A freezing point in the hot

With soaring temperatures all around indicating no signs of dwindling, you can trust your survival instincts to kick in and begin the hunt for means to cool down.

By Karen Ann Monsy

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Published: Sat 23 Aug 2008, 10:03 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 5:09 PM

It might be logical to presume options to keep cool in desert countries are terribly limited, but not here in Dubai. To accommodate the needs of an ever-growing population, the land has, without a doubt, swiftly adapted itself by establishing cooler climes.

Get sporty

The summers here tend to drive all thought of sports right out of the mind. Mothers tell kids off for even asking for permission to play in the park. But we're aware of what all work and no play did to Jack. Climate, therefore, should not be a hindrance to keeping one's self fit and on the move. You may not be able to step out, but that's not to stop one from having an equally gala time indoors.

Since its inception in 2005, Ski Dubai has built a reputation for providing the complete winter experience. "Ski Dubai is the only snow experience in the region that can be enjoyed throughout the year and this summer we are offering a large number of exciting activities catering to all ages," says Mike Mahoney, General Manager, Ski Dubai.

As temperatures hit new highs, don't miss the chance to hone your snow sport skills with international ski instructors at their Snow School. For the benefit of all, Ski Dubai has extended its timing from 9am to midnight until August 31.

Ice skating, ice hockey and bowling are promising pursuits that can be adopted by professionals and novices alike. There is definitely no dearth of clubs that provide these facilities.

Al Nasr Leisureland and Hyatt Regency's Galleria Ice Rink are two such popular hangouts and their competitive rates make them even harder to resist. For a tempting Dh25, Al Nasr Leisureland offers ice-skating and swimming lessons. Skaters at the Galleria Ice Rink can blissfully take to the ice for three and a half hours of unassisted skating at the same rate, except on Mondays and Wednesdays, when the Ice Rink is closed.

If you're not up for any of these, the fastest — and probably, the first — option that comes to mind is to jump headfirst into a pool. An undeniably quick way to defy the heat, there's nothing like soaking for hours together in cool waters that drive everything but relaxing thoughts from the mind. Indeed, developing strong athletic skills while combating the heat doesn't just make for a sweet deal - it's called killing two birds with one stone.

Pamper yourself

Rejuvenation of the mind and body is imperative when you consider facing the different conflicts and battles each day brings forth. Add to it the sweltering heat and you'll have cooked up the perfect formula for a breakdown. Spas or beach resorts are alternatives that not only ensure utmost comfort but also provide a getaway from the stress and humdrum of daily routines. The staff at these resorts is trained to focus on helping you beat the heat during the summer with their assortment of luxury treatments. Your cares will slip away under their careful administrations and their combinations of aromatic body massages, facials and other therapies are sure to leave you with a glow that's more than just skin-deep.

Dubai has already won international acknowledgement as a premier spa destination. Many spas cater exclusively to women while men will find their needs specially pampered at the likes of H2O The Male Spa.

Some resorts like the Al Aqah Beach Resort, Fujairah, even offer special programmes for kids that keep them engaged and make the time spent enjoyable for all. Taking the weekend off to visit one will suffice to return you relaxed and ready to tackle whatever hurdle is thrown your way with renewed vigour. In a nurturing environment such as this, rest assured, you'll be left with a refreshing energy that pulses through the self and recharges your 'bring-it-on' attitude to life like nothing else will.

Shop, don't drop

It would be hardly surprising if this suggestion doesn't score too well with the men folk. By default, it seems all men go into hiding if they get as much as a hint they're going to be dragged off to a mall. But seriously, mall loafing or just window shopping can make for some pretty fun family moments, too. Surrounded by family or friends with the humidity helpless against the mall's air-conditioning, what better way to be shielded from the sun and still enjoy the benefit of a good time?

Tourists have come to associate the region as synonymous with shopping, owing to some of its world class malls, such as The Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall and Mercato, just to name a few. The malls are a stress-free source of entertainment with their multiplex cinemas, amusement centres and other facilities. Often, they double as a venue for festivals such as the annual Dubai Summer Surprises and other tourist attractions. Fatigue is easily overcome by simply dining at any of their mouth-watering restaurants and cafes. The common advertising pitch is their guarantee that you'll shop till you drop. Well, what with each of these malls boasting a wide range of outlets within and housing some of the biggest brands of the century, they're sure to give you a run for your money. Their only question is: Are you game or not?

Frozen delights

If you're looking for the ultimate chilled out experience, take yourselves to the frostiest point in Dubai — the Chillout Ice Lounge at Times Square Center on Shaikh Zayed Road, where your world will be turned to ice faster than you can say "Freeze."

Chillout Director Saleh Sharaf says, "It is the only lounge of its kind in the Middle East. The restaurant is a unique concept pioneered by Sharaf Group that has given people more reason than ever to just chill out."

Upon entrance, visitors are given hooded parkas and other protective gear which come complimentary with the cover charge of Dh60 per adult. They are then made to enter an initial buffer zone (at zero degrees) in preparation for the chilly shock they are to encounter inside. From the glasses in which drinks are served to the tables, seats and other items of interior décor, there is nothing inside that is not made of ice. Appetites are satisfied with international cuisine amidst temperatures that dip down to an icy minus six degrees.

Since its opening in June last year, the sub-zero environment at this restaurant has become popular with locals and expatriates alike. Curiosity is the name of the game that drives most customers to this venue. If you can dare to bear it, the Chillout Ice Lounge will have you unsure about whether you prefer extreme cold to extreme heat after all. For here, despite the desert climate all around, 'cool' would be an understatement.

Bringing with it the perfect excuse for water-fights and ice creams, the summer is back in Dubai in all its severity.

Only this time, feel free to indulge yourself with these ways to stay cool and don't let it crank up the heat on you, too.



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