The Ultimate Guide to Fun Summer Activities in the UAE
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The Ultimate Guide to Fun Summer Activities in the UAE

Stumped on what to do with the family this summer? Look no further!

The Ultimate Guide to Fun Summer Activities in the UAE

In spite of the sweltering heat, there is no lack of activities in the United Arab Emirates this summer. Fun summer events, camps, festivals, and festivities abound for adults and families alike. Dress for the heat, pack up the kids, and get ready for a fun-filled summer.

1. SummerFest Abu Dhabi

With the longest schedule yet and a diverse range of events, record crowds are expected this year at the 52-day long summer festival. From June 27 to August 17, singers, comedians, kids’ shows and games, concerts, theater, celebrities, and sporting events will entertain guests at this Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority organized event. A fun highlight for kids is the three-story obstacle course with rock climbing walls, zip lines, a maze, towers, and a giant mattress to jump onto.

2. AFOC 17th Open Sports Festival

This event, running from July 10th to July 31st, has grown a great deal in its 17 years, from a local event to one of international status. The festival brings in record numbers of sports teams, clubs, and players from all over the world to compete against and with each other in a variety of sporting events, as well as attracting governmental figures, celebrities, officials, and, of course, fans.

3. Dubai Summer Surprises

Created to promote Dubai as a summer destination around the world, this annual festival, like much of Dubai, has a large shopping focus. Lots of malls and shopping centers stay open into the hours of the night (or morning), so people can enjoy prizes and discounts at more than 6,000 stores. Running for a month from June 7th to July 7th, the event also has entertainment and activities for families and kids, like acrobats, comics, plays, and stage shows.

4. Modhesh World

Speaking of the Dubai Summer Surprises festival, Modhesh World is one of its major highlights for children. Kids from toddler age up to teenagers all have a place at this giant entertainment event, located in the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Center at the Dubai World Trade Center complex. Five different themed zones – Heritage Land, Adventure Land, Fun Fair, Fantasy Land, and Creativity Hall – have a number of activities for kids to participate in. Everything from lessons in Islamic design to an army-style boot camp to a kids’ spa will keep the younger ones entertained. June 20th to August 28th.

5. Eid in Dubai

From August 7th to August 10th, this festival is a cultural interpretation of Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha, traditional Muslim religious celebrations. At the end of Ramadan, the whole city of Dubai celebrates diverse cultures and backgrounds. As a city with more than 200 nationalities represented within its limits, there is plenty of variety to go around. Fireworks, concerts, and the perennial mark of Dubai, shopping specials, can be found across the city for this celebration of togetherness and harmony.

6. KidZania Summer Camp 2013

Another activity located in a mall (air-conditioned locations are clearly a theme), the KidZania Summer Camp at the Dubai Mall, from June 16th to August 29th, has tons of activities to keep kids from ages 6 to 16 busy during the long summer days. Breakfast and lunch are included so busy parents can get some time back for themselves this summer. Kids will learn from intellectually stimulating and exciting workshops on film production, fashion, arts & crafts, media, theater, and rhythm.

7. Fitness Classes

Even with all the festivals and distractions (perhaps especially with all the food at the festivals), fitness should still be an important part of everyday life. Time Out Dubai has put together a list of 32 (!) summer workouts to try this year. What makes the items on this list different from a regular workout? There is a broad variety of leagues, classes, and workshops to try. Boot camps, boxing workshops, yoga, dance, paddle boarding, other water sports, cycling, and a slew of adult sports leagues all together in one list is enough to motivate and spice up anyone’s routine this summer.

8. Zumbathon Charity Event

Another active option for the summer, the Dubai Sports World hosted Zumbathon is a marathon of Zumba dancing, a combination of Latin-inspired dance and fitness. This event, on June 21st, is expected to gather over 400 adults and children to participate in the two-hour workout. The workout is not only good for the body but it’s good for the world too. It benefits the World Food Program, the world’s largest humanitarian agency against hunger.

9. Ramadan in Dubai 2013

During the period of Ramadan, from July 10th to August 9th, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing hosts a number of related activities in town. As a major Muslim holiday, the events are set to focus on emphasizing the spiritual side of the celebration. The events of Ramadan bring together all different nationalities and cultures to share hospitality and traditions, especially at iftars, the first meal eaten after sunset after fasting all day. Visiting a mosque or participating in an iftar (many hotels offer them, sometimes with big tents and celebrations too) will help visitors learn about the traditions of Ramadan.

10. Dubai Desert Road Run 2013

If the desert heat isn’t too much, the Dubai Desert Road Run is a fun competition for adults and kids. There is a 3km junior race for kids from 6 to 18 and also a fun run that is not timed. Adults can compete in the 10k race and can sign up for more of the road runs. The August 2nd race is sure to be a hot one, but fun nonetheless.

There’s no shortage of fun to be had around the UAE this summer, with lots of varying options for the fitness minded and those that want to escape to the air conditioning as well.


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