Yes it’s still hot but there are plenty of ways to get outdoors and stay cool too!
Mornings are extra humid, the a/c is cranked up and everything feels sticky – yup, summer is clinging on with a vengeance (oh how we long for those full days on the beach…). But if, like us, you rely on a daily dose of nature and the outdoors to keep sane and cool then fear not, there are still plenty of ways you can get both without having a meltdown. Here are a few of our faves….
Breakfast At The Farm
One of our favourite spots in Dubai, The Farm Restaurant is a desert oasis tucked away within the very beautiful Al Barari (meaning wilderness in Arabic) residential development– an area made up of over 60% green space, landscaped gardens, lakes and freshwater streams (which apparently help make this area a few degrees cooler than the city). Heaven. The Farm is the most gorgeous dining venue surrounded by nature – in the summer, the outside eating area is enclosed by glass meaning you can stay cool in the a/c while still soaking up all those lush green views. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, make sure to book a table because this place gets busy!
Retreat to RAK
Did you know that RAK is 10 degrees cooler than Dubai and less humid because of its location between the Hajjar Mountains and Persian Gulf? Well now that we know, we’ll be checking into the Intercontinental Resort & Spa and feeling smug about how cool we are.
Dance in the Rain
There’s nothing like a rain shower to break the summer sweat – and while we probably won’t be getting drenched in the desert anytime soon, there are places in the UAE where it rains all the time (yes really). Head to Sharjah’s Rain Room, part of the Sharjah Art Foundation, to experience a downpour in a specially created room where motion sensors stop the rain from ever actually getting wet – and snap some super cool photos (umbrellas are a must!). Or visit a quaint European-style pedestrian road known as the ‘Raining Street of Dubai’ at the Cote d’Azur Monaco hotel in the World Islands’ Heart of Europe by the Kleindienst Group where it literally rains non stop. This kilometre-long street keeps a constant temperature of 27degrees and you can wander under its pretty awnings as rain falls overhead (we’ve heard there’s snow coming at some point soon too…).
Walk in the Forest
We know what you’re thinking – but yes you really can walk in a forest, in the summer – and here’s how. Mushrif National Park has opened a new 10km track featuring pathways and routes for novice or experienced walkers. Take a hike through Ghaf tree-lined forest early morning or late afternoon when the sun dips and expect to see plenty of wildlife while soaking up plenty of gorgeous outdoor vibes.
Bike Through an Oasis
Hands down one of the most beautiful places we’ve visited in the UAE, Al Ain Oasis covers 136 hectares of date palms and fruit trees including mango, orange, banana, fig and lime, fed by a traditional falaj irrigation system. You can either wander through the oasis via winding walkways dappled by sunlight or rent bikes and explore this tropical haven – make sure to find the cute café for a well-earned fresh watermelon juice en route.
Head for the Hills
Just an hour’s drive from Dubai in the gorgeous Hajar Mountains is the old school but so cool Hatta Fort Hotel, the perfect escape from it all. Surrounded by mountains, nature, greenery (peacocks roam the vast hotel lawns), temperatures here are always cooler than in the city so this is a fab place to stay when you just can’t take the heat. With two pools to lounge at and accommodation options ranging chalet style hotel rooms to the new Terra Cabins which are perfect for larger families and even come with their own projector for magical movie nights amidst Hatta’s beautiful natural landscapes.
Get Tropical At Green Planet
A rainforest in the city? It’s not new but the excitement of visiting never gets old – especially when it’s hot outside and you’re craving some of that good-for-the-soul green. Housed within an awesome bio-dome at City Walk, wander amongst 3000 plants and animals including birds, reptiles and cute creatures (our faves are the sloths). For the ultimate refresher, catch a tropical thunderstorm complete with wind and a downpour (at 1pm and 5pm each day) – there are plenty of places to shelter if you don’t want to get wet – but we’re all about dancing in the rain (see above!).
Hang Out With The Animals At XPark Jnr
If you have kids and you don’t know about XPark Jnr then you’ve been living under a rock (they have plenty of those there btw – big ones for climbing). This beautiful outdoor play space/park is like a secret garden tucked away just behind Kite Beach. Jam packed with trees, specially created ‘wadis’ and streams to splash in and gorgeous wooden play structures to climb, there are also resident animals from goats to ducks and tortoises to help feed. When temperatures climb, the trees here offer heaps of shade and a water feature is perfect for a quick cool down. Oh and there’s an air-conditioned café for stocking up on caffeine and treats (with tables outside under the leaves if you want to eat alfresco).
Head To The Garden Concept
Dubai’s most beautiful garden center is so much more than just your average store. With beautiful spaces showcasing indoor and outdoor plants, there are areas to wander through, a leafy café to sit at, kids play area and plenty of lovely air to breathe thanks to all the flora and fauna. Yes this is a place to buy up all the garden stuff you could possibly need but honestly you’ll want to just hang out here for hours – and they really won’t mind if you do.
Reset Your Alarm
Yes it’s obvious but hear us out – getting to the beach for 7am (or earlier, the sun rises by 6am) will guarantee you an hour in/on the water before the heat becomes unbearable. Ok so the sea may not be as cool as you’d like but there’s often a (warm) breeze which feels so good when combined with a quick dip or a spin on the paddleboard. And you won’t burn your toes on the sand…
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