Keep Your Cool - Indoor Sports in Dubai
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Keep Your Cool - Indoor Sports in Dubai

The oppressive heat of the Dubai summer sun can be a real impediment to playing sports during the daylight hours. We take a look at some of the best places to play sports when the mercury starts to soar.

Keep Your Cool - Indoor Sports in Dubai

Playing sports is a great way to maintain overall fitness and keep in shape. Not only do participants achieve health benefits, but team sports also foster teamwork and cooperation in a social and fun environment. Competing in sports creates a resiliency in participants, affording them the ability to learn from mistakes and improve on past performances in order to better the team and themselves.

With temperatures in Dubai often soaring above 40 degrees Celsius over the summer months, playing sports is made more difficult during the day, so many people choose to engage in indoor sports. There are a number of sporting venues available in Dubai, and we examine some of the best.

Indoor Football

Truly the world’s sport, football is played by people across the globe with FIFA estimating that around 265 million people participate and more than 3.2 billion people (or 46 percent of the global population) tune into the World Cup each year. With the sizeable expat community living in Dubai, football presents one of the best ways to bring people from different backgrounds together. Equally enjoyable both outdoors or indoors, there are a number of purpose-built facilities for those wishing to enjoy this fast-paced, exhilarating sport.

Adaaf Sports Club Dubai

18B Street

Al Quoz Industrial Area 2


With 20,000 square feet of surface area, the Adaaf Sports Club Dubai was built in 2008 through the Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders by four passionate sports enthusiasts. The facility features four indoor 5-a-side artificial turf fields, the first indoor sports arena in the UAE to offer such facilities.  

Football Centre Dubai

Industrial Area 1

Interchange 3


Centrally located in the heart of Dubai, the luxurious Football Centre offers a range of services for indoor soccer enthusiasts. The centre includes a range of 3-a-side and 5-a-side facilities with a number of leagues available to join for those wishing to battling it out for tournament supremacy. With the centre open until midnight, there’s always time for a game, no matter when the urge to play hits.


Few things match the exhilaration of nailing a three point shot in the final seconds of a basketball game to snatch victory. The basics of basketball are easy to learn but developing proficiency at the sport takes years of focus and dedication. There are outdoor courts for those that want to take it to the streets, but for those that want to play once the sun goes down, options become a little thinner on the ground.

Dubai Sports Centre

Dubai World Trade Centre

2nd Zaabel Road (D 73 Rd)


Whilst the few outdoor courts in Dubai are great for a quick game of street pick-up, the oppressive heat of the city means that an indoor game is usually preferable. The Dubai Sports Centre is spread across 28,000 square metres of space and hosts a huge range of activities, from cycling to ice skating to badminton, but of importance to basketball lovers, it’s one of the only public indoor courts in Dubai. An hour on the court will put you back around 100 AED and the facilities are open until midnight each day (and 3 a.m. during Ramadan).

Etsilat Academy

Emirates Road (E311), Exit 60

Al Muhaisnah-2


The Etsilat Academy’s Sport and Leisure club is one of the largest complexes of its type, featuring a wide array of indoor and outdoor facilities. Open to the general public. the academy includes both an indoor or floodlit outdoor basketball court so you’ll never be short a place to shoot some hoops.


Squash was voted the World’s Healthiest Sport by Forbes magazine in recognition of the fact that it provides an all over workout, in minimal time within a small area. This makes it perfect for urban lifestyles where free time is at a premium and space is a precious commodity. There are a number of hotels, clubs and business buildings that have squash courts, but many require membership. The following is a list of some squash courts that have a pay-to-play policy.

Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa

Club Joumana

13 Exit Sheikh Zayed Rd


This is an all-in-one, 5-star beach hotel and resort where you can come for a game and stay for the evening with a massage and pampering from the attentive staff. Two courts, 60 AED.

India Club

Oud Metha Rd


The India Club has twin courts on the ground floor that are open until 10 p.m. seven days per week. With one of the cheapest pay-to play-prices in Dubai, it’s a good idea to book ahead to confirm a apace. Two courts, 40 AED.

Etisalat Academy

Emirates Road (E311), Exit 60

Al Muhaisnah-2


Dubai’s largest provider of training and development solutions has an expansive selection of indoor and outdoor sporting facilities including twin squash courts at reasonable hire rates. Two courts, 50 AED.


When the weather is cooler, beach volleyball is a great group activity to keep active and stay fit, but once the weather starts heating up or the sun hides behind the horizon, an indoor venue is the place to be.

Collegiate American School

Umm Suqeim


Put together a team and sign up with Duplays to get involved in their eight-week indoor volleyball tournament. Mixed teams of six players come together to play on Tuesdays and Sundays between 7:30 and 9:30 for a great, all-over workout.

Indoor Cricket

Indoor cricket brings all the skill and action of regulation cricket into a fast paced, indoor environment. Incredibly popular across Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain and the Indian subcontinent, indoor cricket is easy to learn and a great way to stay fit.

Insportz Club

Al Quoz Industrial Area 3


Cricket enthusiasts can play at the air conditioned Insportz Club in a variety of capacities. Teams can book a court to play a game amongst themselves or join in the league to have a shot at championship glory. Umpires are provided to oversee the matches and provide assistance in interpreting any rules. Whilst membership is not strictly required to use the facilities, members are given preference and all equipment required is supplied.


Rugby enjoys huge participation rates across the globe, with more than 5 million people playing the sport across 117 countries. The sport has a healthy following in Dubai as well, evidenced by the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament attracting over 90,000 spectators for a celebration of rugby over three days.

Dubai Sports City

Emirates Rd


The Football and Rugby Academy Campus at Dubai Sports City is the largest purpose-built rugby facility in the UAE. With a focus on development of talent amongst all age groups and standards all the way up to international levels, the facility can accommodate 5-, 7- and 11-sided rugby games. The state-of-the-art facility has everything any player could need, from hot and cold recovery baths to medical and physiotherapy rooms.

Whilst there are two outdoor grounds, during the summer months the indoor IRB standard artificial turf pitch is used, allowing participants to exercise while having a reprieve from the stifling Dubai heat. The first Indoor Mixed Touch Rugby Competition has launched this year with a view to increasing participation rates in the sport and allowing regular players to maintain their fitness levels during the off season. Each team consists of 10 players and they play two to three 16-minute games each night.


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