11 'cool' attractions and activities in Dubai, from the Ice Lounge to Snow Cinema

Stay frosty this summer with these underwater and arctic-themed destinations

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We might have had clouds and drizzle outdoors this week, but soaring summer temperatures in the UAE still mean activities in the open air are (mostly) off the agenda.

Thankfully, Dubai has an abundance of "cool" attractions with ice, water and sub-zero temperatures served as part of the experience.

Here are some of the best in the emirate.

Chillout Ice Lounge

The Middle East’s first sub-zero lounge is celebrating 15 years this summer and to mark the landmark anniversary, they’re offering deals for all. A family of four can enter for Dh190 including rental of warm clothing, with the voucher fully redeemable on drinks and barbecue chicken skewers. An adult pass costs just Dh60, too, and also includes use of clothing as well as being redeemable on food and drink.

The Time Square Centre venue, which is set at -6ºC, is furnished with sculptures, seats and tables made out of ice, while on the menu are warming soups, hot chocolate and more.

Open Saturday-Wednesday 10am-10pm, Thursday-Friday 10am-midnight; Times Square Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road; 04 341 8121; www.chilloutindubai.com

Ice Bar at London Project

The latest ice attraction in Dubai is the Ice Bar at The London Project on Bluewaters Island. Set inside a simulated ice castle, it’s the first licensed venue of its kind in the Gulf.

Visitors can keep cool with chilled tunes, mixed drinks in frozen glasses, hot plates and icy decor. The blue-and-white-themed venue has tables, chairs and oversized thrones carved from ice as well as icicle-style lights dangling from the ceiling. The outpost has plenty of fluffy faux-fur coats to use to keep things extra cosy, too.

Open daily; noon-midnight; entry is Dh99 including a complimentary beverage; Bluewaters Island; 054 306 1822; thelondonproject.com

Ski Dubai

Dubai, Jan 30th, 2012 -- A colony of snow penguins  from Sea World in San Antonio will move into Ski Dubai in Mall of Emirates starting in February 2012. Visitors to ÔSnow Penguins at Ski DubaiÕ will get a chance to get up close and personal with the birds and learn about them. Photo by: Sarah Dea/ The National

The king of cool attractions in the emirate is, of course, Ski Dubai. Located in Mall of the Emirates, the venue has plenty to offer those looking to chill out this summer. Try skiing or snowboarding and don’t miss the rides or Zorb ball experiences, too. Then there are the penguin packages, where you can walk with snowy friends or even have breakfast with them.

Open Monday-Friday 10am-1am, Saturday-Sunday 9am-1am; prices vary; Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha; 600 59 9905; www.skidxb.com

Snow Cinema

You don’t have to be active at Ski Dubai to stay chilly as Vox Cinemas also offers family screenings in the snow. Anyone aged 2 and up is invited to enjoy a film while wrapped up warm.

Hot chocolate and popcorn is included in the price, as are the blankets, socks, boots, a beanie, gloves, heaters and wireless headphones. For the VIP experience, you also enjoy a meal for two at North 28. You can even order food from the extensive menu right to your seat.

Films currently on show include Thor: Love and Thunder and Minions 2: The Rise of the Gru.

This attraction was even featured on Bafta-winning British TV show This Morning earlier this month when host Alison Hammond paid a visit.

Various timings; from Dh200 for two guests; reserve seats through VOX Cinema's website or app; Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha; uae.voxcinemas.com

Deep Dive Dubai

Why not try scuba diving indoors this summer at Deep Dive Dubai? It’s home to the deepest indoor pool in the world, complete with a sunken city for swimmers and divers to explore.

There are discounts on offer to mark the facility’s first anniversary until July 31, with a complimentary diving experience worth Dh2,100 up for grabs for those marking their birthday this week. Otherwise, Deep Dive Dubai experience and courses start from Dh800.

Open daily, 9am-6pm; Nad Al Sheba, Dubai; 04 501 9444; www.deepdivedubai.com

Swim with sharks

DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Dec 7 , 2016 : Fernando Frias Reis , marine conservationists explaining about the sharks at the Aquarium in Dubai Mall in Dubai. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For News. Story by Nick Webster. ID No - 35717 *** Local Caption ***  PS0712- SHARKS03.jpg

You don’t need to head out to the ocean’s depths to find sharks in Dubai, but to indoor aquariums across the city. Shark diving experiences are available at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, The Dubai Mall, where for Dh790 you can swim with sand tiger sharks, reef sharks, leopard sharks, stingrays, giant groupers and more.

Meanwhile, Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis, The Palm offers a shark safari experience and a new shark snorkel option, which it introduced for Shark Week, running until July 31 with a host of themed activities.

Prices and timings vary; Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai; 800 38224 6255; www.thedubaiaquarium.com; The Lost Chambers Aquarium, Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah; 04 426 1040; www.atlantis.com

Ice bath with Cool Out Breathe In

Perhaps there’s no better time to try plunging yourself into an ice bath — and you’ll learn a thing or two about breathing properly in the process. In Dubai, Benoit Demeulemeester, founder of Cool Out Breath In, hosts a weekly breathwork workshop where participants do exactly that. This method of breathing was made famous by Dutchman Wim Hof — known as the Ice Man for his feats of endurance against the cold.

More information is at @CoolOutBreathIn on Instagram and Facebook

Blue Wave Club

While Blue Wave Club offers swimming lessons and other water-based activities, one of its biggest draws is the indoor waterpark. Splash Island is a temperature-controlled, safe and secure environment offering eight slide beams, a “forest” and buckets splashing children as they play. It’s a particularly great spot for those summer birthdays. On Wednesday, the team invite ladies only from 3pm until closing.

Open Monday-Friday 8am-9pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-8pm; Dh95 for two-and-a-half hours access; Blue Wave Club, Al Quoz 3; 04 331 6117; www.bluewaveclub.ae

Infinite Ski

Technically speaking, there isn’t any snow at this venue and it’s about as cold as the A/C thermostat is set at, but you can certainly pretend you’re in the Alps at the Middle East’s first Maxxtracks indoor ski slope. What that means is the technology used for the slopes, built and developed in the Netherlands, consists of a revolving belt, simulating an endless ski slope with a true-to-life textured surface. There are two slopes, while the belt speed and angle are adjustable to suit the skills of the skiier.

Summer camps for children are ongoing this season, too.

Open Monday-Friday 1pm-9pm, Saturday-Sunday 8am-8pm during summer (summer camps run weekdays 9.30am-1pm); from Dh110 per session; 123-26th Street, Al Quoz; 04 235 3408; www.infiniteski.com


Handout of cryotherapy at CRYO Health in Dubai. Courtesy of CRYO Health The Boulevard

NOTE: For Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane

Is now the time to try a spot of cryotherapy? It’s a treatment where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures in short spurts. It’s often used in a medical setting for the removal of abnormal tissue, for example, but it is increasingly being utilised in wellness environments, too.

There are many cryo chambers, as they’re called, across Dubai at centres touting its benefits, which is said to include fighting inflammation, boosting blood circulation, increasing collagen production, aiding weight loss and more.

Dubai Ice Rink

An oldie but goodie: nothing beats an ice rink for wintery vibes and where better than the stalwart Dubai Ice Rink at The Dubai Mall? Complete beginners mingle with budding Torvill and Deans in the rink, where every so often a shower of snow sprinkles down on skaters.

If you want to take your axels more seriously, classes are also available for people of all ages and abilities, from 7 years old to 97-plus.

Open daily 10am-midnight; Dh110 for 90 minutes; The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai; 800 38224 6255; www.dubaiicerink.com

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Updated: August 30, 2022, 3:49 PM