To experience the thrill of ice skating for the first time or perfect your skills, visit the Dubai Ice Rink open to anyone for two-hour sessions. Image Credit: Supplied

To keep your shoes sand-free for a day, head to Ski Dubai at the Mall of the Emirates for some snowy fun.

Ski Dubai has five runs that vary in difficulty, height and gradient, with the longest run being 400m with a fall of over 60m. Test your skills on the world's first indoor black run or practise your turns on the beginner slopes.

Skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels can enjoy these various slopes and snowboarders can practise their stunts in the Freestyle Zone.

The 3,000 sq m interactive Snow Park provides fun entertainment for both children and their parents.

  • Where: Mall of the Emirates
  • When: Sunday to Wednesday from 10am to 11pm, Thursday from 10am to midnight, Friday from 9am to midnight, Saturday from 9am to 11pm
  • How much: Dh100 per adult and Dh90 per child for the Snow Park, Dh180 per adult and Dh150 per child for the ski slope (two hours), Dh150 for 60-minute Discovery lesson and Dh220 for 90-minute Adult Group lesson
  • Visit: www.skidxb.com

Dubai Ice Rink

To experience the thrill of ice skating for the first time or perfect your skills, visit the Dubai Ice Rink open to anyone for two-hour sessions. If you like it lively and loud, attend a two-hour Disco session and move to the tunes of the DJ who spins hip hop, R&B and trance. Mums & Tots sessions are for the little ones. If you've never skated and want to learn, try one of the Learn-to-Skate classes designed for beginners aged six to 60 with five progressive levels, from the absolute basics through some fairly tricky turns and jumps.

II Where: Dubai Mall, Downtown Burj Khalifa

II When: Public Sessions daily between 10 and 10pm, Disco Sessions on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between

II Cost: Dh50 for public sessions and Dh75 for Disco sessions

II Visit: www.dubaiicerink.com

 Al Ain Mall Ice Rink

II Where: Al Ain Mall, Al Ain

II Timings: Daily from 10am to 10pm (two-hour sessions) from Saturday to Wednesday, 10am to midnight on Thursday-Friday

II Cost: Dh25 for 90 minutes (including skate rental)

II Visit: www.alainmall.net

Abu Dhabi Ice Rink

II Where: Zayed Sports City Stadium (Gate 8) on Airport Road (turn right after Carrefour), Abu Dhabi

II Timings: Daily from 10am to 10pm Thursday ladies only), Sunday from 10am to 7.30pm, Friday 10am to 10pm

II Cost: Dh25 for two hours (including skate rental)

II Call: 02-444 8458

Al Nasr Leisureland

II Where: Oud Metha (behind American Hospital), Dubai

II Timings: 10am to noon, 1pm to 3pm, 4pm to 6pm and 7pm to 10pm (opening days vary every week)

II Cost: Dh25 for two hours, Dh10 for skate rental

II Visit: www.alnasrleisureland.ae

Galleria Ice Rink

II Where: Hyatt Regency, Deira, Dubai

II Timings: Sunday to Wednesday from 10am to 1.30pm, 2pm to 5.30pm and 6pm to 9pm, Thursday to Saturday from 10am to 12.30pm, 1pm to 3.30pm, 4pm to 6.30pm, 7 pm to 10pm

II Cost: Dh35 for three hours (including skate rental), Dh45 on Thursday and Friday (disco nights from 7pm to 10pm)

II Call: 04-209 6550

Hili Fun City Ice Rink

II Where: Hili Fun City, Al Ain

II Timings: daily except Sunday, Monday to Thursday from 4pm to 10pm (ladies only on Wednesday), Friday from 10am to 10pm, Saturday from noon to 10pm

II Cost: Dh10 entrance fee and Dh10 skate rental

II Visit: www.hilifuncity.ae

Dubai Sandstorm Ice Hockey Club

The Dubai Sandstorm is a non-profit club which organises ice hockey for 4-18-year-olds in six divisions: Tykes, Novice, Atom, Bantam, Pee Wee and Midget. Practices and games take place at Al Nasr Leisureland and Dubai Mall from April to June (spring) and September to April (regular season). The club has 175 players from more than 20 countries.

II Where: Al Nasr Leisureland and Dubai Mall Ice Rink

II When: Timings vary, depending on the season and division

II Cost: Dh2,000 for the first child, Dh1,900 for the second child plus Dh360 for jerseys

Visit: www.dubaisandstorms.com


There are several caves in the Jebel Hafeet area near Al Ain which are of archaeological importance.

There is also a cave network in the Hajar Mountains, on the Omani side of the Buraimi Oasis. The largest and most impressive of these cave systems is the Magharet Qasir Hafee, which has 450 metres of shafts, passages and chambers reaching to a depth of 96m.

Al Hoota Cave is located at the foot of Jabal Shams in the western Hajar Mountains in Oman.

It features a long subterranean chamber where stalactites meet stalagmites and an 800 metres underground lake which is home to a rare species of blind fish.

The cave has been developed so that visitors without proper caving experience and equipment can tour it, with a train and sound and lighting system.

Visit: www.alhootacave.com.


