Dubai has become a sensational tourist destination to many people over the years. However, most don’t know the true extent of how varied the outdoor activities available here are, and just how much Dubai has to offer to those who prefer to be out of the AC and out in the sun. While the many natural landscapes may not attract as many tourists as the glossy skyscrapers and gargantuan shopping malls, they are definitely worth a viewing for any tourist visiting the city and, to many people’s surprise, are often found to be highlights of their visit. Here are 8 outdoor activities in Dubai you probably haven’t heard about:
#1: Desert Safari Dubai
The desert is a definitive component in UAE and the Gulf region and, just like the sea, is a mesmerizing sight and is an important element of the cultural heritage of locals. Despite its inhospitability and hot temperatures, the desert safari is actually a common activity for most visitors and is an essential visit even for those who prefer to stay indoors.
You just need to select the right operator to explain and drive you through the desert. Normally, a standard desert safari trip in Dubai takes about 45 minutes to get to a desert camp where the guests are fed on a buffet dinner accompanied by belly and ‘tanura’ live dances performances against a picturesque backdrop of a setting sun. This experience is unforgettable and is a must visit for anyone considering taking a trip to Dubai.
#2: Horse Riding
Horse riding is another common activity in Dubai. If you already know how to ride a horse, you can again experience the desert first hand by taking a horse ride through the sands. If you don’t know how to ride a horse however, you will have to learn first. Beginners will be eased into the experience on flat parts of the desert where they will be taught the basics of the activity. Great for kids and animal lovers alike, the horse riding is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors.
#3: Scuba Diving
The UAE, while not that well known, is a stellar scuba diving destination, especially on the West coast that is rife healthy coral reefs and underwater ecosystems. There are numerous pleasant dive sites where divers who enjoy everything from shallow dives over pretty coral to wreck and cave dives . There are even occasional whale sharks which periodically visit the waters of region and are an incredible sight for even the most experienced and jaded divers. In addition, sting rays, murray eels, nudibranchs and barracuda are common staples of the local diving experience, and the experienced operators in the area know the best locations to take tourists to guarantee the best underwater sights.
#4: Deep Sea Fishing
Although a lot of fishing in the UAE happens close to the surface, some tourists prefer deep sea fishing opens up a fairly wide variety of fish to catch. To engage in deep sea fishing in Dubai, you will have to be about 20 km offshore and engage in either bottom fishing or trawling. It is a great way to explore the ocean while still getting an opportunity to catch some fish. For the hardcore fisherman looking to make a big catch, it is important to know that the best fishing season in Dubai is between December and March when weather conditions are friendly and the number of fish is high. The most common catch is king fish, cobia, barracuda and blue fin tuna.
#5: Palm Island Sea Cruise
You can take a Cruise around the Palm Island and Dubai Marina canal. For those who fear the sea, the trip is less scary because: the shoreline is always insight, the trip takes less time and there is constant movement which reduces chances of seasickness. It is a common activity and most operators take the same route which covers:
• Jumeirah Coastline
• World Islands
• Dubai Marina Canal
• Burj Al Arab from the Sea
• Circumvent the Palm Island
In addition to sightseeing, you will benefit from the cool breeze in the sea, making friends and learning the history of the different places you are touring.
#6: Yacht Rental
If you are prefer to stray off the beaten path and hence not interested in set routes or even sharing trips with anyone yet still want a boating experience, Dubai is an ideal destination for yacht rental. The entire city of Dubai is located along the coastline and renting a yacht with your friends or family can be a great experience. There are a great many things you can do in a yacht besides cruising in your preferred route. If you’ve chartered a yacht, you can:
• Have BBQ lunch or dinner on-board with your friends or family
• Drop an anchor in the sea to swim. This feels entirely different that swimming in a crowded beach or in a swimming pool, and even further out at the sea, the water in the area is typically warm and welcoming.
#7: Dhow Cruise Dinner
A dhow is a traditional wooden vessel that has historically been used for a variety of commercial activities in the region. If your love of being out at sea has not been satiated yet, then taking a Dhow dinner cruise is the perfect choice to further explore Dubai water canals while having a full course buffet dinner. The most common destination is dhow cruise in Dubai Marina, the most premium water canal in Dubai.
In addition to full course buffet dinner and scenic sights, the cruises also include live entertainment: usually a live singer or a belly dancer. The experience is far more engaging than having dinner in a regular restaurant, and is perfect for anyone looking to relax while enjoying the fresh air.
#8: Musandam Day Trip
Musandam belongs to the Sultanate of Oman, but is geographically separate and is relatively easily accessible to anyone in the UAE. It is one of the most beautiful parts of the region but is more commonly a destination for residents.
These mountains are found on the East coast of the peninsula and the region has different climatic conditions as it faces the open ocean and is more exposed to the incoming winds. Here, the climate is cooler with slightly more green plants and scenic mountains. The Musandam Day Trip Tour is great for those looking to escape the hotter climatic conditions in western part of the peninsula, or for anyone looking to have an unforgettable experience.
Since the tour usually lasts a full day, it includes transfer from Dubai or Sharjah, snorkelling and lunch. You will also be able to see fjords dipping into the ocean, mountains and ocean all while enjoying a cool ocean breeze. You just need to make necessary arrangements to either visit as a group, family or as an individual. It all depends with your budget and preferences.
It is evident that Dubai has numerous tourist attraction sites that most people don’t know. Whether you live in Dubai or you are planning to visit the city, you should be adventurous and visit these sites. Dedicate some time to spend away from the usual modern spots such shopping malls, sky scrapers and expensive boutiques. Get involved in one of the many outdoor activities such as any of the ones listed above to really gain a well-rounded perspective on Dubai and the region.