Just as fast-paced and glitzy as you imagine it, a visit to UAE is on most people’s travel bucket list. As a major international destination, it has an abundance of offerings of activities, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. In fact, much of Abu Dhabi and Dubai’s charm comes from their capability to blend the native Arabian culture with the highest of luxury amenities.
That being said, one of the things the region is not necessarily known for is its “ice” sports” offerings. These include sports such as ice skating, skiing, and the like. But it makes sense, as most people dream of riding camels through the sand dunes, marvelling at the towering skyscrapers, and lusting after the fancy cars.
At first, this may seem disappointing to you if you are an ice skating enthusiast. But, don’t fear, you will be able to get your fair share of cool while in UAE.
The country offers many unforgettable adventures for you and your travel mates. But if you are an ice skating enthusiast, you should try these four fun ice sports and activities in the UAE.
1) Figure-Skating at the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink
Obviously, the most important thing for an ice-skating enthusiast to do in Abu Dhabi is to visit the Abu Dhabi ice rink! The Abu Dhabi Ice Rink at Zayed Sports City is the coolest place (both literally and figuratively) in the city. So when the intense heat starts to get to your head, then you know it is time to attend an ice-skating lesson in Abu Dhabi.
Additionally, if you are traveling with people who have never been ice skating before, it is a welcoming place to learn. On Thursdays, until 7:00 p.m, the rink is for ladies-only. However, public sessions are held every day for anyone and everyone. Just show up, rent some skates and start showing your moves on the ice.
2) Hitting the Slopes at Ski Dubai
As the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East, Ski Dubai is an exciting addition to the Mall of the Emirates – one of the most favoured shopping malls in Dubai, with extensive department stores, and luxury designer shops. In fact, when you get to the mall, skip the shops, and head straight for Ski Dubai. It will be a lot more fun, and your wallet will also thank you!
In Ski Dubai, you will find a mountain-themed wintery setting, where you and your friends or family can go skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, and even meet the Snow Penguins!
The world’s largest indoor snow park houses an incredible 3,000 square meters of snow and is open all year round. Ski Dubai also offers private, group ski /snowboard lessons. This indeed is a fun activity for all, especially ice-skating enthusiasts!
3) Watch Ice-Hockey at Abu Dhabi Ice Rink
In addition to ice-skating, the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink is home to the UAE’s top ice hockey teams, which include children and adults of all ages. As Abu Dhabi’s only Olympic-size skating surface, the ice hockey matches here are nothing short of thrilling.
Come with family or friends, grab a coffee and some food from one of the several restaurants, settle into the comfortable seats, and get ready to watch a fast-paced, nail-biting match.
After watching a match, you may even consider having your children participate in the affordable hockey programs that the rink provides. Touted for its quality instruction and enthusiastic coaches, the Abu Dhabi Ice Rink is a worthwhile place to visit for all members of the family. (Not to mention there is also a spinning studio, tennis center, and bowling center!)
4) Hanging out at the Chillout Ice Lounge
Lastly, if you’re tired from skating or simply don’t feel like engaging in some ice or snow sport and just want to sit back and relax, head to the Chillout Ice Lounge. Located in Dubai, this is the first café-restaurant in the Middle East set in a sub-zero setting.
The lounge features fascinating ice sculptures, ice seating, and an illuminated interior. You’ll also get your fill of delectable hot and cold savory dishes and sweet treats. You’ll also have a variety of hot and cold beverages to choose from as well.
Have you been to the UAE? What else do you recommend for ice-skating, adventure enthusiasts?
A veteran c-level executive with more than 25 years of experience across multi-faceted industries including Leisure & Recreation, Barry Bremner joined Zayed Sports City as Director of Business & Corporate Services in 2009 and was appointed to General Manager in 2013. During his time with Zayed Sports City, he has developed and implemented new management systems as well as raised the profile of the organization by securing leading events to take place at Zayed Sports City, including: WWE, Monster Jam, the U-17 World Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. During his tenure at the property, annual visitors to Zayed Sports City have increased from 420,000 in 2009 to 1.3m in 2016.