Six things to do with your mates for your Birthday
Try something different on your big day
Birthdays are big business. Especially in a place like Dubai. As they come but once a year, don't you dare even think about frittering away your special day on standard dinner and drinks – you do that all the time. Instead, why not take some inspiration from childhood, and arrange something fun to do. After all, the only way to combat getting older, is to act younger...
Hot air balloon
Perhaps the most romantic ways to get your Birthday thrill fix is a good, old-fashioned hot air balloon ride. And what better place to do it than over the stunning deserts of Dubai? Prices start from AED 995 per person including hotel pick-up, and is set to offer some of the most impressive shots of this beautiful Emirate. This is one for the early-birds though, as the best flying conditions are with sunrise. But, given that you should allow up to four house for a complete tour – it's pretty good value for money. And, if you've got a big group of mates up for it, then you can charter your own balloon for AED 21,600 (9-24 people capacity).
Kung Korean in The Byblos Hotel Tecom is one of the most authentic karaoke joints in Dubai, where booths – or rooms – are hired by the hour (AED 180). And you know singing is always a recipe for a memorable night out, especially if its done terribly. The chintzy décor adds to the feeling that you're having a night off from the marbled polish of Dubai, and the private rooms (as this type of singing should most definitely be kept private) even come with tambourines to get the party started properly. The booths can be booked until 1am, and Kung's excellent Korean food and drink can even be ordered in, just make sure you digest before attempting those high notes, eh?
If you thought limo hire was just for prom, you were mistaken. As a group of LovinDubai employees recently discovered for themselves, it is the only mode of transport to consider when you're in the mood to really party. Whether you want to use it as your ride to a mini break, or just to drive around town being a G, it's an instant way to feel like it's a special occasion. It's also not nearly as expensive as you think. For an indication of prices – ferrying 10 people from JLT to Ras Al Khaimah costs AED 1,000 with Dubai Exotic Limo, so if you all chip in, you could be rollin in no time. Make your own playlist, choose a final destination or just go cruising with the windows down and the system up.
When in Dubai...of course it's appropriate (and realistic) to hire a yacht for your birthday shindig. And one of the best companies to do it with is XclusiveYachts, based in the Dubai Marina. Not only do they offer a five star service, there's also complimentary luxury car transfer to get you shoreside. While the boats obviously vary in size, to get up to 12 people on board you'd be looking at AED 750 per hour. Plus, you have the option of an additional AED 185 per person to have your own chef cooking up fresh BBQ fare on deck, you know, to really replicate that music video vibe.
Enjoy your own private pool at Eden
Yes, pools may be ten-a-penny in Dubai, but your own private plunge one at an Ibiza-style beach club? Prime birthday fodder. Eden Beach Club, at Rixos on The Palm, offers just that when you book one of their super chic cabanas. Comfortably fitting up to eight people, nothing is better than getting your own party started, in among an even bigger party. Entry to Eden costs AED 200 on weekends and AED 100 on weekdays, while cabanas start at AED 2,000. If you're feeling peckish, one of their iconic sushi platters (36 pieces) will set you back AED 380 and mixed drinks start at AED 65.
Chances are, you (like us) watch your fair share of crime dramas. Hey, who doesn't? But how about starring in your very own for your birthday? Challenge Chambers, located in Sunset Mall, is a unique way to embark in a bit of friendly rivalry with your mates. They offer a series of 'sets' with different cases to crack – our favourite is the 'mystery challenge' which sees you trying to solve the death of a successful investment banker in his office. Though, if that sounds too gruesome for you, there are other games on offer. Prices aren't bad at all either, coming in at AED 250 for two people, and AED 625 for a maximum of five per game. Each challenge, bar the 'Trapped' mini challenge (AED 75 for one person, 30 minutes) lasts for approximately one hour, and bookings can be made online. Thinking caps on.