7 great indoor activities to try in the UAE this summer
Dubai Sports World
With summer well and truly here, it’s tough to go out for any physical sporting activity without turning back around to bask in the A/C at home. Here’s an alternative before we all get too lazy and blame the heat, Dubai Sports World is offering an indoor and air-conditioned venue for three-months for everyone who enjoys playing sports. From football to badminton, you can book a pitch or a court with your mates regardless of your skill level. If you’re not quite a team player, you can always pop in and go for a run on the free running track or even have a go on the Ninja Warrior Obstacle course.
Where: Dubai World Trade Centre
When: May 17 to September 8
Price: Free entry
Contact: +971 4 306 4000, website
3D Mini-golf at JBR
With themed rooms and neon backlit panoramas, we’re witnessing a whole new way of playing mini golf with friends and family. Everything glows in the dark, and we mean, everything. With Chroma Depth glasses, watch as the 3D effects painted on the walls come to life. Take out an hour or two from your day and spend it trying to get a hole-in-one.
Where: Glowing Rooms, Dubai Marina JBR, Bahar Plaza Level
When: 2pm-12am, Sunday to Wednesday and 2pm-1am, Thursday to Saturday
Contact: +9714 565 7621, website
This one’s for lovers of the cinema. The independent picture house is back for the summer at Al Aserkal Avenue. With an aim to bring internationally acclaimed films to Dubai, Cinema Akil airs movies, documentaries and animations almost every night. This week they’re playing Fierce: An American Film, which showcases the trails and tribulations of women on their journey to success. The industrial outdoor cinema opens at 6 pm when the weather cools down a bit so, hunker down and sink into a comfy beanbag.
Where: Warehouse G59, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz Industrial Area
Price: Free entry
Contact: +97158 524 6362, website
Beat the heat by flying in a vertical, air conditioned wind tunnel that aims to give you a taste of what it feels like to skydive. First time flyers will get a one-on-one training session with a certified trainer, flying gear and two flights in the tunnel. And if you’re a UAE resident, you get a discount. Nice.
Where: Mirdif City Centre
When: 12pm-10pm, Sunday to Wednesday; 12pm-11pm,Thursday; 10am-11pm, Friday and Saturday
Price: AED220 and AED185 for UAE residents
Contact: +971 4 231 6292, website
If only our frustration with this year’s summer heat would evaporate too. While it’s not socially acceptable to go around smashing things in public, Smash Room has created a safe space to do just that. Items to destroy include old TVs, stereos and glass ware. Weapons include gold baseball bats, golf clubs and sledge hammers. Ps. if you bring your own items, it's cheaper.
Where: Smash Room, 195 Umm Sequim Street, Al Quoz Industrial 4.
Price: From AED 99
Contact: +971 4 339 7810, website
The double story park is home to three great virtual experiences; Dubai Drone, Ape X and John Wick Chronicles. Our favourite being "Dubai Drone". Set in 2050, the ride is based around a taxi journey in the sky. The only issue is, the sky is full of traffic and your taxi spins out of control – great fun.
Where: The Dubai Mall, Level 2
Price: From AED 45
Contact: +971 4 448 8483, website
The Sharjah Art Foundation has a new permanent exhibition, the Rain Room, but with a twist. The ceiling to floor rainfall does not get you wet. Cleverly installed with motion sensors, you can walk through and part the waterfall to ensure you stay dry. Talk about AI. When you’re tired of the heat, check out the Rain Room for some much needed rain, without the fuss of carrying an umbrella and drying-off afterwards.
Where: Sharjah Art Foundation
When: Saturday to Thursday: 9am-9pm, Friday: 4pm-11pm
Price: AED 25
Contact: +9716 544 4113, website