Shark in Dubai Aquarium

75+ Coolest Indoor Activities in Dubai in 2024

by Dubai Travel Planner

Dubai’s hot in the summer. Like, really hot.

Whether you’re an expat resident or a tourist looking to fly through or take advantage of cheaper summer prices, I bet you’ll be looking for what activities and attractions can be enjoyed INSIDE over Dubai’s hottest months of the year.

Having lived through a decade of UAE summers ourselves (OK, I can’t lie – most years, we do take off overseas for at least part of the summer to escape the heat!), but we have spent A LOT of time getting to know Dubai’s best indoor attractions in the hottest months that can stretch from April to October each year.

No matter the time of year, Dubai has something to suit everyone indoors. We’ve broken this bumper summer list of 75+ indoor things to do in Dubai down into easy-to-navigate sections to suit your interests:

(NB places we have marked with a * are on the Dubai Pass – learn more on how to save money on Dubai’s top attractions here).

Major Tourist Attractions in Dubai That Are Indoors

These are our top pick of tourist attractions and indoor places to visit in Dubai that you can still visit even at the peak of summer (do be mindful that there may still be short walks from the car park to the entrance).

  • The Dubai Frame* – superb views as well as interactive displays around Dubai’s past and present in Zabeel Park.
  • Dubai Opera – not only has a sensational show lineup covering everything from musical classics to comedies and kids’ stage shows, but you can also take an architectural tour.
  • Etihad Museum* – learn more about the country’s recent history and journey to unification.
  • Museum of the Future – the latest incredible Museum to open in Dubai, focusing on technology and the future.
  • La Perle * – evening extravaganza by Dragone is one of the city’s most highly acclaimed stage shows in Al Habtoor City.
  • Lost Chambers Aquarium* – part of the extensive Atlantis the Palm complex; travel through the Lost City, and take on a Myth Tour.
  • IMG Worlds of Adventure* – Dubai’s entirely indoor action theme park based on the outskirts of the city where you can fit in a full day of adrenaline-pumping fun.
  • Mohammed Bin Rashid Library – architecturally stunning outside and invitingly cool within; from the colourful children’s library to their extensive library catalogue, a bookworm’s dream.
  • Museum of Illusions – based along the Al Seef Waterfront, pop in for a reprieve from the heat and enjoy the fun optical illusions on offer.
  • Madam Tussauds Dubai – the famous wax works museum debuted in Dubai this winter; find it on Bluewaters Island, under Ain Dubai (which remains closed over Summer 2023, so left off our list).
  • Motiongate* – part of the Dubai Parks & Resorts complex, it is NOT entirely indoors, but a decent enough amount of the park, particularly the Dreamworks studios, IS indoors, so we’d not leave it off your summer attraction list (and big discounts to be had for summer visitors).
  • Skyviews Dubai – fancy sliding down a see-through glass slide with views of Downtown Dubai? Only for the brave, this is the ultimate urban glass observatory, and utterly instagrammable!

Too hot to get out? Take a virtual tour of Dubai’s attractions here

Best Mall Activities in Dubai

Much of the indoor action in Dubai can be found in the city’s major shopping malls. For more than just retail therapy, malls in Dubai are jam-packed full of indoor dining & entertainment too, making them one of the best places to seek out Dubai summer activities.

Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa

One of the world’s largest malls still has a huge amount going on over summer, and home to many of Dubai’s best indoor activities. You could literally spend a couple of days here and not run out of things to do.  Some of our favourite attractions at Dubai Mall include:

  • Burj Khalifa Observation Deck* (Levels 124 & 125 “At The Top” advance booking essential). The entrance is through the Dubai Mall basement level.
  • Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zooyou can view the world’s largest suspended tank from within the Mall for free, or come in for plenty of interactive water life experiences.
  • Kidzania Dubai* – a real-to-life town where kids “work” to earn Kidzos to spend on fun activities.
  • PlayDXB* – (formerly VR Park) is a virtual reality theme park.
Shark in Dubai Aquarium
Admire the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo from the ground floor of Dubai Mall

Visiting Dubai Mall on a DXB stopover? Our complete guide here how to get to Downtown Dubai on public transport

Dubai Mall is certainly not the only Dubai shopping mall with a lot going on this summer.  Check out these other mega-malls for more indoor attractions in Dubai:

Mall of the Emirates

  • Ski Dubai* – far more than just an indoor ski slope! Enjoy the indoor snow park including bobsledding, snowball fighting, and even the chance to meet real penguins with the Snow Friends Penguin Encounter; this is undoubtedly one of the best indoor places in Dubai to cool off.
  • Dreamscape – enter a virtual reality world where YOU become part of the scene.
  • Yalla! Bowling – Bowling is always a winning indoor sport and this state-of-the-art venue is no exception, connected to Magic Planet indoor entertainment centre for kids which also includes Gravity Air Park.

