GO BIG THEN GO HOME: 4 remarkable ways Dubai is larger than life

Ski in the desert, see the sunset from the world’s tallest building or take the world’s longest zip line past skyscrapers. Dubai makes the impossible into the every day.

Ski in the desert, see the sunset from the world’s tallest building or take the world’s longest zip line past skyscrapers. Dubai makes the impossible into the every day.

You can be overwhelmed by the lights of Dubai, a city with some of the most luxurious (and affordable) hotels, shopping and every imaginable cuisine. This is the city that brought us islands that are shaped like a palm and where you can dine completely submerged underwater.

But there is much more to Dubai, the miles of desert and rugged mountains, the centuries-old traditions, the family-friendly experiences.

Here are four incredible ways to explore Dubai:


Go on a desert adventure


Forget those mega-high skyscrapers, how about taking a four-wheel into the surrounding sand dunes and testing your offroad driving skills? “Dune bashing” is a great way to see the real Dubai and you can also go for a sunset camel ride and end the day with an Arabian barbecue in a Bedouin camp.

Take on the dunes without a motor as you go sand skiing or sandboarding. Other ways you can hit the sand are to take a camping trip, drive a dune buggy or float in a hot-air balloon over the Arabian desert.


Discover the family fun


Your kids are going to love Dubai – just take Aquaventure! This water park does what the city does best: taking a well-known attraction – in this case a family water park – and dialling things up to 11. This water park has some of the most advanced water attractions anywhere in the world, as well as its very own private beach. And that’s before we get to the three theme parks and a water park at Dubai Parks and Resorts that offers families a Hollywood-themed park, a Bollywood-themed park and Legoland!

For the sheer madness of it, take the kids skiing in the desert. Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates is suitable for all levels of skier and has to be seen to be believed.

Or why not do some “wadi bashing”. A local pastime, the wadis are the dry river beds that flow out of the nearby Haijar Mountains and they make for great offroad driving.


Take a closer souk

Dubai’s souks, or markets, are a great place to go shopping. The Gold Souk is the largest gold market in the world; the colour and scents of the spice souk are a taste of the true Arabia and the Souk Madinat is a combination of traditional souks and fashion malls.

Speaking of malls, Dubai mall is – you guessed it – the biggest shopping mall in the world, get lost in retail that contains every brand you could possibly think of.

And visit the WORLD’S LARGEST suspended aquarium! Because it’s there.

Bargain lovers have to visit The Outlet Village for discounted designer outfits.


Don’t forget the local culture

After the city has wowed you, get to know it a little better because behind the stunning modernity is an ancient culture. Explore the winding lanes in the historic Al Fahidi district, take an abra (a traditional wooden water taxi) or visit the many art galleries and the museum to get a greater understanding in life beyond the tall buildings.

Visit the Dubai Frame one of the newest attractions, a 150-metre-tall structure in Zabeel Park that also highlights the history of the city’s evolution via galleries and virtual reality. Or dig even deeper at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, helping visitors discover the culture of the UAE since 1996.


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READ: Dubai opens a wild new zip line


What is your favourite thing to do in Dubai?

Written by Paul Chai, KarryOn contributor

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