Cooling off: 5 top outdoor activities to do from Dubai as the heat subsides

So it looks like the summer is finally drawing to a close – I’m getting up before the sun to head to bootcamp now, and the tell-tale fog is back to cause havoc on the roads. All over the UAE, people are breathing a sigh of relief and heading out from behind the restaurant buffets and sub-zero malls where they’ve been cowering all summer in an attempt to beat the heat.
It’s now we can get start to creep back outside and try to get rid of the dried out skin and hair that comes from spending five months in 24/7 air conditioning, and the extra lumps and bumps that reflect the excessive eating and drinking that also generally accompany an indoor summer. Whilst it’s still too warm for camping and other top activities, there are a few things we can start venturing outdoors for, so pack up the boxsets people, this is the time to make the most of living here!
For the next couple of weeks leading into the best weather, I have a few recommendations of things to do from Dubai, and what to look out for in the coming months:
1. Watersports – my top picks here would be scuba diving or wake boarding. These activities run throughout the summer and winter and are a great way to top up the tan and enjoy relatively fresh air without getting scorched! This time of year is perfect weather for this and the sea is the perfect temperature to be splashing about in!
2. Exploring the mountains – unfortunately the next couple of weeks are still a little too hot for camping in the desert or on the beach (another month and it should be perfect), but temperatures in the mountains should be great for camping now (my recommendations here), and a lot of fun can be had driving and hiking through the highest peaks and scenic wadis (dried out river beds) in the UAE and Oman, and all that’s needed is the trusty Off Road Explorer and a sense of adventure.
3. A mini break – Eid is coming up soon, giving us a nice long weekend. For people looking for an active break, Salalah in Oman is probably the only destination in close proximity to the UAE that offers year round hiking opportunities, thanks to the cooler climate provided by the khaereef rains (monsoon). It’s certainly the first time I’ve managed to capture pictures of camels grazing on grass in a dense fog (and in August too!) – check them out here 
4. Joining a sports group – most are still offering summer discounts for this month and give you the opportunity to train, meet new people, and at least prepare your body for the odd brunch that is bound to creep back in! Just be warned that most classes start early – my bootcamp runs at 6am, even on Friday’s, in order to beat the worst of the heat – and be prepared to sweat! I’ve listed my best efforts here. There are a huge range of sporting events in the coming months from runs and swims, to cycle rides, adventure courses, and even the Ice Man Challenge! Check them all out on Premier Marathons, get registered and start the training now to be ready!
5. Making a splash at one of the many waterparks – the perfect way to keep cool if your energy levels are flagging. There have been several new waterparks appearing in recent years, in fact most of the emirates now seem to have their own, but my favourite is still Wild Wadi. If you fancy something with a little more involvement, head over to Wadi Adventure in Al Ain for a choice of rafting, kayaking or surfing and a great day out.
After spending this weekend over on the East Coast diving and BBQing on the beach, it’s reminded me what a tonic getting outside can be for the stress of city life, and I am so excited that the weather is changing and this will be much easier now. I have lots more planned for the cool weather from October onwards, from picnics and polo, to runs and swims, challenging adventures, horse rides, charity support, camping and hiking trips, and plenty more fun in the sun, but I’ll save those for another post! Enjoy the rest of your September all!