City Centre Mirdif

Times Square – Sheikh Zayed Road

The Green Planet Dubai
Explore the Green Planet biodome as a great indoor summer activity in Dubai

City Walk

  • The Green Planet Dubai* – an entirely indoor biodome experience that transports you to a tropical rainforest (warm but much cooler than outside!!); this is one of the best summer activities in Dubai for nature lovers missing the outdoors!
  • La La Land – an exciting indoor play area for children from 2 to 12 years old.

Dubai Hills Mall

  • Adventure Park – climbing walls to rope courses keeping kids active indoors, designed for kids 4+.

Wafi Mall

  • AYA Interactive Experience is a new opening in 2023; step into the beautiful, futuristic VR Universe of AYA, a mystic journey to a new dimension using cutting-edge technology for a fully immersive experience.

Best Dubai Indoor Activities For Families

There are also some super action venues not tied to the larger shopping malls but dotted across the city you mustn’t miss! Why not try these fun indoor places in Dubai:

Edutainment and creative entertainment centres in Dubai

  • OliOli Children’s Museum – one of the best interactive and educational centres in Dubai with its famous Toshi’s Net and a great range of add-on school holiday programs.
  • Caboodle – Park of the mega Dubai mall, this is just for kids in a beautiful and interactive indoor play space; childminding options are available.
  • The Jam Jar – in Al Quoz, Dubai’s centre for arts and creativity, enjoy DIY painting sessions and workshops.
  • Wild Paint House – forget traditional brushes; here’s where you can get really creative with your painting techniques – swing, splat, spin, or pour the choice is yours.
  • Medaf Studio – a winner with your creative kids, especially their “Expression Room” where even the walls and floors become part of the canvas! Found in Uptown Mirdif Mall.
  • Dubai Butterfly Garden – the world’s largest indoor butterfly garden, found next to Dubai Miracle Gardens.
Oli Oli Indoor Kids Museum
OliOli Kids museum for interactive indoor fun for kids – Toshi’s Net exhibit

Toddler Play Centres in Dubai

One thing the city of Dubai is not short on is indoor edutainment and play centres. As well as the places mentioned in the large shopping malls above, for fun indoor Dubai activities for kids, look out for:

  • Bricobilandia – found in Nakheel Mall, Palm Jumeirah, this is the perfect drop-in and play centre for Lego-lovers!
  • Cheeky Monkeys – Arabian Ranches 2, J3 Mall Umm Suqeim, The Pointe on the Palm, Etihad Mall Mirdif, and Al Barsha Mall.
  • Dig it! – a real-to-life construction site playground for kids! Drive your own digger, apply your engineering skills at this innovative play space in The Springs Souk.
  • Extreme Fun – Union Coop, Al Wasl Road, Motor City and Centro in the Villa.
  • FiaFia – interactive fun in DIFC with playgroups and drop and shop services.
  • Fun N Learn – imaginative play centres inside Fun City, various locations across the city.
  • Kids HQ – edutainment and soft play galore in these huge play centre in Barsha 2.
  • Magic Planet – Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdiff, City Centre Shindaga, City Centre Me’aisem, Arabian Ranches and Burjuman.
  • Neon Galaxy – a space-themed indoor play centre to accompany a day out at the indoor theme parks of Dubai Parks & |Resorts, Riverland, Jebel Ali
  • Sky Zone – indoor active play from ziplines and climbing frames to trampolines and warrior courses, Ibn Battuta.

Another great source you can check out for kids activities in Dubai is Family Travel in the Middle East. Check out their guest post on Top Dubai Activities for Kids and their extensive guide to visiting Dubai with toddlers & young children.

Dubai Indoors for Your Older Kids & Sports Enthusiasts

Over the hottest summer months, check out these indoor places to visit in Dubai perfect for keeping active:

