While Dubai is a top travel destination for many explorers, the summer weather there is no joke. It’s hot, dry, and temperatures reach up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Even the sea can reach up to 99 degrees and humidity often averages over 90 percent.
However you don’t need to be discouraged. If you have your heart set on visiting Dubai for your summer vacay, we’ve helped put together a little list of ways you can enjoy yourself and beat the heat. Here are a few tips we’ve picked up from the locals:
You’ve probably seen pictures of the Dubai Aquarium in your Instagram feed. It’s nothing short of incredible. The million-liter aquarium is home to thousands of aquatic animals and 140 unique species. As the largest suspended aquarium in the world, it certainly is at the top of our bucket list of places to visit.
For an immersive experience, choose from several ways to explore the main aquarium tank. The price list includes the following options:
VIP Experiences – AED 315 ($85 USD)
Explorer Experience – AED 175 ($47 USD)
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo – AED 110 ($30 USD)
King Croc Encounter – AED 210 ($57 USD)
Otter Encounter – AED 210 ($57 USD)
Ray Encounter – AED 210 ($57 USD)
Shark Encounter – AED 630 ($171 USD)
Pre-book the Skip The Line: Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo Explorer and make the most of your time in Dubai
Hit the slopes at Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. As the world’s largest indoor snow park, the resort is packed with 3,000 square meters of snow. Pull on your snow boots and head to the slopes. Here you’ll find Bobsled Runs, a Snow Cavern, and sledding hills. Athletes can rent a snowboard or skis and jump on a chairlift for a one-of-a-kind view of the park. Want to know more?
Ski Dubai has five snow runs that vary in difficulty, height, and grade. The longest run is 400 meters long with a fall of over 60 meters. Test your skills on the black diamond route or brush up on the gentler beginner’s slopes. For those who want to practice stunts, there is a special Freestyle Zone.
You don’t have to worry about equipment rentals either. Ski Dubai has it all, offering a full supply of winter clothing and gear. Let your skis or board carry you down the slope and take the chairlift back to the top. After you’ve worked up an appetite, refresh yourself with some food and drinks at one of their themed restaurants.
Get your adrenaline rush at the award-winning Aquaventure Waterpark. Enjoy rides, slides, get up close with sharks and rays, or relax on 700 meters of pristine, private sand. Start out by exploring the River Rides. Grab your inner-tube and enjoy the journey. For thrill-seekers, choose from four new thrilling water slides. If you dare, take the plunge with Aquaconda, the longest waterslide in the world. This beast will sweep you down a wild ride in a twisting tunnel before it drops you down the longest fiberglass tube in the world.
If you want to get up close and personal with the marine life, sign up for the Shark Safari. You don’t need to be a certified scuba diver to enjoy this underwater world. Just put on one of the aquarium’s special helmets and break underwater just like the fish. For kids, there’s also a special Cownose stingray feeding. Book a session and step into shallower waters where you can feed rays right out of your hands.
Discover the wonders of a tropical oasis in the Arabian Desert. In 2016, Dubai opened the largest artificial tree in an indoor rainforest. The Green Planet functions like a real ecosystem, boasting over 3,000 different forms of vegetation, insect, and animal species. At the center of the forest stands an eighty-two-foot tall artificial tree, functioning as a living centerpiece in which animal and plant species thrive.
Even the temperature is true to the tropics, averaging between 77 and 82 degrees with a humid feel. Visitors can walk a suspended bridge up to the top of the tree, gaining a perfect bird’s eye view. Around you, you’ll find all sorts of unique species. South American toucans eat out of wooden bowls, three-toed sloths hang from low branches, while tree boas blend in with the greenery.
Flowing from the tree comes an indoor waterfall where the animals cool down. The goal of the Green Planet is admirable. It offers various educational programs and functions as a space where residents and tourists can go to learn about wildlife. We highly recommend a visit.
Catch an amazing view of the city atop the Burj Khalifa. As the world’s tallest building, it stands over 2,700 feet – a whopping 160 stories. Step out onto the observation deck and enjoy a spacious outdoor terrace. The Khalifa also offers a Sky Lounge, where you can grab some refreshments as you drink in the views around you. From the lounge and observation deck, you’ll be able to spot some of Dubai’s most famous landmarks.
That’s not all. The Burj Khalifa also offers a club gym. Fitness sessions are led by professional supervision, with state-of-the-art workout equipment. If you want to take a dip, choose from a semi-Olympic size indoor pool or soak up some sun in the outdoor one. This trendy venue combines a sophisticated big city vibe with a personalized experience you won’t forget. To top it all off, there’s an exclusive floor for the ladies only that includes a separate gym and spa.
The Dubai Mall is truly redefining luxury and is truly world-class. If you thought the Mall of America was large, just wait. Spend a day at the Dubai Mall and revel in over 1,200 stores of retail and entertainment options. The mall itself covers more than one million square meters, the size of 200 football fields.
If you love high fashion, you’re in for a treat. From famous designers including Versace, Burberry, and more, this mall has it all. But that’s not all. The mall is also home to the best family entertainment options you can find. The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is located inside the mall, Olympic size ice skating rink, and a massive movie theater.
Make sure you don’t miss the indoor fountain while you’re there. The Village is also a sight to see, with a retractable roof that opens every winter to give shoppers an outdoor experience.
Dubai is famous for a buzzing contemporary art scene. Arab culture has produced some of the most revolutionary art and architecture in the world. Go out and explore some of the city’s top museums and galleries.
There are plenty to choose from. Most of the best places to explore are tucked away in smaller, less extravagant buildings. Grab a copy of the ArtMap directory in your hotel or local tourist office, which is an invaluable tool. It includes maps of all of the area’s gallery maps. Among the most noteworthy museums and galleries to visit are:
You can’t beat watching the sunset on the Arabian Gulf. Order a romantic dinner for two at Pierchic, one of Dubai’s finest restaurants located in the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel. The menu offers up fresh seafood delicacies and a rare cocktail menu handcrafted by the restaurant’s expert mixologists.
If you’re looking for something a little more casual, the restaurant also offers an amazing chic brunch. Seafood is served upon an exquisite platter while resident DJ’s spin sets of chill Ibiza-style house music.
Located in the City Walk shopping and leisure district, Hub Zero brings your favorite games to life. Immerse yourself in an indoor virtual reality park split into several unique attractions. Hub Zero offers many options to choose from including laser tag, a 4D theater, and driving experiences for passionate gamers. There’s also something for the kids over at Crazy Dave’s Garden. So go and treat yourself to a place where reality and fantasy collide. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy something for both the young and the young at heart.
The Al Bastakiya region of Dubai offers a completely different take on the luxurious city. Once a nineteenth-century merchant town, it has managed to retain its old-world feel. Here, getting lost is a pleasure. Wind your way down narrow alleyways, peek into some shops, and marvel at the area’s wind towers (the early Arabian ventilation system). Peer inside stone cut windows and you’ll find artist’s galleries, local bookshops, and the best Arabian Tea House (there are over 100 blends to choose from).
Book Your Trip to Dubai
Don’t let the summer heat get you down. Dubai is a beautiful place to explore and offers a wide array of world-class activities and attractions. The city offers romantic escapes for couples, adrenaline rushes for thrill seekers and plenty of options for family entertainment. From luxurious shopping centers, waterparks, restaurants, and unique attractions, the UAE really does have it all.