It’s your last chance for some outdoor fun

Winter just bid farewell and gave us spring. Sadly, spring isn’t going to last too long. Here’s how you can make the best of your time before summer truly kicks in.

Words by Ayush Narayanan

Desert the city life

DDRC, Dubai Desert Coservation Reserve, Al Maha, Marriott, outdoor

Sometimes, you just need to break out of this magnificent, zesty city and drive over to the quieter side of town. Spanning over 250 kilometres, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR) is home to various wildlings like the Arabian Gazelle, Sand Fox, bats, and more. Whether you’re looking for a luxury weekend getaway at Marriott’s Al Maha resort or an opportunity to teach the young one about the environment, the Reserve will prove to be a great day out in the wilderness. Use licensed Desert Drive (tourism) agencies to make most out of the expedition as they offer a range of activities like hot air ballooning, sand boarding, dune drives, archery and much more.

Al Maha, A Luxury Collection Resort and Spa, Dubai-Al Ain road. Pool package – AED 575 incl. three-course lunch, full-day access to the pool, spa facilities, and DDCR entrance fee. Packages – breakfast AED 182, lunch AED 287 – three-course, afternoon tea AED 182 – pastries and hot beverages, dinner AED 528 – five course.

 

Walk the Walk at JBR

beach, JBR, The Beach, fun, summer, cafe, bar, water, outdoor

With the constant rise in mercury levels over the next few weeks, beach runs will be next to impossible.  So we suggest you make the best of the last days of spring and relax by the sea at The Beach in JBR. If you’re an adrenaline lover, you will find the water sports section more to your tune. However, if hanging out by the coast is not your cup of tea, walk across the shore onto the chic promenade featuring Roxy cinemas, a wide range of cafés, bars, restaurants, and pop-up stalls selling everything from accessories to street food. Just off the coast, Bluewaters Island is also now open, making for an even better day out. Here are some fun activities to look out for at the Beach, from now until 20th April.

The Beach, Jumeirah. www.thebeach.ae. Parking AED 20 per hour, Valet AED 55 per day per vehicle.

 

Weekend Barbeque sesh            

mamzar park, beach, barbecue, bbq, swimming pool, indoor, outdoor

If you’re looking for a family get-together over the next week, don’t look further than Mamzar Beach Park. This peaceful outdoor attraction has a clean beach, a green park with kiddie zones, wooden canopies for barbeques, a covered swimming pool with attached facilities and so much more. There is an entrance fee of AED 5 per person and free parking, or AED 30 per car if you want to park your car inside the park. There are cafeterias in the park, but the options are quite limited.

Beach cabins – large AED 200, small AED 150. Swimming pool – adults AED 10, kids AED 5. Bicycle rental available. Beach access, barbeque areas and playgrounds – free. Entrance fee – AED 5 per person, AED 30 per car. Free parking available. Sunday-Wednesday, 8am-10pm. Thursday-Saturday (and official holidays) 8am-11pm. Mondays and Wednesdays for ladies and kids only (boys under six). 04 296 6201.

 

Seven levels of waterfront wonder

pier 7, hotel, bar, outdoor

Grab a seat on one of the terrace at Pier 7, where the restaurants offer seven cuisine choices, from the French cuisine of Atelier M to the jungle setting of Mama Zonia. Nearby Dubai Marina Walk houses the RTA’s ferry, which you can catch using through the Marina and around Palm Jumeirah, with stunning views of Atlantis The Palm.

Food at Pier 7 costs on average upwards of AED 250. Pier 7, Marina Promenade. 04 436 1020. www.pier7.aeDubai Ferry – adults AED 50, ages 10 and below AED 25, two and under ride free. 800 9090. 

 

Waterfall stroll

Dubai Canal, walk, avenue, promenade, suspension bridge, tolerance bridge, walkway, night out, romantic, outdoors

Inaugurated in 2016, this mechanical wonder over the Dubai Water Canal has not failed to amuse visitors. The man-made waterfall under Sheikh Zayed Road features a sensor that turns the plumes off when boats pass by. The locality around the attraction is still under development and hence is not overly crowded, making for a pleasant evening under the stars. If you have time to spare, walk along the avenue to the Tolerance Bridge (pictured) for a few Instagram photos and Boomerangs. If you want to experience the waterfall in its full glory, there are various boat rentals and onboard cuisine options and the RTA has a fleet of marine transport covering this region too.

Free. Dubai Water Canal, Sheikh Zayed Road. Exit beside Habtoor Palace and park underneath the highway in RTA’s paid parking. Metro access from Business Bay.

 

Miracle in the desert

Dubai Miracle Garden, butterfly park, water, outdoors, mickey mouse, world record

The Miracle Garden in Dubai is a playground for nature in its most magnificent stature/form. Inviting over 1.5 million visitors every year, the flower park ends in mid-May. The flowers are often in full bloom now and the weather is just perfect for an outdoor spree. Read our feature on this year’s garden and don’t forget to visit the adjacent butterfly garden.

Dubai Miracle Garden, Al Barsha South 3, is open 9am-9pm weekdays and 9am-11pm Friday and Saturday. Admission is AED 50 for adults, AED 40 for children aged three to 12. Under twos and people of determination go free. www.dubaimiraclegarden.com

Fancy watching a film outdoors? There’s still time. Here are our picks of the al fresco flicks.

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