An Adult’s Guide to Summer in Dubai

“Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.” – Tangled

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It’s no secret that Dubai is hot in the summer. With 120 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures and over 90% humidity, summer is off-season for tourists (and me!). The good news? You can get great prices around town for being one of the few tourists who are brave enough to experience the heat! Bad news, you are basically confined to indoor activities, usually in one of the 64 malls (with 8 more under construction) currently around town!

Last week, my cousin came to visit on a Columbia business school world tour after making stops in South Africa and Mauritius. Before his visit, I researched fun activities for adults in Dubai during the summer, but the most common answer was visit one of the many malls in town. In the end, he had an amazing time checking off bucket list items such as driving a Mclaren around a racetrack and flyboarding! Even so, my cousin isn’t a big fan of malls to begin with, and after this trip, he would be happy to never step foot in a mall again.

Along with my husband and cousin, I came up with a fun list of activities for adults to do while visiting Dubai in the summer. There are plenty of activities for families as well and if you want any suggestions, use the contact page to send me any questions you may have including romantic date night options!

  • Dubai Autodrome – This is a great activity for those who love fast cars and feel the need to race! You can pick from various supercars (such as McLarens and Audi R8s) and racing experiences to make this Dubai trip unforgettable! My suggestion would be to book a time in evening. For more information, click here.  
  • SkyDive Dubai –  Skydiving in Dubai over The Palm has become a celebrity favorite. Check out Will Smith’s experience. You need to be an early riser, as reporting time is 5 am during summer months. We suggest booking this activity at least 2 weeks ahead of time as space fills up quickly. For more information, click here.

 

  • Boat or Yacht ride You shouldn’t visit Dubai without a boat ride around The Palm. Most boat rides start in the Marina, travel around The Palm for classic Atlantis views, then head towards the Burj Al Arab for a picturesque moment, before returning to the Marina. It is a good way to view some of Dubai’s well known sites from the ocean with a tour guide. You can even see the private island that Sheikh Mohammed gifted to his wife, Princess Haya for their wedding. I suggest an evening Yellow Boats tour if you are short on time. Otherwise There are plenty of yacht options and if you need recommendations, contact me.  
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View of the Burj Al Arab from a yacht.
  • Flyboarding – In Dubai there are many water sport activities that you can try out. Flyboarding is a popular activity that has a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it is is amazing. For those who don’t know what it is, it’s basically a hoverboard/ jet pack combo. There are many companies who offer this as well as other water sport activities around Dubai.

 

  • Dubai Mall – A trip to Dubai isn’t complete unless you visit the largest mall in the world. Whether or not you like to shop, it is still a site to see. Don’t forget to visit the aquarium, Dubai Fountain, and the waterfall. One of my favorite activities here is dinner with a view of the fountain and Burj Khalifa at night. I had my first experience at  Zeta, which is currently closed for renovations, but there are plenty of restaurants with good fountain views at the mall, Souk Al Bahar, The Palace Hotel and The Address Downtown (once it reopens). Trust me you won’t want to miss it!
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Dinner at Zeta by the Dubai Fountain
  • Mall of the Emirates – Another big mall located in Dubai, Mall of the Emirates is home to Ski Dubai. If the heat is too much, take to the slopes at this indoor ski adventure inside the mall. Even if you don’t fancy skiing, you can watch others through the observation windows.

 

  • Ibn Battuta Mall – You might be wondering how this mall is any different from the other two I put on the list. However, Ibn Battuta is not just any mall. It is only one level, and divided into pavilions themed after different parts of the world. There are many replicas and fun things to learn as you walk the halls.

 

  • Evening walk around the Marina – If you plan to walk the Marina, I suggest starting at the Marina Mall (yes another mall). Attached to the mall is Pier 7 which has seven floors of restaurants good for dinner, music and dancing. Around the marina you will see amazing buildings, yachts, and restaurants. My favorite building is the Cayan Tower because of its twisting architectural design. For more information, click here.
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Can you spot the Cayan building? (Hint: it’s on the right side)
  • Walk around JBR (Jumeriah Beach Resort) at night – The JBR Walk and The Beach are outdoor strip malls built on the beach. There are numerous restaurants, plenty of stores for shopping and also spaces to sit and relax with an iced coffee! Not to mention that you will get spectacular views of Ain Dubai (soon-to-be the largest Ferris Wheel in the world.) For more information, click here.

 

  • Early morning / Night Beach Trip – Ever wonder what the ocean feels like heated? During the summer average sea temperatures are about 90ºF/ 32ºC. Going to the beach during a summer day is not relaxing or fun for most people, but at the right time in the evening it is quite an experience!

 

  • Burj Dubai / Dubai Creek – This is a great opportunity to view what Dubai was like before the transformation 40 years ago and one of my husband’s favorite parts of town! It is in the older part of the city and is a good place to get deals and try out your negotiating skills. Visit the Dubai museum to learn about the area’s rich history. Even in the winter, most shops aren’t open until 4pm, but in summertime it’s better to visit after 6pm.
  • Abu Dhabi – A day trip to Abu Dhabi is a must during your stay. There are plenty of options to explore including the Grand Mosque and Emirates Palace Hotel.  
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The Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi
  • Ladies Nights – Each week there are restaurants and bars around town that offer free drinks for ladies. During the week these spots are the most popular for women and men. So if you are looking for a good place to hang out, check out the listings of ladies’ nights during your stay. For more information, click here.  

 

  • Burj Khalifa (Atmosphere lounge) – When visiting the Burj Khalifa, I suggest going to Atmosphere lounge (the world’s tallest restaurant) instead of “At the Top.” Atmosphere is located on the 122nd floor and has spectacular views of the city. It is a more enjoyable visit than standing in line and walking through the observation deck of “At the Top.” In addition, instead of paying for a ticket you get food and drinks. You need to make a reservation in advance. Visit their website.

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