Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, is a world-class metropolis offering something for just about any traveler to enjoy, including gourmet dining, high-end shopping and luxurious accommodations. However, those who are looking for a bit more adventure in their vacation should look outside of the city to Dubai’s desert. From wild animals to sand dunes to heart-pounding excitement, the desert provides ample opportunities for fun. Read on for some of the top activities to enjoy in this unique part of the world.
Rent a Motorcycle
This is one for the thrill-seekers in your family. When you rent a motorcycle in Dubai, you’ll experience the excitement of speeding around on two wheels while taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the region. Many motorcycle tour operators offer riding lessons for those who are inexperienced, although you will still need to be in good physical condition to be able to handle the rigors of controlling your bike while out in the desert. Always ask about necessary safety precautions before you head out, and be sure that you fully understand how to operate the motorcycle as well. Once you have gotten a firm handle on that, you’re ready to go.
Try Out Sandboarding
image courtesy: keteka.com
Just because the weather in Dubai’s desert is hot doesn’t mean you can’t still hit the slopes. However, instead of riding fresh powder snow, you’ll be cruising down the many sand dunes in the area. Similar to snowboarding, sandboarding is the perfect activity for those who enjoy the adrenaline rush of speeding down a mountain but still want to enjoy warm weather and beautiful sunshine. Keep in mind that the desert is incredibly hot and dry, so you’ll need to bring along plenty of water when performing any physical activity. Don’t forget to slather on sunscreen as well.
Look for Native Wildlife
The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve gives you the chance to get up close and personal with the diverse local flora and fauna. This protected area spans over 225 square kilometers of terrain. Within the park, you’ll find more than 50 species of plants, over 120 types of birds and 40-plus distinct mammals. Tours operate throughout the reserve on a daily basis, and much of the proceeds from those tours go towards protecting endangered species in the region. Wildlife tours are suitable for all ages, providing fun and excitement that the whole family can enjoy.
Ride a Camel
Camels have been a form of transportation in Dubai for centuries, and the practice is still in full swing today. From your perch between a camel’s humps, you’ll have the perfect vantage point to take in the beautiful sights of Dubai’s desert. Up above the hot sand floor, you’ll be able to see for miles in every direction, taking in the unique landscape around you. When choosing a camel tour company, look for one that emphasizes proper care of the animals and natural environment to ensure that you leave the desert in the same condition you found it so that future visitors can continue to enjoy its many wonders.
Falconry is an ancient practice that dates all the way back to the 13th century B.C. Many in the region still enjoy this illustrious art and are more than willing to share their knowledge with you. You’ll find some resorts that offer daily falconry exhibitions for guests to enjoy. These demonstrations take place in the morning when the weather is cooler to ensure the safety of these majestic birds of prey. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can even try your hand at handling the falcons yourself, under the watchful eye of the trained falconers, of course.
This is just a small sampling of the many activities you’ll have available to you when you travel to Dubai’s desert. Ask the concierge at your hotel for more recommendations. When booking activities, be sure to do your research to ensure that you are working with reputable organizations to preserve your family’s safety while exploring the desert. With a bit of careful planning, your trip to Dubai could be the adventure of a lifetime and one that you and your family will rave about for many years to come!