Although there are a number of outdoor climbing locations in Oman and also within UAE, including the Hajar mountains, Ras Al Khaimah and Dibba, Fujairah, it is futile to try outdoor climbing in the Middle East during summer as the temperatures can sometimes exceed 50 degrees celsius.
A lot of these locations have primarily roped climbing routes. Since I haven't yet learned any form of roped climbing (and I don't particularly want to delve into free soloing), I wouldn't be able to go anyway.
It turns out that there are actually quite a few indoor climbing locations in Dubai though:
|Adventure HQ: Adventure Zone||Mall attraction/adventure facility (casual)||Top-rope||Column structure, currently under construction/renovation.|
|Mountain Extreme||Climbing gym||Bouldering, top-rope, lead||Largest in terms of variety, and probably in number of routes|
|Wafi Mall: Pharaohs' Club||Mall attraction (casual)||Top-rope||-|
|Mall of the Emirates: GO Sport||Mall attraction (casual)||Top-rope||Column structure with more routes on the inside of the column|
|Rock Republic||Bouldering gym||Bouldering||Largest number of bouldering routes|
|Mirdif City Centre - Magic Planet: Sky Trail||Mall attraction/adventure facility (casual)||Top-rope||-|
The only non-casual locations are Mountain Extreme and Rock Republic.
Since Mountain Extreme is multi-discipline, its pricing is significantly higher than that of Rock Republic (which is a bouldering-only gym).
If you're only interested in bouldering, then I'd strongly recommend Rock Republic. The only downside is its location, as you can tell from the previous map; Dubai Investment Park is basically in the middle of nowhere.
The distance inconvenience is certainly offset by the quality of the gym though. The gym offers:
A very large amount of bouldering routes, ranging in difficulty from beginner (VB/V0) to routes close to (if not at) the level of international bouldering competitions.
The walls vary a lot in shape, incline and height, leading to a massive variety of climbing route styles, allowing you to become better all-round at bouldering.
The routes are changed every so often, with the last full reset being about two weeks ago (from the date of this blog post being written).
Bi-monthly introductory bouldering courses, ladies only bouldering sessions (about once a month) and bouldering competitions.
Campus boards, fingerboard and rowing machine.
In-gym climbing equipment shop, stocking numerous models of Five Ten shoes, chalk bags, chalk balls and loose chalk, brand merch (shirts and vests), quickdraws, backpacks and other climbing equipment.
Friendly staff who are experienced in bouldering, always available and willing to help.
I've been going to Rock Republic for a few weeks now, and it has completely killed my summer boredom. I highly recommend it to all!
For more pictures, visit this link to the website of Global Climbing (Rock Republic's parent company).