A basic guide to some of the great things you can see and do in Dubai
Whether you are planning a short midweek, weekend or days long visit to Dubai, we have created a list (of sorts) to equip you with some great ideas for how to make the most of your time. Our experiences are by no means an exhaustive list, more of a general go to companion for planning your days and preparing your budget, as well as giving you a heads-up on the expected cultural adherence and dress codes.
Please check back for daily additions of things to do...there are so many!!
If you like your adventures wild and fast, with a sprinkle of culture, then the Desert Safari is for you. You can book the tour direct or through your hotel concierge and in August 2016 the cost was around 50GBP per person. This included an amazing buffet with 3 courses and soft drinks, entertainment in the form of dancing and a fire eater/entertainer. There is also a bar available from 7pm for those wanting a little additional fizz for the evening.
We were collected from our hotel at 3.30pm by our driver, Abdul, in the very inconspicuous looking 4x4, where we and our fellow hotel guest, Bryan, went on to collect a Spanish couple from another hotel. Abdul was the perfect mix of tour guide, comedian and rally driver...more of that later. He imparted a lot of information about Dubai and the continuing growth and was clearly very proud to be a part of such a thriving community. Plus he clearly loved his job and it all added to our enjoyment of the evening.
Get your Arabian headdress or Keffiyeh
After around 30 minutes of driving, observing from the car the architectural wonder of the skyscrapers with perpendicular angles and symmetrical arched buildings, we arrived at our midway stop. This was basically a 'tourist' shop offering a restroom break, with the bonus of being able to purchase the local headwear called keffiyeh and a snack. We bought some dried fruits and the best spicy cracker crisps I have ever eaten. I am not sure we even chewed them!
Then it was on to the dunes…..we had been told about the spectacular views from the dunes, but to see it was still amazing. The sand was so hot that even with sandals on, you could not climb too far without feeling you'd lost the soles of your feet a few steps behind. It was worth it though, as the views from the top were magnificent - sand sculptured by nature was all around made up of 7 colours, interspersed with a convoy of white 4x4's ready to show these game tourists how it's done in the desert!
Abdul delighted in showing us his expert driving skills and defiance of gravity, as he and his comrade in the 4x4 in front played off each other to see who could make their car vertical the quickest. I honestly don't know how we didn't roll that 4x4, as you could feel the tyres losing out to the sand, despite Abdul having released half the air pressure from them to allow for extra grip. It was exhilarating and I had the best time, squealing like a little girl!
After the dune bashing, we headed to a purpose built enclosure for next part of the evening. This started with a ride on a camel - thankfully they are muzzled and the ride only lasted a few step, but still it was a nice touch. You then had the option to race a quad bike around a mini race circuit for an additional charge.
Dinner was served around 7.30pm, with the entertainment starting shortly after and lasting for the duration of dinner (about an hour).
Then it was back home, again in convoy, along the sand strewn highway, marvelling at the delights we had just experienced.
Well worth doing.