Wadis, or dry riverbeds containing water pools, are plentiful in the region, but some are mostly dry. So here is a selection of wadis that have large pools all year long to keep you cool even during the hottest months. Make sure to wear a bathing suit and trekking shoes when going down in the riverbeds.

Wadi Wurayah, Fujairah

Located in the first mountain protected area in the UAE, Wadi Wurayah is a 129sq km catchment that occupies the northern reaches of Fujairah between the towns of Masafi, Khor Fakkan and Bidiyah. You can swim in the Wurayah Waterfall (sadly soiled with graffiti) at the entrance of the wadi or several of the large secluded pools carved deep in the middle of the Hajar Mountains. The wadi is home to 20 species of mammals, 17 species of reptiles and amphibians as well as rare plants and insects.

II How to get there: From Dubai, drive to Fujairah passing through Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah until you see several hotels along the east coast including Le Meridien Al Aqah and Beach Resort and Fujairah Rotana Resort & Spa.

From there, drive about 10km along the coast until you reach the small town of Bidiya. You will then have to take a right on a small road but stop and ask as there is no proper signage.

You'll drive about 10 minutes until you pass through a dry riverbed and see a sign for Wadi Wurayah (four-wheel drive necessary). The distance is about 180km from Dubai.

Hatta Pools, Dubai/Oman border

Probably the best-known wadi in the UAE, the Hatta Pools are easily accessible (two-wheel drive possible) and full of water all year round. The wadi runs across the bedrock then plunges a few metres down a waterfall into a small pool and continues inside a steep-sided gorge. When the water is high, the pool and waterfall can only be reached by swimming through certain spots.

II How to get there: From Dubai, follow the Dubai-Hatta road until you reach Hatta. Turn right (first exit) at the Fort roundabout and head up through the town. Take a left towards Hatta Heritage Village and turn left at the next roundabout. Take the next main right just before the flags on the rocks. Drive through the second village and take a right on to the gravel road, which is where the Hatta Pools track starts. From Dubai it is about 120km.

Wadi Madbah, Al Ain/Oman border

Not as well known as Wadi Wurayah on the east coast, Wadi Madbah makes for a very picturesque place with green-coloured stream and pools and high falls. After parking the car, walk about 200m to reach the first big pool and its waterfall. Scramble up and over the rocks on the right to go around the pool. The riverbed above this point continues around the corner to another large deep pool and an impressive waterfall - by UAE standards.

II How to get there: From Dubai, follow the Dubai-Al Ain road until you reach Al Ain. When you reach a V-cutting, go straight across at a roundabout (second exit) signposted Wadi Agram. After 13km, you'll reach a small mosque on the left. Continue straight on to your right when you reach a fork in the road and sign to Al Jeelat. Drive until you see a sign for Madbah 4km on the left and take this track. Take a right at the fork (triangle with tree) down into the wadi, then immediately left upstream towards the palms, keeping to the left of the wadi bed. Park your car once you can drive no further. The distance from Dubai is about 160km.

Deap-sea fishing

Located by the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf, the UAE is a treat for deep sea fishing enthusiasts and one of the best venues. Various tours operators offer excursions to experience the thrill of battling with the big fish. While experts go after sailfish, those with less experience can expect to catch barracuda, hammour, king fish and dorrada. Feel the fresh sea breeze, the fun of baiting and casting the fishing line, the thrill of the sudden tug and pull on your fishing rod, the excitement of reeling in your catch and the joy of landing it aboard. Most trips last four hours.

Arabia Horizons Tours

II When: Daily except Friday from 8am to noon

II How much: Dh375 per person (two minimum), Dh2,500 per boat up to 12 people

II Visit: www.arabiahorizons.com/Deep-Sea-Fishing

Aquatic Adventure

II When: Daily for four hours

II How much: Dh2,000 for a six-person boat, Dh2,800 for an eight-person boat and Dh3,500 for a 10-person boat including pick-up/drop-off, fishing equipment, baits and refreshments

II Visit: www.godubai.com

Al Wasl Cruising & Sport Fishing

II When: Daily for four hours (depart from Bur Dubai Creek)

II How much: Dh600 per person on a twin-sharing basis, Dh2,800 per boat up to eight people including pick-up/drop off, equipment and refreshments

II Visit: www.cruiseindubai.com

Cool drinks

Chillout ice lounge is the perfect venue if you're seriously trying to escape the heat. The restaurant and lounge at Times Square Centre is entirely made of ice wherein you step into a sub-zero environment with the walls, tables, chairs and even your own personal glass made out of ice. Before going inside, customers are given warm clothes.

They can then order from a selection of soups, cold sandwiches, BBQ and salads apart from a range of beverages such as Asian Mount Everest, Canadian Mt Logan, The Chillout Mix and Lawrence of Arabia.

Chillout showcases ice sculptures of the Burj Al Arab and other Dubai landmarks, and looks like a trendy bar, with its multi-coloured lighting.

II Where: Times Square Centre, Al Quoz, Dubai

II Timings: Saturday to Wednesday from 10am to 9.30pm and Thursday-Friday from 10am to 11.30pm

II Cost: Dh60 entrance fee, including jacket, shoes, gloves and hat plus a complimentary hot drink (hot chocolate and tea). Mocktails and food range between Dh15 and Dh25.

II Visit: www.timessquarecenter.ae