For when the weather in Dubai plays havoc on your plans…
In a city where most of the fun is built around having nice weather, sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to do on a rainy day in Dubai. But aside from seeking shelter at home – or assessing your car’s flood damage – there’s plenty going on. From playing retro games in an arcade to hitting up a great new restaurant in Dubai, here are 14 fun ideas you can do when it’s raining in Dubai.
Don’t let the rain dampen your spirits. Have some kidult fun at Atlantis, The Palm’s restobar funhouse complete with ten-pin bowling and arcade games. Plus, there’s plenty of delicious comfort food to keep you well-fed all day.
Wavehouse, Atlantis The Palm, daily 12pm to 1am. Tel: (04) 426 2626. atlantisthepalm.com/wavehouse
Unwind speciality board game cafe
While away the hours indoors by getting down to the ultimate rainy-day activity: a board game. Unwind Cafe, the first speciality board game cafe in Dubai, has over 500 board games including Monopoly, Operation, Ludo, Jenga, Snakes and Ladders, Scrabble, Battle Ship and Guess Who? The price for gaming is Dhs27 per person for one hour, or Dhs42 per person for two hours, and you can play as many games as you like during this time.
Unwind Cafe, Hessa Street, Al Barsha 3, daily 2pm to midnight, Dhs27 per hour for adults. Dhs21 per hour for children. Tel: (04) 336 6611. unwinddubai.com
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TEPfactor challenges groups to work together to solve a number of challenges around the ‘cave’. They offer a number of party packages for those who crave a little extra adventure, with kids aged 8 to 12 playing from Dhs79 and 13+ from Dhs99.
TEPfactor Dubai, Bahar Plaza, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, Sun to Wed 12pm to 12am, Thurs to Sat 12pm to 1am, from Dhs79 per hour. Tel: (056) 404 0802. tepfactor.ae
Yes, you CAN play video games at home. For free. But can you also play amazing, interactive VR games at the brand new virtual reality park now open in Mall of the Emirates. There are three experiences available for VR fans. In Alien Zoo, you’ll journey into a galactic universe where endangered wildlife roam the planet; The Blu Deep Rescue takes you on a deep underwater adventure; and the game called Curse of the Lost Pearl, is described as a ‘magic projector adventure’.
Dreamscape, Level 2, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha, Sunday to Wednesday 10am to 10pm, Thursday to Saturday 10am to 11pm, Dhs75. dreamscapeimmersive.com
If you haven’t yet given skiing a go at the Mall of the Emirates then you really should. This 22,500 sq-metre ski park set in the mall has loads of entertainment for all of the family, with a ski slope, a ‘Snow Park’ with a giant zorbing ball, ice cave, and animal lovers can even see a penguin show. If you’re planning a family ski trip, the ski school is available to help you learn the basics. Afterwards, warm up with a hot chocolate at the Avalanche and Ice Café. Ticket prices vary depending on your choice of activity.
Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai, daily, 10am to 11pm. skidxb.com
Make like House Of Pain, and jump around on indoor trampolines at Bounce. There are fitness classes and family-friendly bookings, with sessions charged by the hour, or opt for the three hour session for Dhs120. Children have to be a minimum age of three to get in on the bouncy action.
Building 32, 4B Street, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, 10am to 10pm Sun to Weds, 10am to midnight Thurs and Fri, 9am to 9pm Sat, Dhs80 per hour, Dhs120 for three hours. Tel: (04) 321 1400. bounce.ae
IMG Worlds of Adventure
IMG Worlds of Adventure is the world’s largest indoor theme park, and it’s packed with fun for all the family. There are a host of rides designed specifically for children, including the Dino Carousel where children can take a spin with the friendlier inhabitants of the Lost Valley and ‘Adventure Time – The Ride of OOO with Finn & Jake’, which will see little ones soar high over the Cartoon Network Zone. Height restrictions vary, but children need to be around 1.2m to 1.3m tall for the rides.
IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai, weekdays 11am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 10pm, Dhs285 adults, Dhs265 children. Tel: 04 403 8888. imgworlds.com
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Aya, an experiential entertainment park, just opened its doors at Wafi City Mall and transports visitors into a futuristic universe through the magic of art and technology. Aya is Spread across 40,000 square feet at Wafi City Mall, divided into 12 different zones, all with water and space themes, such as ‘the falls,’ ‘luna,’ and ‘aurora.’ Each room is filled with interactive experiences that you can wander through, witness and even touch, so there’s sure to be some Instagram-worthy locations as you move through the destination. Luminous gardens, twinkling galaxies and stunning light shows await.
Aya Dubai, first floor, Wafi Mall, Oud Metha Road, 10am to 10pm weekdays, 10am to midnight weekends, opens December 17, Dhs99. Tel: (0)4 542 0300, aya-universe.com
The Green Planet
It’s hard not to be impressed by nature at this tropical rainforest, home to over 3000 plants and animals. Little ones will be fascinated with activities such as The Sloth Encounter, The Bat Cave, The Sugar Glider Encounter and the new Australian Walkabout. There is also a wonderful variety of tropical fish to gaze at and, those feeling brave, can even hold a Python.
