Open daily, various timings. The Galleria Mall, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah (60 059 9905).
17 Paddleboard around The Palm One of Dubai’s most relaxing pastimes will soon seem a lot less serene, as not even the ocean breeze will be enough to cool you off. Get in some stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) time with SeaYou at the Palm, which even includes SUP pilates and yoga. That will definitely requires some concentration to stay upright. Dhs125. Open Sun-Thu 9.30am-5.30pm, Fri-Sat 10am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-5pm. Sofitel The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 420 6100).
18 Picnic baskets at BookMunch Café When was the last time you had a picnic – with a proper basket brimming with sandwiches and all? It may be another few months before you can comfortably have a day out with friends or family, so book a BookMunch hamper and have the day on the grass. Each basket is filled with mini versions of the café’s popular sandwiches, signature salads, and a selection of cheese, nuts and pickles. It even has pinwheel sandwiches for little ones (let’s face it – and adults, too). The standard hamper will feed two to three people, or you can opt for a bigger basket for four to six picnickers. That’s the whole gang sorted, then. Dhs240 (breakfast basket), Dhs300 (lunch basket). Open daily 7.30am-10pm.Al Wasl Square, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah (04 388 4006).
19 Run along the beach at Jumeirah Corniche running track Before everyone bundles into their closest gym, get on that activewear and get those legs pumping, al fresco. The purpose-built running track is also Dubai’s longest. With a 14km stretch of sponge surface alongside the sands of Jumeirah Beach, runners can enjoy a trot from Dubai Marine Beach Resort all the way to Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The track also has 100m markers so you know how far you’re going (or not). There are plenty of shaded rest areas, just so you don’t feel obliged to do the full 14km without rest. Open 24 hours. Jumeirah Corniche, Jumeirah Beach Road.
20 Race along an outdoor track While the Dubai Autodrome in Motor City does offer an indoor go-karting track, it just doesn’t have the same feeling without Dubai’s gorgeous skies as your backdrop. Before you start cooking in that racing boiler suit, put in the time and leave your friends in the dust at Kartdrome’s lengthy outdoor track. Dhs137 (single 15 min sessions), Dhs252 (two sessions), Dhs357 (three sessions). Open daily, 8am-midnight. Dubai Autodrome, Motor City (04 367 8700).
21 Seek adventure at a desert safari If you’re looking to get a true sense of the deserts of Dubai before unbearable heat hits, the Platinum Heritage desert safari is your best bet. Drive around in a luxury Land Rover and explore the Dubai Conservation Camp. Get to the Bedouin camp on the back of a camel followed by a traditional welcome with Arabic coffee, dates and rose water. Dhs595 (conservation drive), Dhs1,595 (platinum safari). Daily, 6.30am onwards (conservation drive), 3.15pm onwards (platinum safari). Sheikh Zayed Road (04 440 9827).
22 Set up camp at Al Qudra Lakes If wildlife such as desert foxes and the oryx, a lake and lots of greenery excites you, set your sights on camping at the popular Al Qudra Lakes. Wake up to a stunning sunrise and gaze at the wildlife in their natural habitat. It’s the perfect way to signal the end of the cooler months. Open 24 hours. Al Qudra Road.
23 Smell the flowers of Dubai’s Miracle Garden With the Butterfly Garden only a hop and a skip away from the world’s largest flower garden, you may as well keep exploring. With 100 million blooming flowers, this place is more than just a land full of a variety of flowers. With sculptures of houses, hearts and even forming the shape of an Emirates Airbus A380 (which won a Guinness World Record), think of it more as an art exhibit with a wonderful aroma. The garden closes for the summer, so get those last few photos in. Dhs45 (adults), Dhs35 (kids aged three to 12), free (people with disabilities and kids under two). Open Sun-Thu 9am-9pm, Fri-Sat 9am-11pm. Dubai Miracle Garden, Al Barsha South 3 (04 422 8902).
