THE BEST THINGS TO DO ON A TRIP TO DUBAI – THAT AREN’T IN DUBAI

Dubai is a beautiful city with plenty to see and do, however there’s lots to explore outside of the city as well. If planning a visit to Dubai, why not take a few days to visit the surrounding attractions? Check out a few options and plan accordingly:

DESERT SAFARI

The desert dunes of the Middle East invoke feelings of serenity and wonderment. Go for a camel ride, try sandboarding and put your sense of balance to the test, or enjoy a sunset dinner free from the bustle of city life. Those who’ve always lived in a populated area will find the noise-free desert an entirely new experience.

ABU DHABI

Book a tour from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, a more traditional Middle Eastern city. A day trip provides plenty of time to hit the major sites, such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest buildings of its kind in the world, and the Al Husn Palace, one of Abu Dhabi’s most prominent historical sites.

EAST COAST TOUR

One of the Dubai tours to consider is an east coast tour, a sightseeing excursion that features the Emirates’ varied landscapes, including desert, mountains and sea. Local fishing villages and markets exist in the coast’s agricultural areas, as well as mosques and other historic sites. Some tours include swimming in the Indian Ocean before returning to Dubai.

SHARJAH

Located only 12 miles from Dubai, the emirate of Sharjah is quite different from the city, as it is steeped in religion and traditional values. The oldest market in the country, Souq Al Arsah, is found here, and features some 600 vendors and shops.

AL AIN THE GARDEN CITY

This tour out of Dubai is a trip back in time. See the famous Hill Gardens, renowned for its archeological discoveries from the third millennium B.C., as well as the United Arab Emirates’ largest camel market. Assorted tours of Al Ain may also include visits to the Al Jahili Fort, Al Ain Museum and Old Palace of H.H. Sheikh Zayed, Abu Dhabi’s late ruler and president.

HATTA HERITAGE VILLAGE

Found a few miles from the Oman border, this village offers a temperate climate and an 18th century fort. Activities also include swimming in the Hatta rock pools, which feature blue water that appears all the more dramatic in light of the desert landscape.

EMIRATES MOUNTAINS

Another way to see Hatta is through a tour of the Emirates Mountains. Book a tour that includes stops at the Lehab sand dunes, and journeys through the mountain via the longest tunnel in the UAE. The carved tunnel excursion ends in the coastal village of Kalba, which features the famous Khor Kalba mangrove marsh. A tour of this area may also feature a stop in Fujairah to visit a 17th century hilltop fort.

PRIVATE TOURS

Private tours of some of these areas are also available, such as a full-day private tour of the east coast that begins with a drive through Al Dhaid, an ‘oasis’ renowned for its lush greenery and fruit/vegetable plantations. Some private east coast tours also include visits to the Hajar mountains and the village of Dibba, to explore its small port. Visits to historic forts and village markets are also part of such tours.

Enjoy these and other amazing day trip options while on holiday in Dubai. There’s so much to see and do in and outside of Dubai it may be hard to fit it all into one trip.

By Sanusi Mohammed

An early life spent traveling with a mining executive father meant that Sanusi had traveled more in his first 20 years than most people travel in their entire lives, covering Russia, China and South America. A degree in journalism and experience as a travel writer for a Lagos-based magazine has allowed Sanusi to translate that into a career as a writer and is currently writing his first travel book on the rivers of Nigeria.

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