The Green Planet, City Walk, Dubai, Sunday to Wednesday 10am to 7pm, Thursday to Saturday, 10am to 8pm, from Dhs125 adults, Dhs110 children. Tel: (04) 317 399. thegreenplanetdubai.com
NEW BARS & RESTAURANTS TO TRY
The hotly anticipated new addition to Atlantis, The Palm’s culinary array is En Fuego. Taking the spot in the Avenues previously occupied by Ronda Locatelli, the space has said goodbye to its Italian roots in favour of a South American flavour. En Fuego, which translates to on fire in Spanish, is a high-octane, social dining concept with a big focus on entertainment. Guests are welcomed by Master Showman, Don Fuego, who invites you into his world of unexpected experiences. A huge cast of talented performers vary from musicians and dancers, to singing hosts and an enchanting family of roaming characters – offering non-stop entertainment throughout the evening. Rest assured, there’ll never be a dull moment here.
En Fuego, Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeriah, Mon to Thu 5pm to 1am, Fri 5pm to 2am, Sat 12pm to 2am, Sun 12pm to 1am, from December 8. Tel: (0)4 426 0772. atlantis.com
Couqley is a firm favourite on Dubai’s dining scene for its cosy atmosphere, brilliant roster of daily deals and top quality French cuisine. But alongside the original in JLT, you can now enjoy all this and more at Couqley French Brasserie, the brand’s gorgeous new Downtown venue. Located inside the Pullman Hotel Downtown, Couqley has brought its signature charm and delectable menu to its new outpost, while getting a visual glow-up befitting of its upscale new location. There’s still a nod to the Parisian charm of the JLT original, but interpreted in a modern brasserie style, with a triple height ceiling, verdant trees and plants, bright artworks and a jewel-hued aesthetic. In addition to the best-selling menu at the JLT location, Couqley French Brasserie has some exciting new additions, but still features daily deals including a business lunch, steak frites Monday and ladies’ night.
Couqley French Brasserie, Pullman Hotel Downtown Dubai, 12pm to 2am daily. Tel: (0)4 514 9339, couqley.ae
Take a trip to Miami without leaving Dubai at newly opened Black Flamingo. Bringing jaw-dropping Miami maximalism to the newly opened Radisson Beach Resort, its standout interiors feature details that draw you to every corner of the space. On the beach-facing terrace expect bright booths, verdant greenery and lively beats that welcome you for an evening of dinner that turns into drinks and dancing into the night. At the culinary helm, Reif Othman presents a fusion of Latin and Caribbean creole dishes. Matching the tropical interiors and flavourful menu, expect a rotation of DJs and live music that fuses Afro beats, Reggaeton, Latin and R&B from all eras.
Black Flamingo, Radisson Resort Palm Jumeirah, Palm West Beach, 5pm to late Mon to Thurs, 1pm to late Fri to Sun. Tel: (0)4 513 4777, @blackflamingodxb
Located within the Jumeirah Al Naseem Lagoon, Blind Tiger is a modern-era speakeasy that is set to bring a little after-dark amusement to the city. The new bar is set to be a stylish new addition to Dubai’s incredible nightlife scene, and will no doubt be a sought-after spot for a pre- or post-dinner drink. The luxurious venue features emerald green hues with warm hints of Japanese opulence. It is set to be a sight to behold – once you do find it that is. The venue also boasts an outdoor terrace that’s perfect for soak in the moonlight and making the most of the beautiful winter weather.
Blind Tiger, Turtle Lagoon, Jumeirah Al Naseem, Dubai, daily, 5pm to 2am, Tel: (800) 323 232 jumeirah.com, @blindtigerdxb
From the creators of Miss Lily’s and Indochine in the UAE comes Honeycomb Hi-Fi a new, homegrown concept. With a big focus on music, it’s described as a first-of-its-kind listening bar in the city. Inside, it’s got the feel of a secret record store for audiophiles in the know, with a High-Fidelity sound system, minimalistic interiors and dim lighting. Found on the second floor of the Pullman Hotel Downtown, inside Flip Side Record crew from Alserkal Avenue have curated a great showcase of vinyl collectables and classics to browse or purchase. Aside from vinyls, there are also music-related books, magazines and Honeycomb Hi-Fi merchandise for sale. Alongside the main room, guests can also visit ‘The Gallery,’ a smaller, elevated space and ‘The Garden,’ an industrial-looking terrace. The rotation of DJs and music curators will range from turntables and electronic to jazz, soul and world music.
Honeycomb Hi-Fi, Pullman Hotel Downtown, 8pm to 2am, Tues to Sun. Tel: (0)4 412 6666, @honeycombhifi