11 offbeat excuses to visit Dubai
Contrary to popular conception, Dubai sightseeing is not just about hopping from one mall to the other, but exploring what the real Dubai has to offer. There is a world full of colour, exotic spices, friendly people, and scrumptious food just waiting to be discovered. Here are our top 11 offbeat things to do in Dubai:
1) Food and Drink:
This is a city of the super-rich and the super poor. You are unlikely to see a place where the divide between the “have nots” and the “have yachts” is so apparent. The best way to experience these distinct social strata is through your stomach.
- Sheesha Bar: Smoking shisha is about socialising and has been part of life in the Middle East for centuries. Shisha cafés are full of friendly conversations, with both men and women equally taking part, and in places where alcohol is not allowed, you will find shisha being used to lubricate a social get together.
- Shawarmas: This famous and perhaps the most eaten foods in Dubai. This dish is made from lamb or chicken meat, accompanied with colourful array of vegetables, fries, pickle and garlic sauce. Where to Find: Automatic at JBR, Aces Shawarma House at Al Safa, S’wich at Dubai Marina
- The midnight snack: The post-shopping, post-work shift or post-imbibing ritual is to head to the neon-lit Satwa neighbourhood for a late-night nibble or a full-blown meal. Where to Find: Ravi Restaurant, Satwa, Jabal Al Noor at Satwa or Oud Metha Road
2) Curio Shopping:
Satwa is ideal for cheap souvenir shopping. There are a host of streets and small stores you can visit and you’ll be rewarded for your adventurism with some interesting curios that you wouldn’t find elsewhere in the city.
3) Spice Souk:
Spend a leisurely morning chasing the drifting smells of aromatic spices – you can find everything from turmeric and chilli to vanilla, saffron, and exquisite potpourri blends here. Make sure you pick up a box or two of local dates. They’re sweet to a fault and make the perfect gift for friends back home.
4) Book World by Kinokuniya:
This is a specialized and rare items book store. From classics to bestsellers to foreign language works to rare photographic compendiums to zany Japanese hairdressing magazines, the wealth of literature offered is amazing.
5) Antique Museum:
Looking for souvenirs, Arabic lamps or decorative handcrafts for your home or for gifting purposes? Then the Antique Museum is a must! Antique Museum isn’t a museum at all, but rather, a twisting labyrinth stashed with exotic imports from around the globe.
6) Sports & Outdoor:
Dubai is a desert filled with off-the-beaten path experiences. Watch word-class racing. Take your adventures to the sand with a safari. Or swing your clubs at internationally renowned golf courses.
7) Outdoor skydiving: Hurl yourself out of a plane at 13,000ft for a spectacular aerial view of the Palm Jumeirah.
8) Hot Air Ballooning:
Enjoy a magic carpet ride over an endless ocean of sand dunes, emerald green oases, gazelles and wandering camels. Witness a breath-taking sunrise with the backdrop of the majestic Hajjar Mountains.
A mix of surfing, wakeboarding and kiting, the wind propels you over the water on a board is one of Dubai’s favourite extreme sport. Kite Beach, at Wollongong Beach, is Dubai’s most popular kitesurfing venue.
Buckle yourself and absorb the thrill of riding on a speed boat. Whether you have a need for speed, a genuine love for the region’s wonders or simply an occasion that needs to be celebrated, these boats deliver in style.
11) Dubai Autodrome:
Get behind the wheel of a racing car and feel its power as you hit top speed on Dubai Autodrome’s racetrack. The motor sports facility also enables drivers to test the performance of their own cars and motorbikes around a circuit.