Dubai provides many indoor activities and sports, from running and cycling tracks to amazing winter pastimes like ice skating, skiing and sledding. For those who want to be active, there’s always something to do, no matter the weather.
Ice-skating is a fun and, more commonly, festive activity – but not one that’s often associated with the deserts of Dubai. There are, however, several places in the city where you can have fun on the ice all-year round.
Dubai Ice Rink, Dubai Mall
Ice-skating has never been more popular in the city since this Olympic-size rink was opened in 2008. It’s a fun way for both kids and adults to spend an hour, or even the whole afternoon. You can rent out ice-skating equipment for a small amount. Popular among visitors and residents alike, the rink has qualified staff who can teach you how to spend more time on your skates rather than on your rear. There is even a giant penguin to help children who can’t quite master stability!
There are several public sessions available during the day, plus disco sessions on some evenings, while shoppers can take a break to watch the experts slug it out in professional hockey games. The rink does get busy at peak times, so you might want to stay away from evening sessions at the weekend.
Location: on the ground floor of Dubai Mall, Metro Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa
Cost: Dh55 per session; Dh40-Dh550 for figure skating lesson, Dh400 for one-hour group skating lesson for schools (up to 20 students); Dh400 per group
Timings: Daily 10am to 12pm
Phone: 04 448 5111
Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates
This artificial ski slope is 400 metres long – the size of nearly four football fields – and has its own aerial ski lift. For skilled skiers, The Freestyle Zone has jumps and rails that change on a regular basis to maintain a challenge.
The price includes skis, boots and ski suits. Hats and gloves are not included, but are available from the ski shop (you would be strongly advised to use gloves!).
If you’re not the death-defying kind then get wrapped up and take a stroll around the Snow Park. There you can meet Ski Dubai’s very own snow penguins, as well as engage in less physically demanding activities.
Location: Mall of the Emirates
Cost: Dh180 adults, Dh150 children under 12 for two hours. Snow Park Dh120 for adults, Dh110 for children under 12 at Snow Park; snow penguins Dh150
Timings: Sunday to Wednesday 10am to 11pm, Thursday 10am to midnight, Friday 9am to midnight, Saturday 9am to 11pm
Phone: 04 409 4000
Galleria Ice Rink, Hyatt Regency Hotel
The destination offers professional figure skating coaching, birthday celebrations, school outings, and disco nights. It’s small when compared with other rinks in the city, but rates are good.
If you do not know how to skate, professional trainers are available to show you the basic moves. A quieter, cheaper alternative to some of the city’s more famous rinks.
Location: The Hyatt Regency, Metro Palm Deira
Cost: Dh35 Sunday to Wednesday, Dh40 Thursday to Saturday, Dh50 Thursday and Friday disco night; Learn-to-skate programme Dh400 1 month, Dh850 3 months, Dh1300 6 months, Dh2100 12 months
Timings: Monday to Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 10am to 12.30pm, 1pm to 4.30pm, 5pm to 9.30pm
Phone: 04 209 6550, 04 209 6551
Al Nasr Leisureland
Hockey games have been played in Dubai for years, thanks to Al Nasr Leisureland, a 48-acre complex in Oud Metha that’s been here since 1979.
Attached to Al Maktoum football stadium and a sports-cum-entertainment complex, this destination was first unveiled all those years ago as a sports complex with a club atmosphere.
Members and non-members of all ages and nationalities can enjoy the sports facilities that, besides ice skating, include football, swimming, tennis, squash, boxing, and ten-pin bowling.
Interestingly, its ice rink is also used for concerts by both resident and visiting bands. For a really cool indoor event, even in the heat of the summer, Al Nasr Leisureland is must-see.
The place is old but well-maintained. There are flexible ice-skating lessons, either as private or group sessions.
Location: Umm Hurair 2, Dubai
Cost: Dh60 for one session of ice skating lesson, Dh50 for group lessons of three to five members, Dh375 (members) and Dh420 (non-members) for 10 sessions for a group of six or more
Timings: Daily 9am to 11pm
Phone: 04 337 1234