It’s hot, we get it – we’ve been there, done that and got the T-shirt, too.
But you don’t have to flee the UAE to enjoy an amazing summer when there are so many ways to make the most of the coming months right here in the capital.
The air conditioner is working overtime, the city seems to be getting quieter and the sun is
beating down relentlessly. It’s almost summertime and, if you’re like us, you’re sticking it out in Abu Dhabi.
But we’re over sending pictures of the dashboard temperature to friends and family back home or attempting to cook an egg on the pavement (okay, we haven’t really done that, but definitely think we could). And while it’s tempting to hibernate indoors, waiting for it all to blow over, there’s plenty going on to help you enjoy the months ahead.
In need of some convincing? Here are some of the best activities, events and attractions that will be stealing your attention over the next few months.
Out and About
Instead of going stir crazy, why not use this time to keep your mind, body and soul in harmony? Take a trip to Bodytree Studio and enjoy a range of classes including yoga, Zumba, ballet, Pilates and tai chi. From AED 80. Hazza Bin Zayed Street, opposite Adnoc petrol station. Sun-Thu 8am-9pm, Sat 9am-8pm. Contact: 02 443 4448, bodytreestudio.com
Top up on feel-good vibes and turn your attention inwards to focus on healing and empowering with a class or workshop at Inner Space Abu Dhabi, Change Works AD or the Art of Living. Visit: innerspacecentre.ae, changeworksad.com and artofliving.org
If you’re an active person and being trapped inside fills you with dread then head to Al Forsan International Sports Resort where you can try wakeboarding, paintball, go-karting, basketball and more. Prices vary. 12th Street, Khalifa City. 9am-11pm. Contact: 02 556 8555, alforsan.com
Challenge your friends to a round of mini golf at Tee and Putt and see if your short game is up to standard. AED 52.50 per person. Dalma Mall, Mussafah. Sat-Wed 10am-10pm, Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Contact: 02 555 5307, teeandputt.com
Enjoy an early morning or early evening kayaking session in the natural surroundings of the mangroves with Noukhada Adventure Company. Find out more about the city’s amazing eco-system and the animals that call it home. AED 100 for a guided tour. Contact: 02 558 1889, noukhada.ae
Take advantage of this special offer until the end of July and buy an annual Yas Island parks package. Pass holders can visit Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the soon-to-open Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi as many times as you like over summer
and for a calendar year. Plus, if your friend is celebrating a birthday, you can both get
a complimentary pass. AED 1,295, available from any of the park ticket offices or
at ferrariworldabudhabi.com, yaswaterworld.com, wbworldabudhabi.com
Take a trip on the water and set sail around Yas Island or the Eastern Mangroves with Captain Tony’s or check out the Abu Dhabi shoreline from the waters of the Corniche with The Yellow Boats. Visit: captaintonys.ae and theyellowboats.com
With new exhibitions coming every few months, the effortlessly cool Warehouse421 is a great place to see some brilliant art. Plus, if you’re feeling extra creative you can sign up for one of the workshops to learn a new skill, or drop in on the Nagwa Design Studios and see what these creative are making from their Abu Dhabi offices. Free. Mina Zayed. Tue-Sun 10am-8pm. Contact: 02 676 8803, warehouse421.ae
With a new temporary exhibit expected to open in the summer, Louvre Abu Dhabi is always worth a visit. Plus, if you’ve never been before you don’t want to miss the chance to see original works by Vincent Van Gogh and Jackson Pollock, or artefacts from the Middle East and around the world, as well as the opportunity to stand beneath that iconic roof and take a few snaps. AED 60 general admission, AED 30 for children aged between 13 and 22 and UAE education professionals. Cultural District, Saadiyat Island. Tue-Sun 10am-8pm. Contact: 600 56 55 66, louvreabudhabi.ae
Enjoy a few laughs while supporting local talent at the live stand-up comedy series Yalla Laughs, with shows hosted in various venues, including Le Méridien Abu Dhabi and Courtyard by Marriott. With performers from all over the world taking to the stage you can see shows free of charge several times a month. Visit: facebook.com/yallalaughs
Keeping you out of the sun, Cinema Space is continuing with its film programme, which includes restored classics, world cinema and family-friendly flicks. It’s free and open to the public, so all you have to do is check the schedule and RSVP. Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island. Visit: cinemaspace-abudhabi.splashthat.com
Cool kids only
If your little one needs entertaining then why not check out some of these summer camps to keep them busy over the holidays?
