It seems Dubai is well on its way to restoring a sense of normality similar to pre-Covid-19 times as malls operate at 100% capacity once more and gyms, cinemas, and other leisure destinations continue to reopen across the city. One of the many lessons this lockdown period has taught us is to appreciate the simple pleasures in life.
So, as you begin stepping outside your homes for reasons other than work and groceries this weekend, we’ve rounded up a few activities that will remind you of the many joys Dubai has to offer without breaking the bank, from visiting local art centers to spending long-overdue time in the great outdoors.
Explore cultural beauty at Alserkal Avenue
Although there’s been no shortage of creative outlets while staying at home, there’s no better place to find further inspiration than at one of Dubai’s trendiest arts and culture districts Alserkal Avenue. Easily spend hours getting lost in the art galleries, exhibition halls, and performing arts spaces scattered throughout the Al Quoz warehouses. Sign up for an art class, shop at local boutiques, and support homegrown businesses, from under-the-radar cafés and eateries to chic salons and rejuvenating fitness studios.
Watch the sunset at a beach boardwalk
Bask in some much-needed Vitamin D time before the infamous desert summer hits and head to one of Dubai’s inviting beaches for the ideal afternoon in the sun and sand. Browse a free selection of books at one of the beach library booths, go for a calorie-burning jog around the padded paths, or journey off into the sea on a kayak. As the final rays of sunlight fade, enjoy panoramic vistas at Kite Beach for the quintessential vantage point of the Burj Al Arab at dusk or head to The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah for unobstructed views of Atlantis while you lounge on bean bags and watch from the shoreline as the sun sets on another day well spent.
Discover local creatives at Jameel Arts Center
A relatively unexplored gem in one of Dubai’s newest neighborhoods, Jameel Arts Center on the Jaddaf Waterfront is a dynamic space for local artists and curious community members to engage and interact with one another through a mutual passion of art. Freely soak in all the raw talent of the MENA region through diversely-curated contemporary art installations and an open-air sculpture park for a cultural trip around the Arab world and check out one of these free virtual museum tours after for further ways to creatively connect.
Revisit the wondrous past at Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood
Escape Dubai’s world-famous modernities for a day and connect with the past at Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. Stroll through the stone buildings and narrow alleyways dotted with palm-covered courtyards for an authentic glimpse into the rich heritage of the UAE’s first pioneers. Immerse yourself in the time-honored traditions of the city you currently call home, whether it’s heading to the coffee museum and sampling local roasting techniques, visiting the Dubai Museum Al Fahidi Fort’s rare artifacts and traditional handicrafts, or riding an abra to the opposite side of the creek.
Appreciate nature at Al Qudra Lakes
Pack up the car and embark on a road trip to the Al Qudra Lakes for a unique daycation just 30 minutes from the city center. Whether you’re taking your loved one to the heart-shaped lakes for a romantic date, biking across the 86km cycle track alongside unparalleled views of the desert dunes, or admiring the hundreds of wildlife species in their natural habitat, this hidden oasis has something for everyone. Build a barbecue and picnic under the stars to cap off the night or stop at Last Exit’s food trucks for a bite on the drive home.