5 Things you must do in Dubai

by Kaelyn Mostafa, Midlife Road Trip Correspondent

  1. Watch the sunrise from a hot air balloon

What better way to experience Dubai than from a bird’s eye view in a hot air balloon? This excursion allows travelers to soar high above the Dubai Desert Conservation Range in a hot air balloon with an experienced pilot. The breathtaking sights include the sun rising over endless sand dunes, beautiful desert vistas, and wild camels and gazelles roaming freely around the area.

Not only does this excursion provide participants with some unbelievable photo ops, but it also offers approximately one full hour of airtime, a variety of interesting tidbits about desert living, and a unique and adventurous way to experience the desert!

kaelyn mostafa sunrise in dubai

  1. Go on a desert safari

Embarking on an Arabian Desert Safari is undoubtedly one of the most amazing encounters one can have in Dubai. The first step of the adventure is “dune bashing” where an expert driver takes travelers on an adrenaline-filled roller coaster ride over the sand dunes in the desert at sunset. Of course, the driver makes frequent stops at picturesque locations to give travelers an opportunity to take some beautiful pictures!

The safari ends at a Bedwin camp where participants can take advantage of a variety of activities that will give them a taste of Middle Eastern as well as native Emirati culture! One can ride camels, go sand boarding, smoke shisha, receive henna tattoos, try on traditional Arabian costumes, and shop in an authentic outdoor Arabian marketplace. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a generous spread of traditional Middle Eastern foods. As they sit and eat Bedwin style (seated on cushions positioned in front of a low table on the ground), travelers can watch an unbelievable interactive belly-dancing show that will make for an unforgettable evening!

Image courtesy of Tourism Media Expedia.com Viewfinder Image Library

  1. Take a dinner cruise along the Dubai Marina

The Dubai Marina is known as one of the most lavish man-made marinas in the world, and there is no better way to explore it than by dhow boat. On this evening excursion, visitors will board a beautifully lit and decorated dhow boat and cruise down Dubai Creek for a 2-hour journey that includes dinner and live entertainment. Visitors can choose whether they want to be seated on the open upper deck of the boat for a beautiful view of the city or the indoor air-conditioned lower deck for a cool and relaxing ride. Travelers will enjoy a buffet-style dinner that consists of a variety of traditional Arabic entrees and desserts in addition to a talented line-up of belly dancers and twirling dervishes to accompany the delicious meal.

The sights of the excursion include the glimmering city lights, towering skyscrapers, and the colorful and historical architecture of the souks in the city of Deira, which is referred to as “old Dubai.” If you’re looking for a relaxing and culturally rich evening, the Dubai Marina dinner cruise will not disappoint!

  1. Go skiing indoors

Contrary to popular belief, the desert is a great place to enjoy winter sports year-round! Ski Dubai is an extravagant indoor snow resort located in the Mall of the Emirates. Visitors have the opportunity to snowboard, ski, or enjoy the largest interactive snow park in the world. All the necessary equipment and outerwear is supplied by Ski Dubai, and the resort is designed so that visitors of all ages and experience levels can have a great time. There are 5 runs of varying difficulty levels (all covered in real snow) in addition to a helpful and accessible team of Professional Ski School instructors, so inexperienced skiers and snowboarders need not worry! For more experienced skiers and snowboarders, the longest run is approximately 400 meters with a riveting 60-meter drop. After spending the day out on the slopes, Ski Dubai has two different cafés where visitors can enjoy some hot chocolate to end their fun-filled and energetic outing.

Image courtesy of Tourism Media Expedia.com Viewfinder Image Library

  1. Visit Global Village

Travel the world while in Dubai! For all intents and purposes, Global Village is the Epcot Center of the Middle East. At Global Village, travelers can embark on an ethnic journey as they explore pavilions from countries such as the Americas, Afghanistan, Egypt, China, Thailand, Syria, India, Italy, and many more. The design of each pavilion is inspired by architecture characteristic of its respective country. For example, the Americas Pavilion is designed to look like our capital building in Washington D.C. Upon entering the pavilions, visitors can view signature items of each country’s dress, lifestyle, diet, entertainment, and history.

Global Village is also the perfect place for travelers to experience the cultures of various countries through traditional food and entertainment. The Village has close to 30 restaurants that specialize in cuisine from different countries so that visitors have the opportunity to sample the unique tastes of the world in addition to an array of shows and concerts that showcase musicians and traditions from the many countries that Global Village represents. A visit to Global Village will provide visitors with a day of food, fun, and entertainment that will provide unique insight into the cultures of our fellow citizens of the world.

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