At Al Raha Beach Hotel kids aged between four and 12 can immerse themselves in activities like football, swimming, gymnastics, ballet, taekwondo and hip hop from 1st June until the last day of summer break. AED 150 per day, AED 610 per week, AED 2,200 per month. Discounts available for siblings. Next to Al Raha Mall. Sun-Thu 10am-2pm. Contact: 02 508 0555, alrahabeach.danathotels.com
If your child is football mad then why not send them to City Football Schools’ summer camp running from the week beginning 8th July? Mini Agüeros aged between six and 12 will get the opportunity to improve their skills, keep healthy and learn from the qualified coaches. AED 950+ per week. Mubadala Arena, Zayed Sports City, Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Sun-Thu 8.30am-2.30pm. Contact: 056 420 5685, cityfootballschools.com
Little astronauts can reach for the stars at the Little Smarties Nursery Outer Space camp running from 1st July until 30th August. Explorers aged between two and six can take part in space themed activities and even get to visit a space dome. From AED 150 for half day, AED 200 for full day. 21st Street, Khalifa City. Sun-Thu 8am-2pm or 8am-4pm. Contact: 02 556 5500, littlesmartiesnursery.com
Join the holiday camp at Zayed Sports City from 8th July to 13th August, where kids aged between five and 12 can escape the heat and take part in sports including bowling and ice skating as well as craft activities and team building challenges. AED 1,050 per week. Saif Ghubash Street. Sun-Thu 8am-5.30pm. Contact: 02 403 4200, zsc.ae
If your child loves everything about the ocean then why not try out Al Mahara Diving Center’s summer camp hosted from 8th July to 31st August. Kids over the age of eight can take part in a range of indoor workshops covering topics including coral reef conservation, shark awareness and an introduction to basic first aid. AED 785 for non-members for four-day programme. Al Mahara Marine, Eastern Mangroves. Sun-Thu
10.30am-12.30pm. Contact: 050 111 8125, divemahara.com
Children aged between four and 14 can join the annual superheroes kids camp at Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort. Hosted from 1st July to 30th August, the camp is packed with activities like swimming and beach games, watersports, squash and tennis lessons, football, Zumba and arts and crafts. Plus, parents can enjoy a complimentary pool and beach pass while their child attends the camp. AED 180 per day, AED 850 per week. Corniche East. Sun-Thu 9am-2pm. Contact: 02 697 0272,
Children aged between five and 14 can jump around at the tramp camp at Bounce from 2nd July to 7th September. Participants can have fun while developing their aerial skills, playing dodgeball and trying out free running in a safe environment and under supervision from expert staff. AED 180 per day, AED 725 per week. Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi and Reemal Mall, Al Ain. Sun-Thu 8am-1.30pm. Visit: bounce.ae
Want to discover even more events taking place this summer? Keep picking up Abu Dhabi World every week and we’ll make sure you stay up to date with everything that’s happening in our city.
Surviving the holidays with kids
“The biggest challenge is how expensive it can get over the summer because you have to pay to go everywhere as being outdoors is generally not an option,” explains Ashley Bryant, who runs the Surviving School Breaks Abu Dhabi Facebook group.
“However, Abu Dhabi has a lot of free events so there is always something going on, you just need to keep an eye out for deals.”
Keeping kids entertained requires variation. Sometimes you might find yourselves indoors, but there are ways to make hiding from the sun fun.
“If you have kids and are brave enough, holding a play date at your house is always a cheap and fun idea,” Ashley suggests.
“I’ve participated in craft afternoons where everyone invited was instructed to bring one simple arts and crafts activity to share; it’s a lot of fun.
“If you are going to be going outside to the pool or beach, try and go in the early mornings or just before bedtime.
“The temperature may not have changed drastically, but at least you wont be out in the blinding sun. And even if you are going to a park that has plenty of shade make sure to bring sunscreen.
“If you are doing water activities I highly recommend getting your little ones some swim slippers as the ground gets terribly hot and who wants to play the put on/take off shoes game all day? ”
While the first few weeks of summer may be bearable, be careful not to fall into a routine or get too repetitive early on. Joining an online community can help you try out new things, meet new people and, hopefully, have a good time.
“The first few weeks will generally fly by, but it’s the last chunk of summer when everybody starts to get antsy,” says Ashley.
“Don’t be afraid to reach out to local businesses about how much you enjoyed the activity you participated in and how much you would love another one to be held!
“If you’re looking for some mum time or meet-ups, simply mention in our group if you will be attending the different events; it is always nice to get new groups together.”
To join, search for Surviving School Breaks AD on Facebook.
WORDS Colin Armstrong