  • Adventure Parx & Cafe – indoor urban play space – climbing, ropes and challenging adventures for younger children.
  • Adventure Zone by Adventure HQ – the sports shop come indoor adventure playground in Times Square and the Galleria Mall offering climbing walls, ropes courses and active indoor fun in Dubai.
  • Air Maniax – inflatable indoor play centre. Much more than just trampolines, take on warrior assault courses, laser frenzy and a zip zag ride at this mega entertainment centre guaranteed to burn some energy, found in Al Quoz.
  • Astro Blasters – Nerf gun interstellar battle (within Magic Planet, Mall of the Emirates).
  • Adults-only brew and bowling can be enjoyed alongside retro arcade games and pool tables at Brass Monkey Social, Bluewaters Island.
  • Deep Dive Dubai – the world’s largest indoor swimming pool for free dives and scuba diving to depths up to 60m!
  • Dubai Bowling Centre – good old-fashioned bowling fun and MUCH more at this bumper indoor entertainment venue in Al Quoz – it also includes a gaming zone.
  • Dubai Sports World – annual summer event taking over the exhibition halls at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
  • Highway 66 – Mini bowling lanes at City Centre Deira.
  • Infinite Ski – the ultimate place to work on your skills indoors with Maxxtracks simulator slopes, Al Quoz
  • Jump Boxx – indoor trampoline park in Dubai with over 120+ trampolines in Uptown Mirdiff Mall.
  • Mountain Extreme – offering over 60 bouldering and 70 climbing routes in the Business Bay area.
  • Precision Football – from working on your ball skills with UEFA-trained coaches or hiring out a pitch for a party, football fans can keep active here all summer long with indoor and outdoor pitches.
  • Ready Set Go! – one of the city’s largest soft play centres with a jungle theme- trampolines to pretend play for a wide age range of kids, found in Al Quoz.
  • Smash Room – get physical and smash out those frustrations, al Quoz
  • Splash Island – Indoor water splash playpark, part of Blue Wave, Al Quoz.
  • Mixing the latest sensational sport padel with glow-in-the-dark fun, The Alley DXB will light up your summer for some serious Dubai indoor sporting fun, adults and kids alike, in Al Quoz
  • thejamjar – home of craft and creativity in Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz.
  • Tr88house – a huge all-rounder indoor family entertainment centre on Bluewaters Island, soft play to Mystic Golf, Laser Rush, and interactive games, including a family dining hall this is one of the best places for indoor games in Dubai.
  • Wavehouse – we love this indoor dining and entertainment centre at Atlantis the Palm – if you’re willing to brave the heat at Aquaventure waterpark, then this is the perfect sundowner spot, indoors!
  • Wild Paint House – unleash your creativity from graffiti painting walls to UV splat and spin painting in an industrial warehouse, Al Quoz.
  • Unwind Cafe – a brilliant board games cafe can be the perfect summer chill out in Al Barsha.
  • X Park at Bounce – an obstacle course providing an all-over workout for super energetic kids – as well as a trampoline park.
  • 3D World Selfie Museum – yup, an indoor space designed to take weird and whacky pictures of yourselves! Optical illusions and trick art at its best.

We have this great guide to Dubai Trampoline Parks to consider as well; most operate as multi-sport indoor centres offering a wide range of fun kids’ activities to keep them active indoors.

You may also want to check out our latest guide to the best escape rooms in Dubai. These can be a fun family activity or a great indoor activity for adults, and great for small groups and team building too!

For more fun activities in Dubai for adults indoors, check out the best Dubai dinner shows, and best Dubai nightclubs to enjoy after dark, or for a relaxing retreat, these are the top hotels in Dubai offering indoor swimming pools.

BONUS! Indoor Activities in Abu Dhabi

It is well worth making a day trip or even an overnight stop down to Abu Dhabi to enjoy the indoor offerings there, too. There’s plenty you can enjoy even in the peak heat that will keep you indoors.

Don’t forget to check out our partner site Abu Dhabi Travel Planner if you plan to spend time in the UAE’s capital too. We even share over here how you can travel to Abu Dhabi for FREE!

Yas Island indoor activities

Home to the fabulous Yas Island theme parks, you will find entirely indoors:

  • Ferrari World – OK, a couple of the rides do burst out of the building, but the 925,000 sq ft venue is the only one of its kind in the world, combining a love of fast cars and adrenaline-pumping rides, including the world’s fastest roller coaster.
  • CLYMB – home to the World’s largest indoor flight chamber and largest indoor climbing wall, this is one for your sporting enthusiasts to keep active year-round.
  • Warner Bros World – the World’s largest entirely indoor theme park combines favourites from DC Comic heroes and villains through the Flintstones and Looney Toon favourites over 29 rides and attractions.
  • SeaWorld Abu Dhabi – the latest addition to Yas Island in 2023, uncover 8 “realms” as well as access to the SeaWorld Research & Rescue Yas Island, the first-of-its-kind dedicated marine research, rescue, rehabilitation and return centre in the region.
  • Yas Mall has plenty of other kiddy entertainment including the giant slide inside Virgin Mega Store, The Toy Shop, Fun Works, Hamleys toy store (smaller than Dubai Mall though).

Abu Dhabi cultural attractions & indoor sightseeing

  • Qasr al Watan – enjoy touring through the Grand Hall and admire the “Spirit of Collaboration” meeting place of the UAE Cabinet.
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi – the Journey through Humanity keeps going throughout the summer. There are some covered outdoor areas, but the collections are obviously well maintained indoors away from the heat.
inside Qasr al Watan in Abu Dhbai
Explore inside Qasr al Watan, the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi
  • Observation 300 gaze over the giant Emirates Palace hotel & neighbouring President Palace from the cities highest observation deck, Level 74 of Conrad at Etihad Towers (Ok, we know nowhere near as high as the Burj Khalifa, but still some stunning views!)

You can see our complete guide on how to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi here. 

We’ll be adding more soon for Sharjah and the Northern Emirates, too – stay tuned! In the meantime, check out this great resource for further reading on Sharjah’s attractions and our complete guide to Sharjah Museums.

50 Coolest indoor places to visit in Dubai

Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai

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Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.

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1 comment

Adventure HQ January 8, 2021 - 10:53 am

great fun indoor activites


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