Only the maddest of dogs and Englishmen would consider lingering long in Dubai’s punishing August heat.
With temps often rocketing past 40ºC, it’s high time to ditch the dunes and seek undercover respite. Thankfully, being Dubai and all, there are a plethora of mod, indoor oases to ensure you don’t lose your cool.
Put aside your preconceptions of cheesy dinner cruises, this floating, glass-walled, easy-breezy barge is the best way to see the old town and bustling Dubai creek in summer. Top-notch food, twinkly piano and old-worldly dusk scenery make this a Dubai institution that is for sure a tad touristy, but not a full blown fanny-pack trap.
Dubai Creek, near the British Embassy. +971 4814 5553. jaresorthotel.com
Sweatier than a sheikh in a sauna? Ski Dubai’s mega slopes and sub-zero temps will chill you out quick sticks. In typical Emirati bigger-is-better style, this surreal mall-based, super ski and snowboard joint has five full runs – the longest being 400m – plus a snowboard stunt bowl, interactive snow park and real penguins. The entrance covers rental of all kit and kaboodle except gloves, so bring your own or buy a pair in the mall to avoid frostbite.
Mall of the Emirates. +971 4409 4242. skidxb.com
The Jam Jar
Unleash your inner Picasso in this lofty, blessedly climate-controlled DIY art studio where you can whip up your own masterpiece on canvas. Homed in a minimalist warehouse on Dubai’s hip, urban Alserkal Avenue, Jam Jar offers a diverse calendar of art classes, pukka painting parties, indie films and kids’ programmes. Creative flow hit a road block? Pop to ripper industrial bi-level Tom & Serg for Melbourne-style java, bites and inspo.
The Jam Jar, Unit H74, Alserkal Ave. +971 4341 7303. thejamjardubai.com
Tom & Serg, Al-Joud Centre, Al Quoz nr Ace Hardware on Sheikh Zayed Rd. +971 4474 6812. tomandserg.com
Gird your loins and prepare and get wet n’ wild at this wowzer over-water Atlantis. Among the numerous slides, rides and ziplines is the epic Leap Of Faith, which shoots you down a 27.5m-high, near-vertical tunnel through a shark-filled lagoon – now if that don’t give you chills, there’s no hope. Fanny faint-hearts can can hang with Flipper instead at Dolphin Bay, bob along the river ride or have a splash in one of many paddle pools. Aquaventure is free for guests of Atlantis; book a VIP ticket for your own private cabana.
Atlantis, The Palm. +971 4426 0000. atlantisthepalm.com
Talise Ottoman Spa
Stop, hammam time. No need to step outside when you can indulge at this seriously swanky, dark wood n’ marble mosaic Turkish spa saviour, with separate his and her’s baths and a whopping 50+ treatment list. This being Dubai, a 24-carat gold chain mail facial sits alongside more trad body scrubs and massage, while Thalassotherapy pools, Russian saunas, flotation tanks and a snow room all help combat hot headedness. You’ll have no choice but to come out anything but refreshed and radiant, that’s if you come out at all…
Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah. +971 4453 0456. jumeirah.com
Gold & Diamond Park
It’s indoor, it’s air-conditioned and it’s got more ice than Liz Taylor, so what are you waiting for? Shop for rocks, gems and glimmering eye-candy, or bring a pic of a long-lost heirloom and they’ll replicate it. Located close to Mall of the Emirates, it’s easier to reach than the Gold Souk at Deira, plus there’s handy SoHo Cafe for a mid-shop flop.
Gold & Diamond Park, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Interchange No.4, Al Quoz. +971 434 7778. goldanddiamondpark.com
Thick stone walls and nippy AC keep this dark n’ sexy subterranean wine bar fresh and full all year round. City slickers pour in for after-work tipples, while a killer 500+ bottle cellar and opulent day beds keep ‘em lubricated and laid back till late.
Conrad Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Rd. +971 4444 7111. conraddubai.com
Deep dive into Dubai, with a LUXE Dubai Guide…