14 indoor sports to try in Dubai

From Ninja Warrior to archery tag, try these top indoor sports


Who said golf wasn’t an indoor sport? These will set you straight.

Glow in the dark mini golf at Tee & Putt

Sure, you’re not going to get fit anytime soon with this one, but we guarantee you’ll have a whole load of fun. Not just for kids, this space-themed mini golf course will see you making your intergalactic way around 18 holes, to the backdrop of spacemen, aliens and planets.
It will test your putting skills (applause if you score a hole-in-one) but more importantly, it all takes place in icy cool air conditioning, which is welcome relief this summer.
Dhs50. Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Wafi, Oud Metha, www.teeandputt.com (04 357 3290).

Golf simulator at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Fancy a round in August without becoming a sweaty mess? Head indoors and play virtually. The simulator at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club features high-speed camera technology to capture swing path impact and ball flight, for a realistic experience. You can play more than 140 courses, including the Dubai Creek Championship course itself, without having to venture outdoors.
Dhs120 (one hour). Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira (04 380 1919).

Obstacle courses

Fan of global TV show Ninja Warrior? You’ll love these indoor obstacle courses.

Bounce X Park
Want something a little different from your standard trampolining? Head to this one, quicksmart. Bounce X Park opened earlier this summer and is Ninja Warrior-esque in its execution. We’re not saying you need to be an Olympic athlete to tackle it, but some degree of fitness will make the experience all the more enjoyable (either way you’re sure to break a sweat). You’ll come up against 18 challenging obstacles, including a zip wire, bouldering wall, parallel hanging bars, up and unders, a slack line, cargo rope, inclined balance beam, rolling logs and more.
Dhs100 (one hour), Dhs190 (two hours). Open Sun-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu 10am-midnight; Fri 9am-midnight; Sat 9am-9pm, Al Quoz, www.bounce.ae (04 321 1400).

Ninja Warrior at Dubai Sports World
Named after that very TV show, you’ll have to catch this one quick, as it’s at Dubai Sports World, which closes its doors on Saturday September 2. It’s new to the indoor sports centre this year and is run by Just Play. Open to all levels, it’s pitted as being “the perfect fun-filled challenge”. There are 14 obstacles to face, including the Sea of Swings, Floating Bridge and Warped Wall. You have the option to race against the clock, or just have fun and tackle it at your own pace. It’s tough going, but you’ll feel justifiably proud at the end.
Dhs50 (30 minutes), Dhs90 (one hour). Dubai World Trade Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.dubaisportsworld.ae (04 306 4000).

Snow sports

What’s cooler than being ice cool? Ice cold. Or so sings Outkast, at least. Though we’d be inclined to agree. Especially when you’ve got these facilities in the desert.

Disco ice skating at The Dubai Mall
Make your way to the Olympic-sized ice rink at The Dubai Mall to throw your skating shapes. As well as learner and family sessions, it also hosts evening disco sessions. Gather some friends and hit the rink (hopefully not literally) where the resident DJ will spin a range of R&B, hip-hop, dance and international music.
Dhs60 (public session), Dhs80 (disco session). Check website for timings. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiicerink.com.

Snowboarding at Ski Dubai
If you want to learn to snowboard but don’t have the time or dirhams to travel, a quick cab to Al Barsha could be for you. This massive indoor ski slope is housed in Mall of the Emirates and offers skiing, snowboarding and more (there are also penguins to see if you don’t fancy actually getting on the slopes). Snowboarding discovery lessons start at Dhs185, including all the kit you’ll need, and it’s a fun way of spending the afternoon when it’s too hot to be out pounding the pavements.
Dhs185. Open daily 10am-1am. Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (800 386).

Team tactics

Gather up your mates and try out one of these indoor team sports this summer.

Archery Tag at Flip Out Dubai

Round up nine of your sportiest pals to form two teams, and from then on its survival of the fittest. If you’re after a Hunger Games-style activity (with, y’know, less actual destruction), this could be for you. There’s bows and (foamed-tipped) arrows, ensuring it’s all safe play here. You’re aiming to hit your opponents, but also their targets to ensure you’re crowned the winners. You’ll need to be quick-thinking, have a good aim and to be fast on your feet to get the most out of it, but ultimately, it’s all about the fun. Channel your inner Robin Hood, gather your own band of Merry Men and you’re good to go.
From Dhs70 per person, per hour. Open Sun-Wed noon-10pm; Thu-Fri 10am-midnight; Sat 10am-10pm. Al Quoz, www.flipout.ae (600 567 568).

