20 cool ways to enjoy Dubai’s great outdoors this season...
Al Qudra cycle track
Almost 100km of winding cycle track snakes its way through the desert sands of Al Qudra. As it’s set away from the road, you don’t have to fear being side-swiped by an absent minded car driver. Instead, you can drink in the unrestricted views of the barren landscape, and maybe spot a camel or four while you’re speeding along.
For the best experience, you should drag yourself out of bed at 4am to beat the sunrise. There’s nothing quite like making your way along the track as the sun starts to peek over the top of the sand dunes. Absolute bliss.
Where: Al Qudra
There’s something slightly more liberating about lifting weights and getting fit outside the confines of a gym. Sure, there’s a somewhat intimidating element to jumping into a packed outdoor gym, especially with those chiselled specimens that practically live there, but it’s way more fun than staring at the same four walls as you pump iron. Our pick? The one down at Skydive Dubai.
Where: Skydive Dubai Drop Zone
As well as a packed racing calendar full of impossibly fast vehicles for you to watch, the race track also serves as a health and fitness venue. For example, every Wednesday between 6pm and 9pm, you can hire a bike, or turn up with your own, and unleash your inner Chris Froome around the super-slick circuit.
Where: Motor City
The Palm running track
We’re still surprised by how many people still don’t know there’s a fantastic running track on The Palm. Nestled off the beaten track beyond the shops of the Golden Mile is a superb area for getting your jog on. There’s also a more visibly impressive track around the crescent, which offers fantastic views of the Arabian Gulf as you stride your way to fitness.
Where: The Palm, Jumeirah
What better way to achieve your zen than practicing your “downward dog” in the great outdoors. There are hundreds of regular classes to indulge in over the next six to seven months, so you’ll always find a yogi willing to put you through your paces. If you want a bespoke setting, check out the yoga at Talise Spa that takes place on the beach in front of crystal clear waters.
Where: Madinat Jumeirah
Is there a more poignant time in the calendar to signal winter than the Rugby Sevens? The answer is no. The sporting event is merely background noise to the party atmosphere that surrounds it. Think of it as an all-day, weekend long party with tons of activities for the entire family on offer.
There’s live music, DJ sets, loads of food and beverage options and, well, some rugby going on, too. If you’ve never been, you almost certainly know someone who has – and they’ll have no doubt been nagging you about coming along this year. And you know what? You’re going – and we’ll see you there.
Where: Sevens Stadium, Al Ain Road
Open air clubs
Dubai is one of the party capitals of the world, never mind the UAE. It’s all down to the superclubs like Gotha and Blue Marlin Ibiza. But it’s the open air venues that really come alive as the temperature drops – Drai’s, White Dubai and winner of the ShortList Best New Nightlife Venue 2017, Base.
Where: Base Dubai, Dubai Design District
Starting with Nick Jonas headlining Fiesta De Los Muertos, gigging season is about to hit full swing. We’ve got Toploader (Oct 25), Brian McFadden (Nov 15) and James (Nov 22) already confirmed to be hitting the stage at the Irish Village. And that’s before the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre is resurrected for a host of unannounced star turns.
Where: Irish Village, Al Garhoud
Can you honestly say you’ve ever actually been here without a photo of you leaping out of a plane? Probably not. So prove to your friends that you have nerves of steel by getting involved with the more regular jumps at Skydive Dubai. Don’t worry, you’ll get an instructor strapped to your back as well as a parachute, so you’ll land safely.
Where: Skydive Dubai
There’s something special about watching a film outdoors. It harks back to when drive-in cinemas were cool and people would gather in a car park to watch a film. The format’s given a touch of glamour here as various pop-up cinemas in hotel grounds and the likes of the Helipad Cinema in Dubai Festival City and Vox get in on things.
Where: Vox, Galleria Mall
For seriously Meditteranean sun-kissed vibes, you can’t go wrong with the Jetty Lounge. It’s got epic views across the waters to The Palm and oozes an exclusive atmosphere with its chic beachfront layout. If you’re looking for a place to impress your guests from out of town then this is the place for you.
Where: One&Only Royal Mirage
One of the newest, and most impressive looking, terrace lounges in the whole of Dubai offers superb views all around. Hurry there soon and you’ll be able to soak in the mesmeric beats of the homegrown talents of Hollaphonic, who are playing a number of exclusive gigs at the venue. Take your dancing shoes to this one, folks.
Where: Grosvenor House Dubai, Al Emreef Street
Folly by Nick & Scott
It doesn’t matter if you’re going for an evening of fine dining or just rocking up for some sundowners, Folly’s terrace area is always a winner. With views across the glistening waterways of the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, you’re almost certainly going home with an Insta-worthy snap.
Where: Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Flair No. 5
A new meaning to go green, this urban jungle is the ideal space to feel a tad bit closer to nature. The botanical inspired mixed beverages only compliments the stunning garden space spilling with greenery as the resident DJ plays chilled out tunes to soothe the soul. Flair No. 5 also has some of the finest bar bites around, so don’t worry about going there hungry.
Where: Gate Village, DIFC
In this city, the ways to seek adventure in the great outdoors are plentiful. But sometimes, it’s those everyday pleasures that we quite literally stick out the blazing summer heat for, like unwinding with food and drink on a breezy terrace with a cracking view. Eve Penthouse’s new opening offers just that – and then some. Located on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights, the breathtaking views include the skyline as well as the waters. Even without the latter, kicking back within
the luxe purple and gold set up makes it worth the visit.
Where: Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights
The perfect tonic for unwinding at the weekend is to jump into an inflatable donut and let it carry you – care-free – around the lazy river. Want something a bit more terrifying? Then Poseidon’s Revenge – the chute that pulls the floor from underneath you, dropping you at 60km – is the one for you.
Where: Atlantis, The Palm
The slickest skatepark in the emirate is the perfect place for novices or seasoned kick flippers. The area features bowls, kickers and grind rails in a safe environment. And if you’ve only ever had a passing interest in skateboarding, you’re in luck as you can buy lessons from an instructor. You’ll be soaring like Tony Hawk in no time.
Where: Kite Beach
La Mer’s waterpark occasionally slips under the radar, but it’s definitely a place you need to check out. Not only does it give you a chance to try your hand (feet?) at surfing on the WaveOz 180 wave machine or plummet down some slides, but it’s the perfect excuse to head over to La Mer and check out what it has to offer. It’s a win-win.
Where: La Mer
Wild Wadi waterpark
The Jumeirah staple has been refreshed and retuned over the last couple of years. The results of which have created a waterpark full of thrills and spills, and one that contains arguably the best selection of rides in the UAE. It’s also one of the most pleasant to spend a full day thanks to the array of food and drink options.
Where: Jumeirah Street
Dubai Parks and Resorts
Fair play, the various theme parks that make up Dubai Parks and Resorts are open all year round, and do a good job of providing thrills that are shaded. But it’s best that only your hands are sweating through fright rather than your entire body when you go there. Plus, there’s something magical about feeling the cool breeze on your face as you scream yourself hoarse on a roller coaster. Motiongate is the one that sets our pulse racing. Just thinking about the Zombieland Blast Off, that thrusts you to the clouds at breakneck speeds, gives us palpitations. You also get a great view, too.
Where: Sheikh Zayed Road