25 reasons to love summer in Dubai

Things to do during the summer heat in Dubai

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1 It’s the perfect excuse to enjoy a movie marathon in the cinema. Dubai’s movie theatres are notorious for blasting the A/C whatever time of year, so grab a hoodie, a thick pair of socks and make sure you’ve got lots of room for gallons of salty popcorn. Jurassic World is out on Thursday June 11 – we’ll see you there!

2 True Detective is back. The second season of one of the greatest TV shows ever made hits Dubai homes – simultaneously with those in the US, too – from early July. Out? Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. In? Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn. Present as ever? Classy crime with a serious psychological edge.

3 Bored at the weekend? Don’t fancy the taxi home from brunch? Do a bunk in a five-star hotel. With the majority of high-end hotels in the city offering incredible residents’ deals over the baking summer months, check yourself in for some majorly discounted pampering.

4 Cut your DEWA bill in half! It’s that time of year again when you can turn your immersion heater off and enjoy hot water from the cold tap, plus finally give up your futile attempts to water the garden.

5 After a glorious eight months of al fresco drinking, you’ve now got an excuse to explore the city’s best indoor watering holes, as well as its coolest (and oldest) dive bars. Plot a route through Old Dubai and grab your best mates for an eye-opening evening on the tiles.

6 Learn to be a better cook. Many of your favourite restaurants and cafés will be closed for parts of the summer, so instead of surviving on home delivery, carpe spoon-um and get yourself in the kitchen. Don’t know where to start? Try a fun and easy evening class at SCAFA in JLT
(www.scafa.ae), where they’ll teach you how to make a simple three-course meal.

7 Already a whizz in the kitchen? Use summer to put your feet up and let your food come to you for a change. You’ve got three glorious months until September – just enough to expand your takeaway horizons and try some of the city’s new arrivals. Check out Red Star Wok in JLT and Business Bay (www.redstarwok.com, 04 458 6677) for Asian fare with gluten-free options and locally grown produce, or try new pizza chain Paavo’s (04 392 8709) in TECOM, which promises to assemble your pie in five minutes, plus the option of unusual toppings, such as banana.

8 Parking, parking everywhere and not a vehicle in sight! There’s only one time of year you’ll be able to park right outside Mall of the Emirates’ Carrefour entrance at noon on a Friday. Make the most of it.

9 Midday shopping. Forget evenings and the Eid weekend, when only oblivious tourists and the utterly insane would brave a mall. Summer lunchtimes and early afternoons are the best time to indulge in a bit of retail therapy, when there’s hardly anyone around and – get this, ladies – you won’t even have to queue ten minutes for the toilet in The Dubai Mall.

10 While we’re on it, the plunging of the Euro has meant a poor start to the year in many areas of high-end retail, so, with warehouses currently bulging with stock that needs to shift, expect a summer of unbelievable deals (many up to a rumoured 60 percent off) and bargainous fashion. This year’s Dubai Summer Surprises (Thursday July 23 to Saturday September 5) should be a corker.

11 Read a book. Our pick? Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman. An historic literary event, this is the previously lost book the iconic novelist submitted to her publishers before her Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird. The manuscript – which features many of the same characters – was discovered at the end of last year.

12 Write a book. Ductac is running eight-week courses over summer the on creative writing, at either entry level or advanced (04 341 4777).

13 Married men of Dubai – once wives and children have been bid tearful farewells, it’s time to move onto the sofa and embark on a glorious, entirely uninterrupted FIFA marathon on your PS4 (which, if you haven’t already purchased, should be the only thing you need to leave the house to buy this summer).

14 In fact, before you plonk yourself down, it’s worth noting that June sees the start of new car silly season, with a whole host of deals on offer across the city. That sports car your other half always said was an ‘unnecessary extravagance’? Well, they’re not here, are they? Be daft to let a bargain slip through your fingers… Right?

15 Beginning to feel like a bit of a shapeless blob? Fed up with trying to wrestle family-sized pizza boxes into the garbage chute? Dubai’s gyms are significantly quieter during summer, and if you’ve packed the kids off to their grandparents for the school holidays, you’ll have plenty of time on your hands to embark on Operation Dad-sans-bod.

16 It’s the perfect time to try a new sport. Returning to the World Trade Centre from Sunday June 21 to Saturday August 29, Dubai Sports World will boast 22,000 square metres of pro-standard sports courts, a 400-metre running track and a massive skateboarding and BMX park, all bathed
in glorious indoor A/C.

17 That sound a bit like hard work? Then time to indulge in some great bar sports, like the bucking bronco and ping-pong ball-based hops antics of Rodeo Drive (above The Stables on Sheikh Zayed Road, 04 386 9617) or the pool tables at Q43 (Media One Hotel, 04 427 1000). Or, if even that sounds a bit of an effort, hit the sports bars, like the recently revamped Nezesaussi (04 428 5888), for Wimbledon from Monday June 29 or The Open, Thursday July 16 to Sunday 19.

18 Dubai Marina dwellers – you may have been indignantly resisting riding the city’s newest mode of transport while the weather held out, but now’s the time to admit defeat and hop aboard the city’s trusty Tram to be delivered to your door. Cheap as chickpeas and gloriously sweat-free.

19 Have a clear-out. Head to www.takemyjunkuae.com and book a van to come round to yours, to take away all your unwanteds today.

20 Dive with the sharks. You’ve been wandering past them in the Dubai Mall all flippin’ (ahem) year and now, with the queues at a minimum and the waters being a little too warm for scuba diving al fresco, it’s the perfect time to find out more from www.alboomdiving.com.

21 Christmas is coming early! Yalumba’s Mid-Summer Christmas Brunch (Dhs499, Friday June 12, 12.30pm-3.30pm, 04 702 2455) will see the restaurant decked out in mind-bendingly festive decorations, with traditional dishes and singalong hits all day. Those who turn up in fancy dress stand a chance to win a bottle of bubbly.

22 Speaking of prizes, it’s when Dubai’s pubs are at their quietest that you stand the best chance of finally winning the big bucks at your favourite weekly quiz. You and your three thickest mates versus just two other teams? At the very least, you’re guaranteed third, and all for the price of a pint.

23 Escape the city with one of our essential summer escapes (see our free GCC-wide guide complete with this issue!)

24 If you’ve done all the shopping, eating, drinking and exercising you can tolerate, it’s time you slowed down with the rest of Dubai. Embrace the serenity of the season and treat yourself to a pamper-packed spa day. From Monday June 1, Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray (04 453 0456) is offering a full Turkish hammam experience, pool and beach access and entry to Sinbad’s Kids Club for your mini-mes for Dhs500 per person. And because no-one really gets sick of eating, dinner at Amala is also included.

25 During this typically charitable time of year, everyone’s looking for a way they can pitch in. If you’ve got room, why not foster a cat or dog? Summer sees a huge increase in the number of animals abandoned in the city, and rescue organisations find themselves overwhelmed. Reach out to the likes of Feline Friends
(www.felinefriendsdubai.com), Animal Action (www.facebook.com/animalactionabudhabi) and K9 Friends (www.k9friends.com) to find out how you can help. 

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