Bubble Soccer

If you haven’t ever played football in a bubble, then, well you’re probably not the only one, but it’s worth a go anyway. Bubble Soccer is, essentially, how it sounds. Get into a plastic bubble (legs out) and start playing football. You’ll probably end up on the floor a few times (it’s a contact sport), but it’s a great laugh, too. You don’t need to be David Beckham to take to the pitch, either. Word of warning though, if you’re looking to escape the heat, you may find yourself fairly toasty holed up in that giant plastic ball.
Call for prices and timings. Cover Drive Sports Academy, Al Quoz, www.bubblesoccer.ae (050 775 4840).


Not only is trampolining brilliant fun, it’s also surprisingly good for your fitness. Store away those excuses that it’s too hot to exercise in August, this sport you can enjoy in the joy of full air-conditioning.

Bounce Fit at Bounce

Did you know that ten minutes of jumping is equivalent in the fitness stakes to 30 minutes of jogging? We didn’t either. Those good folks at Bounce, however, certainly do. Based in Al Quoz, Bounce isn’t just a fun place for the kids’ birthday parties (though you can do that, too). The free-jumping venue is all business when it comes to fitness. Opt for a Bounce Fit class – a 60-minute high-intensity, low-impact workout that bolsters core fitness, improves muscle-tone and lifts the heart rate.
Dhs80 (one-hour class). Sun, Tue, Wed 9am, 7pm and 9pm; Mon 7pm; Thu 9am and 7pm; Sat 8am and 7pm. Al Quoz, www.bounce.ae (04 321 1400).

Flippin’ Fitness at Flip Out Dubai
Flip Out hosts a range of sessions of all abilities. For fat-burning, however, sign up for the rebound class called Flippin’ Fit. Take part in resistance training, which tones your muscles while burning calories and increasing your cardiovascular fitness. If you’re looking for firmer limbs and increased agility, then it’s time to get jumping.
Dhs75 (Flippin Fit class). Mon and Wed 7.30pm-8.30pm; Sat 9am-10am, Al Quoz, www.flipout.ae (600 567 568).

Dodgeball at Jump Boxx
With more than 120 interconnected trampolines at JumpBoxx you’ll have your work cut out for you here. However, what we’d recommend is trying out Dodgeball championships, which happen twice a year. Teams of eight can register for Dhs499.
Dhs79 (one-hour jumping). Open Sun-Wed noon-10pm (ladies-only Wed 7pm-10pm); Thu-Fri 10am-11pm; Sat 10am-11pm. Mirdif (04 288 5744).


After all that high-octane fun, relax, stretch and reset at a yoga class with a difference.

Underwater yoga at Atlantis The Palm

Sure, yoga can be done inside all year round, but we’re here to talk about unusual indoor sports. And you can’t get more unusual than yoga in an aquarium. The “underwater” yoga class takes place at The Lost Chambers aquarium and it’ll have a calming effect on your nerves, quieten your mind and chill you out. Plus, according to research from the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth University and the University of Exeter, watching fish in an aquarium can reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Dhs120. Fri 8am-9am. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 2000)

Swing yoga at Voyoga
Essentially yoga in a hammock. These gravatonic swings are made from parachute material, and the studio says the benefits of this type of yoga includes therapeutic relief for compressed joints. Plus, you’ll feel graceful while building that muscle tone.
Dhs90. Call for timings. Barsha Heights (04 553 8630).

And finally...

Something totally different.

The Trip by Les Mills at GFX

Avoid Dubai’s roads (and heat) with The Trip by global fitness company Les Mills. During this new virtual reality spin class, cyclists immerse themselves on a fast-paced, digital journey. It’s designed to be a high-intensity workout, combining bursts of sprints with periods of rest as you prepare for the next leg.
From Dhs85. Mon 6.30pm; Tue and Sun 7pm; Wed 5pm and 6.30pm; Sat 5.30pm. GFX, F52 Bay Avenue, Business Bay (04 425 5940).

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