10 summer pop-ups to visit in the UAE before they close

From indoor markets to new foodie venues and fitness options, there's something for everyone

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

With schools all set to start again from next week, it can only mean that summer is almost over.

It also means that the indoor markets and pop-ups that have been held over the hottest months will soon be coming to an end.

To make sure you don't miss out, here are the ones to visit before they shut up shop.


K-Market is running until August 28 at Festival Plaza in Dubai, celebrating all things South Korean.

Scroll through the gallery above to see more of the market

The pop-up brings together food, beauty, clothing, and arts with stalls selling popular Korean street eats such as tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), kimchi, kimbap and bubble tea. Popular home-grown supermarket 1004 Gourmet also has a stall, alongside Food Korea and Dul Set Cafe, which are all selling Korean groceries.

There’s also a big focus on beauty products and K-pop fans can catch regular dance performances throughout the weekends, as local troupes Zen1th and DXBfelicity perform.

The market is open from 11am to 9pm each weekend.

More information is available at www.dubaifestivalplaza.com

Indoor summer sports at Adnec, Abu Dhabi

Zorbing is available at Adnec's indoor summer sports. Photo: Adnec

Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre is running an indoor sports programme until Wednesday, August 31. There's tennis, basketball and football on offer, and visitors can also try out the purpose-built, one-kilometre walking track that's free of charge to use.

The space covers 27,000 square metres and there are more than 25 indoor tracks and courts to use, all air-conditioned. Organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the programme is designed to encourage people to stay healthy even during the hotter months of the year.

Open daily 8am-1pm; with free access to the venue and CrossFit and running track, prices vary for court bookings. More information is available at www.adsummersports.ae

Back-to-school pop-ups

The Dubai Mall, Dubai Hills Mall and Dubai Marina Mall are all hosting child-friendly activations until Sunday, August 28.

At the Star Atrium in The Dubai Mall, there are science-themed workshops and shows from 4pm to 10pm, while Dubai Hills Mall also offers science-inspired activities, plus workshops and weekend shows, with raffle draws open to shoppers.

Over at Dubai Marina Mall’s Dome Atrium, there are workshops as well as magic tricks, soap-making and a giant memory game for children to put their brains to the test.

More information is available at www.thedubaimall.com, www.dubaimarinamall.com and www.dubaihillsmall.com

Ice Bar

Running until the end of summer is the Ice Bar at The London Project on Bluewaters Island, the first licensed bar of its kind in the GCC.

All the furniture is carved from ice, while icicle-themed lights dangle from the ceiling. For those worried about being cold, there are plenty of faux fur robes and hats to ward off the chill. A complementary menu of oysters, Hokkaido scallops and Scottish king salmon is also on offer.

As well as the unique interiors, Ice Bar also highlights the plight of some of the world's most interesting arctic animals — polar bears. Throughout summer, guests could be randomly gifted a symbolic eco-adoption certificate for cubs or adult polar bears.

Entry costs Dh99, including a complimentary beverage.

More information is available at www.thelondonproject.com

Reborn Society

Founded by influencer and designer Zeynab El-helw, fashion label Reborn Society is holding an exclusive pop-up shop as part of Dubai Design District’s Rethink Summer programme, which includes workshops, talks, activities and even boot camps.

Offering sustainable fashion collections made from 100 per cent organic cotton and recycled materials, and a percentage of proceeds is donated to UNHCR to support refugees around the world. It's open until Sunday, August 28.

More information is available at www.therebornsociety.com

From The Arabs

Also taking place as part of D3 is a candle-making class by From The Arabs, an Emirati brand that hand-makes home fragrances using authentic ingredients. This pop-up's aim is to introduce traditional aromas to a wider audience and so they're hosting a one-day make-your-own candle workshop on Tuesday from 2pm to 4pm. Visitors can discover how to create their own candle using traditional Emirati fragrances such as oud, musk and L’Ban.

More information is available at www.fromthearabs.com

The Market at Dubai Festival City

An indoor pop-up market is taking place at Dubai Festival City and running until Sunday, September 4, as part of Dubai Summer Surprises.

Visitors can check out The Market, which is opposite a petting zoo, and browse stalls by local and home-grown vendors, offering all manner of products, including items for children, pets and the home.

More information is available at www.dubaifestivalcitymall.com

Flair 5

Outdoor lounge and bar Flair 5 at The Ritz-Carlton DIFC has moved indoors for the summer and its pop-up is running until Tuesday, August 30. With plenty of indoor seating, a live DJ and a Saturday brunch, it is serving Japanese-Peruvian cuisine.

Think sharing platters of flower-inspired appetisers, and main courses including signature tuna and passion fruit ceviche, quinoa and pumpkin salad, and glazed salmon.

More information is available at www.ritzcarlton.com

Salt Island

Burger bar Salt has taken over Central Galleria at City Centre Mirdif for the summer, with a pop-up called Salt Island. In a shift from its normal menu, there are no burgers or fries on offer, but customers can tuck into heat-busting desserts such as passion fruit push-pops, mango softies and watermelon sundaes.

The pop-up is themed for summer and comes decorated with surfboards, inflatable swimming rings, plus tropical plants. Customers can also pick up exclusive merchandise.

More information is available at www.instagram.com/findsalt

Mercury Lounge

Foodies will appreciate the summery, Sicilian vibes of Mercury Lounge, an indoor pop-up at Suq Restaurant in the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach.

Dedicated to bringing Mediterranean flavours to our shores, in addition to grilled meats and cold cuts, guests can savour updated classics, such as burrata with heirloom tomatoes, basil pesto and Taggiasca olives. It also has a carefully curated selection of plant-based masterpieces from the all-vegetarian neighbouring restaurant Folia by Matthew Kenney.

It's open daily between 6pm and 1am and will run until about mid-September, depending on the temperature outside.

More information is available at www.mercurylounge.com

35 new things to do indoors in the UAE this summer — in pictures

Updated: August 22, 2022, 3:34 AM