UAE: 15 cool places to hang out and revel in the New Year

Give 2024 a head start with these exciting activities in and around the country

By Compiled by Areeba Hashmi

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Published: Sun 31 Dec 2023, 5:31 PM

Dinner in the Sky

Choosing a restaurant in Dubai is no easy task with a plethora of options, but for a truly unique experience, check out Dinner in the Sky. This unconventional dining spot offers a sky-high adventure. Start by taking your seat at a table on solid ground before being elevated 50 metres into the air by a crane for an extraordinary dining experience. Located at Al Sufouh near Skydive Dubai, Dinner in the Sky is open daily from 2pm to 11pm, promising a one-of-a-kind culinary journey in the clouds.

Drone show

Catch the drone spectacle this year with two captivating stories. Head to Bluewaters and The Beach, JBR at 8pm and 10pm to witness the shows – "Fairytale Fusion with Emirati Culture" and "Illustration of Dubai in the Future." The first show, "Fairytale Fusion with Emirati Culture," is a dazzling collaboration with Emirati animator Mohammed Saeed Harib, the genius behind the popular cartoon series Freej, promising a truly spectacular display in the skies.

Atmosphere Burj Khalifa

Between 7am and 11am, flash your Emirates ID at Atmosphere in Burj Khalifa during breakfast, and your bill gets 20 per cent lighter. The regular price per person for the spread is Dh450, but with the discount, you'll only pay Dh360—saving you Dh90. Make your morning meal in the iconic Burj Khalifa not just a culinary delight but also a savvy financial choice. Don't miss the chance to start your day with a view and a discount at Atmosphere.

Deep Dive Dubai

Dive into the depths at Deep Dive Dubai, a world-record-breaking facility boasting a 60-metre-deep pool and a sunken city for divers of all levels. Whether you're into freediving, snorkelling, or scuba diving, this facility offers experiences and courses for everyone. Located in Nad Al Sheba, it's open daily from noon to 6pm. Immerse yourself in the underwater wonders and explore the extraordinary features of this diving haven whenever you're ready for an aquatic adventure.

Butterfly Garden

Nestled beside the Miracle Garden in Al Barsha South, the Butterfly Garden boasts over 15,000 butterflies of 50 diverse varieties. Explore this vibrant sanctuary where these delicate creatures flutter in a unique and enchanting setting. Immerse yourself in the colourful world of the Butterfly Garden, a distinct experience awaiting your discovery right next door to the Miracle Garden.

La Perle by Dragone

Experience a live theatre spectacle like no other with acrobatics, water stunts, motorbikes, and more at La Perle by Dragone. This mesmerising show in Al Habtoor City is a must-see, offering a unique blend of artistry and adrenaline. Witness this breathtaking performance that promises to leave you in awe. La Perle by Dragone is a captivating live entertainment experience that deserves a spot on your must-visit list.

The Irish Village

Dubai's enduring gem, The Irish Village, has maintained its charm for over two decades, drawing expats in droves. Its large garden and homely ambiance create a laid-back favourite for residents. Boasting regular live music, good food, and a great vibe, The Irish Village remains a Dubai institution. Open daily from 11am to 1am, it stands as a testament to the city's diverse and thriving social scene. Head to Garhoud and immerse yourself in the warmth and character of this long-standing establishment.

Balloon Adventures

Looking for a sky-high adventure? Consider ticking off a bucket list item with Balloon Adventures Dubai. Book a morning excursion and experience serene floating over the desert at 4,000m above the ground. Depending on your comfort with heights, it might be thrilling or a bit terrifying, but it's guaranteed to be exhilarating. Enjoy a pickup starting from 4am across Dubai, setting the stage for an unforgettable journey through the skies with Balloon Adventures Dubai.

GAME OVER

For escape room enthusiasts, one of the top activities in Dubai awaits at the GAME OVER Escape Rooms and Board Game Café, located in Nakheel Mall since 2022. The expansive VR-powered escape room promises organised fun like no other. With a sprawling over 11,000sqft, it features 12 physical escape rooms boasting epic themes, along with 11 meta-escape rooms accessible via VR headsets. Additionally, indulge in the board game cafe experience. Head to the second floor of Nakheel Mall and immerse yourself in the thrilling world of GAME OVER Escape Rooms.

Al Qudra Cycling Track

Drive past Dubai's Arabian Ranches, and you'll spot a cycling path on your left, known as the Al Qudra cycling track. Offering an 86km route with a challenging 50km loop, it's a test for both biking skills and endurance. Trek UAE provides bike, helmet, and lights rentals, and a Last Exit food truck park serves as a convenient pit stop. Access to the track is free, allowing you to enjoy desert dune views and possibly spot gazelles. All skill levels are welcome, but plan for a three-hour ride, especially during popular weekend mornings. Locate it on Al Qudra Road.

Topgolf

Whether you're a self-appointed pro or a beginner, Topgolf offers a super-fun experience for all. Boasting 90 climate-controlled hitting bays across a massive three-storey facility, there's more golf than you can swing a club at. This licensed venue not only provides a golfing haven but also serves up a selection of food and beverages for you to enjoy. Friends, family, or colleagues, engaging in some driving range antics at Topgolf is sure to bring everyone together.

Punjab Grill’s Vegan Menu

Start the year with Punjab Grill's vegan menu, a culinary delight by Executive Chef Sandeep Ail. Priced at Dh275 per person throughout January, savour dishes like Banana Stem Salad, Jimikand ka Seekh, and Phulka Tacos. This vegan extravaganza offers a party for your taste buds, inspired by timeless secrets from Indian kitchens. Whether you're a committed vegan or curious taster, explore the goodness of plant-based cuisine at Punjab Grill. Vegan options are available year-round in their à la carte menu, with the flexibility to customise any dish according to your preference.

Askim

Experience a fusion of Levantine and Turkish cuisine at Askim, roughly translating to ‘love’ in Turkish. Newly opened in Downtown Dubai, its sun-drenched interiors provide a spacious setting. For breakfast, indulge in a generous tray of Turkish-style dishes. The menu features kebabs, mezes, and refreshing salads. Signature dishes like kebbeh msalwakat, Askim hummus, and meat with chestnut rice are the highlights here. Head to Askim for a delightful journey through Turkish and Syrian flavours, creating a unique culinary experience in the heart of Downtown Dubai.

Chef’s

Chef’s, nestled in the heart of Al Satwa, is a smokehouse haven renowned for gourmet, homemade briskets, ribs, and juicy burgers. Located discreetly behind Sheikh Zayed Road, Chef’s stands out as a destination for delectable smoked meats. The star of the show inside Chef’s is the smoker, stealing the spotlight while crafting mouthwatering offerings such as brisket, smoked BBQ sandwiches, and ribs. Open daily from noon to 1am, Chef’s invites you to indulge in a flavourful journey on Al Badaa’ Street in Al Satwa.

Zenon

In the heart of Downtown Dubai, Zenon, a new restaurant and lounge, invites patrons to immerse themselves in a unique experience where holograms dance and walls pulsate with dynamic digital art. Microsoft Kinect cameras capture every movement, and the resident DJ's headwear transforms energy into spontaneous digital artwork projected on the walls. Zenon's menu, crafted by chefs Lorenzo Buccarini, Thomas Papas, and sushi chef Tatsuya Ueda, features Mediterranean and Asian cuisine. Zenon promises a fusion of gastronomy and digital art at Address Dubai Mall Hotel.

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