The UAE's long hot summer is almost over, which means it's soon time to start enjoying the great outdoors again.
Several of the country's outdoor attractions will shortly begin reopening, bringing with them plenty of exciting new additions for the winter season.
Here are some of the best returning venues to keep an eye on.
Dubai’s ever-popular family attraction Global Village will return on October 25.
This year, it will be marking its 27th season with 27 pavilions representing more than 80 cultures from around the world.
The pavilions confirmed for season 27 are the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Afghanistan, Africa, Americas, China, Egypt, Europe, India, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Yemen and Russia.
New for the 27th season are the Oman and Qatar pavilions.
A new concept, Road of Asia, is a pedestrian street with 43 kiosks and offers food and products from countries not represented in the pavilions. The 13 locations featured along the street include Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan and the Philippines.
More attractions will be announced in the lead-up to opening.
Sunday to Wednesday, 4pm-midnight, Thursday to Saturday, 4pm-1am; from Dh18, children under 3 and senior citizens over 65 go free; Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road, Exit 37, E311; 04 362 4114, www.globalvillage.ae
Dubai Safari Park
Dubai Safari Park has already reopened for the season, with added entertainment and educational experiences, as well as a number of new animals.
The park is home to more than 3,000 animals including giraffes, lions, tigers, elephants and dozens more species. There are also newborns at the park, including an Ankole-Watusi cow, eland antelope, Arabian oryx, Nile crocodile and water buffalo.
Visitors can explore themed areas such as the African or Asian villages, the Arabian Desert Safari, Explorer Village and Valley on foot or by bus. A night pass is also coming soon to see the animals after dark.
Daily, 9am-5pm; from Dh50; Al Warqa, Hatta Road, Dubai; www.dubaisafari.ae
Dubai Miracle Garden
Dubai Miracle Garden reopened for its 11th season on October 10.
The attraction is the world’s largest flower-themed garden, with more than 50 million natural flowers and plants, some of which are not cultivated anywhere else in the region.
Exhibits include a floral genie and magic flying carpet; a record-breaking Emirates A380; the world’s tallest topiary structure forming the shape of Mickey Mouse; and a giant floral teddy bear.
Dubai Miracle Garden will announce its official reopening date soon.
Daily; 9am-11pm; D55 for adults, Dh40 for children 12 years and under, free entry for children aged 3 and under; Dubailand; dubaimiraclegarden.com
Dubai Garden Glow
Dubai Garden Glow reopened for its eight season on September 12 with a host of new exhibits.
The Zabeel Park attraction features hundreds of colourful lanterns that move and sparkle, created using more than 10 million energy-saving light bulbs. It's newest addition, the Glowing Safari, features dozens of lanterns shaped like animals and flowers, while one of the attraction's favourite areas, the Dinosaur Park, features more than 100 animatronic dinosaurs.
Sunday to Friday, 4pm-10pm, Saturday 4pm-11pm; Dh65; Zabeel Park, Dubai; 055 918 8126, dubaigardenglow.com
Hatta Wadi Hub
Hatta Wadi Hub is welcoming guests back for its fifth season. The adventure centre reopened on September 16, alongside accommodation at Hatta Resorts, so outdoor enthusiasts can make the most of a night in the Dubai exclave's mountain chalets, caravans, dome tents and airstream trailers.
There are plenty of activities to try, including kayaking, mountain biking, trampoline jumping, zip-lining, wall climbing, paragliding and more. There are also food and beverage options on site, as well as a variety of food trucks.
Hatta Wadi Hub; www.visithatta.com
Ras Al Khaimah
Bear Grylls Explorers Camp
Make the most of the great outdoors and learn some vital survival skills while you’re at it. The Bear Grylls Explorers Camp reopened this month after a brief summer hiatus, offering visitors of all ages and abilities the chance to learn some of the British adventurer's top tips and techniques, via a selection of courses set on Jebel Jais.
The courses are run by experts trained at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy in the UK and include half-day options lasting three to four hours, as well as eight and 24-hour options. If you fancy staying the night in one of the camp’s overnight cabins, you can also try your hand at one of the 48-hour courses. On the Family Primal Survival Course, the minimum age is 8.
Open daily; 24 hours; from Dh450 for adults and Dh325 for children; beargryllscamp.ae
The sprawling wildlife attraction covers an area of eight square kilometres and is located in Al Bridi Nature Reserve in the city of Al Dhaid in Sharjah.
Sharjah Safari, which claims to be the largest outside Africa, is home to more than 1,000 animals and birds and 120 species, including 70 species and rare animals native to Africa, the rarest of which is the black rhinoceros. More than 1,000 native and African trees, including the umbrella-shaped acacia tortilis, have been planted across the site.
It's separated into 12 themed environments, each representing a region in Africa, and the life and terrain of the animals and birds that live in them.
Various ticket categories are available for access to Sharjah Safari's 12 themed environments, including bronze, silver and gold.
Open daily, 8.30am to 6.30pm; from Dh120; Al Bridi Nature Reserve, Al Dhaid, Sharjah; visitsharjah.com