24 Spend some quality time at an outdoor bar Always delivering great craic, make sure you head over to Time Out Dubai’s 2018 Pub of the Year The Irish Village before indoor socialising becomes the norm. Spend an afternoon chilling in the sprawling pub garden and it’s almost like you’re in the Emerald Isle itself (if Ireland was 30-plus°C, that is). Open Sun-Wed 11am-2am, Thu-Fri 11am-3am. Century Village, Garhoud (04 239 5000).
25 Splash around at Wild Wadi Water Park True, you can splash around at this super fun waterpark all year round, but it’s far more fun when it’s slightly cooler. Set in front of the stunning Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, this world-famous attraction is a hit with all the family. Wild Wadi offers more than 30 rides and attractions for all ages. The waterpark is themed around the tale of Juha, a character from the Arabian folklore. Be sure to try out all the rides, including the scream inducing Jumeirah Sceirah, or the Burj Surf, which will have you hurtling down a slide in a doughnut shaped inflatable. Want something a little more sedate? Just chill in the lazy river, you’ll lose track of time with all that floating around as it’s so relaxing. Dhs270 (adults), Dhs220 (kids). Open daily 10am-7pm. Umm Suqeim, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 348 4444).
26 Take a stroll at Zabeel Park It’s the last chance to enjoy the parks, because soon you won’t want to laze on the lawns. At just Dhs5 to enter, this vast expanse is a total bargain. The Gulf region’s first technology-themed park and at 47.5 hectares, it’s the perfect size to cater for the loads of families who descend here during peak leisure times. Along with including a full-size cricket ground and other sport activities, you can head up the Panoramic Tower for a great view of the surrounding area, catch an IMAX film at Mega Bowl or visit Dubai Garden Glow for something a bit different. Dhs5. Open Sat-Wed 8am-10pm, Thu-Fri 8am-11pm. Zabeel Park, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 398 6888).
27 Tee off at the golf course Before a blinding sun distracts you from your game, and you’re too hot to slog round 18 holes in the day, it’s a good idea to get those irons out. What better place to tee off than at the Emirates Golf Club? Have a game on the Majlis Course, or go for something a tad cooler when the sun goes down with the Faldo Course, the only fully floodlit 18 hole course in the UAE, for a spot of night golf. Prices vary. Open daily 6am-9pm. Sheikh Zayed Road (04 417 9999).
28 Treat yourself to iScream Ice cream helps solve problems. Far-fetched? Yes, but not as crazy as the curry ice cream flavour iScream offers. We can tell you first hand that the flavours are weird, wonderful, and you will want to try them all. Head down to this ice cream parlour at La Mer and get an ice-cold, sugary fix before the summer sets in and you’re relegated to eating it from a tub on the sofa. Open Sun-Thu 10am-midnight, Fri-Sat, 10am-1am. La Mer, Jumeirah 1 (04 220 8648).
29 Unleash your inner Tarzan at Aventura Obstacle Course It’s just not the same when you want to be the next Spiderman and all you can think about is how sunburnt you might get. Before the heat arrives, get in a thrilling adventure at Aventura. Set amid Mushrif Park’s natural tree forest, this 35,000 sq m adventure playground offers visitors around 80 activities, including rope walks, log balancing, ladders and zip lines. The whole space is split into six circuits, designed to accommodate any level of Tarzan wannabe. Dhs150 (general access), Dhs125 (children under 1.35 metres). Until June. Sun-Wed 9.30am-6pm, Thu-Fri 9am-10pm. Mushrif Park, Al Khawaneej Road (056 178 7616).
30 Wakeboard across the sea It’s exciting stuff when you’re being dragged along by a speedboat while trying to keep your board underneath your feet. Even more exciting? Getting that breeze in your face with cool sprinkles of water. However, it’s not as enjoyable when the sea reaches jacuzzi temperatures, so get gliding across the water, now. Dhs420 (15 minutes). Open daily, 9am-9pm. Sky and Sea Adventure, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah, JBR (050 724 6184).