Things to do when it rains in Dubai, from Museum of the Future to The Smash Room

From arcades to aquariums, with a dose of culture thrown in, here's how to stay entertained when it's pouring outside

TEPfactor, in Jumeirah Beach Residence, offers a variety of physical and mental challenges. Photo: TEPfactor
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The UAE is experiencing a spell of gloomy weather, with rain hitting parts of the country and more wet weather predicted.

Despite the unusual forecast, there is plenty to keep us entertained. Here are some wet weather ideas to try out in Dubai.

Visit an indoor aquarium

There is no shortage of aquariums in Dubai, such as the Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis, The Palm and Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo in Dubai Mall. Above ground, there is Green Planet at City Walk Dubai. The indoor vertical rainforest is home to more than 3,000 flora and fauna, and recently welcomed a bearcat and cotton-top tamarin twins into its furry family.

Try an escape room

Head to TEPfactor in Jumeirah Beach Residence, which offers a variety of different physical and mental challenges. Thrill seekers should go to Phobia, which has two locations in Dubai's Jumeirah Lakes Towers. The Dark Room in the Red Diamond Building is said to be a particularly terrifying experience. There's also NoWayOut, with a few locations in Dubai, that offer horror-themed rooms.

Break things at The Smash Room

Although rain is usually known for its calming effect, if that isn't enough take a trip to The Smash Room in Al Quoz. The space helps many people de-stress by allowing them to smash and shatter everyday objects – from television screens and DVD players to glasses, plates and furniture. There is a choice of weapons, including crowbars, sledgehammers, and cricket and baseball bats. Visitors can even hurl things at the concrete walls as another way of releasing pent-up energy.

Tour a museum

There are plenty of museums to visit in Dubai, including Museum of the Future, which showcases some of the world's leading future technologies; the History of Cinema Museum in Barsha Heights displays a private collection of photography artefacts; Etihad Museum in Jumeirah tells the story of the UAE; and Coins Museum in Al Fahidi Historical District displays coins from various historical eras.

Visit the Mohammed bin Rashid Library

Visit the cultural landmark in Al Jaddaf that covers more than 54,000 square metres, with seven floors and nine thematic libraries. Library content becomes increasingly specialised going up the seven levels, while the ground floor is home to three libraries filled with the most accessible content.

There is a General Library, an Emirates Library, one for children and another for young adults, while others focus on business titles, periodicals, maps and atlases, and another centres on media and the arts, which is home to expansive collections of Arabic newspapers and magazines spanning the mid-20th century. There's also a private collections library, but visitors need special permission to access this area.

Go to the arcade aimed at adults

Head to an entertainment hub such as Atlantis, The Palm’s Wavehouse Dubai or Brass Monkey on Bluewaters Island. Family-friendly venue Wavehouse has a bowling alley and plenty of arcade games, including virtual reality simulators, as well as a dining area with a bar and a wave machine, although it's better to avoid if the skies are grey. Over at Brass Monkey, there's a bowling alley, VR racing simulators, retro arcade games, pool and snooker, and two dining venues.

Take photos at Aya in Wafi City mall

Aya is an immersive light and sound park that's spread across 3,700 square metres at Wafi City mall. The park utilises lights, sounds and mirrors to create an otherworldly experience for visitors. It is divided into 12 zones, with each meant to evoke a specific reaction from guests. The zones also feature individual shows, a vibrant choreography of light and sound that goes on for up to seven minutes. Aya features mostly abstract imagery, incorporating extraterrestrial elements in some of the light projections.

Updated: May 22, 2023, 10:03 AM