With the cooling winds from winter dying down and the heat of summer rising, UAE’s citizens tend to push away summer activities for good. With the sun mercilessly glaring above our heads with over 50 degrees, outdoors is the last thing on our minds. But why stop yourselves from enjoying in the summer? You don’t have to go outdoors, because there is a ton of indoor places in the Emirates where you can have loads of fun while being under the glory of air-conditioning.
Dubai Mall Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
One of the best known and must visit places in Dubai is undoubtedly the Dubai Mall and its Underwater Zoo. The 10 million litre Dubai Aqaurium tank is one of the largest suspended aquarium in the world and one of the main attractions in UAE. It has over 300 sharks and Rays with different types, beautiful and colorful coral fishes and the biggest collection of Tiger Sharks in the world. The tank also allows its visitors to Scuba Dive or Cage Dive to see these amazing creatures up close. You can also walk through the tunnel to experience the beauty of this ocean world in its entirety.
The underwater zoo is another section in the Dubai Mall and additional payment is required for entry. This place exhibits all kinds of species that lives under the ocean from jelly fishes, the rare coconut crabs to piranhas. The latest addition of a King Croc that weighs 750kgs and over 5m in length is the center of attraction at this place. You must see it to believe it.
photo credit: Lama Tours
It might not be as famous as the Dubai Aquarium but the Sharjah Aquarium is built with its own charms. The building has two floors with 20 aquariums that contains a total of over 150 creatures including the gorgeous clown fish, the little seahorses, unbelievable coral reef fishes, moray eel, sea rays and reef sharks. The best part about this splendid aquarium is that you can see the sharks and rays up close as they swim by your feet.
The Sharjah Aquarium is more than just an ‘aquarium’. It’s the oldest and largest government educational center in the UAE according to their website. It started as a nature reserve for marine wildlife and breeding in 2009. The need to set up this marine reserve became a cause after the increase in marine pollution, decrease of coral reefs and fish after destroying their natural habitat. If you want to know what the underwater coral reefs look like there is no better place than here.
For teenagers, athletes, parents and kids, if you’re looking for a place of fun that involves crazy jumping around then this is your stop. The place has wall to wall trampolines, a huge free jumping arena, dodge ball court, basketball hoops and performance area. This is not just for adrenaline junkies but to anyone who wants to join in on the fun.
photo credits: bounce
No Way Out
Lovers of mysterious settings, puzzle solving and spooky escape games, this is the best bet for you. No Way Out is a real life Room Escape Game that is perhaps the most trending in Dubai. The place features 4 kinds of scenarios- Dr. Hannibal’s Experiment Room, Da Vinci’s Chamber, School of Witchcraft, and a spooky horror set up that resembles a scene from ‘The Ring’. Each has different difficulty levels and is designed for customers with different skills and experiences. You will be trapped inside one of the rooms with 60 minutes to use reasoning and logic to figure out your way and escape. It couldn’t get more thrilling than this.
Arabian Wildlife Center
Hyenas, bats, porcupines, and foxes. An indoor zoo? No, it’s much more than that. The Arabian Wildlife Center is one of Sharjah’s gems. The center is a large area that consists of four different buildings- A children’s farm, a botanical garden, a museum and an indoor zoo.
The children’s farm is a tiny outdoor area that consists of three different kinds of goats, parrots, ducks, donkeys, camels and bulls. What makes this place fun is that you can feed the animals through the waist-high railings. The animals and their babies are tamed and will run towards you the minute they see you holding a stack of hay. But don’t fret just because it’s outside (it’s the only area that’s outside). The area is built in a mini circle and with loads of trees and protruding sheds to provide enough shade; the heat is bearable even in the midst of summer.
The next is the Museum of Natural History with facts that pertains to the UAE. The museum contains information mainly on geology, zoology, botany, oceanology and astronomy.
There is also a particular section that is dedicated to botany and displays real plants and trees that existed over millions of years ago and this is also indoors.
A separate Botanical Center gives all its attention to edible plants and provides gardening fans and plant lovers a learning experience of all types of greens from garlic to grape wines.
But the best bit in the area is The Wildlife Center and preferably better to be explored last as they have a large café and seating area for rest. The center is dedicated to preserving and showcasing wildlife that thrive especially in the Middle East and African regions. The center has a big reptile house with everything from snakes, rats, chameleons and turtles.
A big bird cage where you can see these feathered creatures fly above your head and if you go there at the right season you might even see new, cute hatchlings.
There is also a nocturnal house, predator’s area, and a café that is enclosed in the middle of the zoo with glass walls showing deer, mountain goats and flamingos roaming wild and free.
Sharjah Classic Cars Museum
This museum is an ideal place for car, vintage or history fans. Sharjah Classic Cars Museum opened its doors back in 2008 showcasing over 100 vintage cars that were manufactured in the 20th century. The museum is divided into five sections. Each representing a historical stage of the automotive industry. You can get up close with these vintage beauties with the oldest dating all the way back to 1915! Get a look back at history and feel the presence of the roads where these classic cars once ran.
photo credit: Sharjah Classic Car Museum
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors in 2017 and its display of various art and sculptures were the first of its kind in the UAE. It has become the largest museum in the Arabian Peninsula and showcases famous artworks from around the world with focus being mostly on French and Middle East art. Over a 4 hour walk and plenty of art to see, this place is for the curious minds who love to dwell in the beauty of art and its significance.