As the temperature rises in Dubai during the summer months, locals and tourists seek out refuge at one of the options they have within the city. Most outdoor activities are non-operational as the heat can get a bit much for those who are not used to the weather, and getting heatstrokes are not a cute option. There are plenty of places in Dubai to spend some time out of the comfort of your hotel room at, and here are some of them:
IMG Worlds of Adventures
Located just a short drive from the centre of Dubai city, IMG Group’s own theme park hosts four ‘Epic Worlds’ under one roof – IMG Boulevard , Marvel Zone, Cartoon Network Zone and Lost Valley Zone. The park opens at 11a.m. and closes at 10p.m (11 p.m. on weekends) and it operates every day of the year so you could spend an entire day going on multiple rides if you’d like. I personally managed to cover about 80-90% of the ‘adult’ rides within the two hours I was given, so this could also be a half day activity if you’re the type that likes to take your time and have a stroll around.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes within the building that you could dine or quench your thirst at as well. Guests could go on rides, eat, shop and also watch movies at the upcoming Novo Cinemas within the same building. For those who are bringing their kids, fret not, there are plenty of kid-friendly rides within the park. Keep on the lookout for Meet and Greets with IMG Worlds characters around the park!
Formerly known as the Union House, the Etihad Museum is a history museum that focuses on the foundation of the UAE and the story behind the union of these Arab countries via social, political, cultural, scientific, and military history. Now part of the museum complex, the Union House was also the location in which the Emirati rulers signed the declaration that marked the formation of the UAE in 1971.
Spread over 25, 000 sqm, the museum was built to resemble the treaty scroll and adorned with seven pillars symbolising the seven pens used to sign the treaty and it even holds a library, temporary exhibition halls, a restaurant, and an education centre. Guests could walk through the pavilions that holds artefacts and interactive exhibitions that tells the history of the union via photos, film and more collected between 1968 and 1974.
Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding
There are plenty of misconceptions within the global media that confuses Arab culture and religion so the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding is a great way for tourists to interact with an Emirati and learn more about their culture via a healthy conversation. With the Motto ‘Open Doors Open Minds’, guests are invited to join in any of their activities – heritage tours, cultural meals, mosque visits, Arabic classes and more to learn about the diversity of the Arabic cultures as Dubai is home to various families from around the world.
During my visit we were served with an authentic Emirati breakfast prepared in the home of their founder, Abdullah bin Eisa Al Serkal, recipes that were originally prepared by his mother that began about 15 years ago. Today, the meals are prepared by local chefs that aims to preserve the bedouin traditions and customs. Guests were served Arabic Coffee or “Gahuwa Arabia”, and plenty of other dishes such as Balaleet, Chabab, chick peas and my personal favorite, Ligamat (batter deep fried in ghee and served with date syrup). As I believe that you learn about a culture through their food and a casual conversation, it was a great experience to be able to speak to a local (mainly volunteers) who understand the balance of traditional customs and living in the modern world. If you’re visiting the SMCCU, check out their Fuala programme where you get to enjoy a traditional tea time offering, a short visit to the mosque as well as indulge yourself in a Q&A session with their volunteers.
The Green Planet Dubai
The Green Planet Dubai is a zoology museum that are great for all ages to visit and learn about the ecosystem within the tropical rainforest within one building. There are four parts to the rainforest – the canopy, the mid-story, the forest floor and the flooded rainforest with creatures that usually roam them. The Green Planet brings together science and nature with staff of caretakers and scientists that cares and studies the ecosystem and animals’ behaviour while teaching guests how to protect and nurture these unique species.
Unlike some zoos where everything is just put on display, Green Planet Dubai aims to educate guests via an experience, some allowing guests to interact with the harmless creatures upclose and personal while they walk through the four stages of the rainforest from the forest floors up to the canopy that stands about 35-40 metres above ground.
At The Top Burj Khalifa
Dubai is known for a lot of things and in the recent years, it’s been synonym with the Burj Khalifa – a megatall skyscraper in the middle of the city that could be seen from every corner of Dubai. It is currently the tallest building in the world, standing at 829.8 m with a view that overlooks the desert as well as the beaches of Dubai. Guests could access the Burj Khalifa viewing deck through the Dubai Mall at a fee and get a 360 degree view of Dubai from floors 148, 125 and 124.
Most parts of Dubai is still under construction, thus there would be a mix of browns, green and blues in the landscape. Once Dubai have been fully transformed to the oasis that it should be, the view from Burj Khalifa on a good day would be spectacular!
Dubai Mall Aquarium
When the heat gets a little much to bear, head on down to Dubai Address Mall to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo (yes, it’s inside the mall). There are plenty of activities to try, especially for those who would love to be underwater but are afraid of the open ocean. Kids could meet a “real” Mermaid and be transformed into one with the Mermaid Experience programme. Guests are invited to go face-to-face with the sharks in the aquarium via underwater scooter ride, cage diving, shark walker and much more via their shark conservation programme to dispel a stigma commonly surrounding sharks whilst educating people and raising the awareness of their importance to the ecosystem in the wild.
For more information on Dubai and its tourism, please visit the links below
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