How to visit Dubai differently

highway covered partly by sand in desert
A road covered by the sand outside of Dubai. Picture from Raffaele Cabras @mixyourshot

If you have a flight with a layover in Dubai, you may have enough time to enjoy the city. However, if you are not much of a city person, and you prefer nature, there are still some alternative things you can do to enjoy Dubai. Let’s see what you can do to visit Dubai differently.

Dubai: the excessive city

Dubai is the Arabian Las Vegas. In the middle of the desert emerge a huge town full of crazy activities. Between hotels, water parks, golf clubs, and aquariums, anything is possible in Dubai. This incredible mindset abled humans to create beautiful buildings. You will probably see the tallest tower in the world, aka Burj Khalifa. If you love skyscrapers, you will have the best stopover of your life. However, if you booked a flight to climb Kilimanjaro, this kind of lifestyle may not be your cup of tea.

If this is your case, I could tell you to simply avoid Dubai when you book your flights, but this is not a solution for some long haul flights. Or I could tell you to simply wait at the airport, but this also does not work in all cases. Indeed, some layovers last for an entire day and you could definitely spend your time more wisely.

That’s why I propose you to visit Dubai differently. If you want to escape the city, you will love the activities I propose to you just after. Doing those activities will help you to get control over your time and manage it well. You will be able to spend your time wisely.

dead tree trunk in the desert
Dubai’s nature is something a lot of people do not think about. Picture from Raffaele Cabras @mixyourshot

The activities to visit Dubai differently

Activity 1 – Have a safari in the desert

As mentioned earlier, Dubai is in the middle of a desert. That means that if you leave the city, you are already surrounded by a scenic landscape: sand dunes all around you. Dubai’s desert is famous worldwide. Desert safaris are great to enjoy the full Bedouin experience while getting a glimpse of what the city was like before skyscrapers took over. The temperatures are generally lower in the desert, but keep in mind that it can get up to 50 degrees during the summer season in Dubai. If you choose to visit the desert, you will be able to go dune bashing, ride camels, and even enjoy a traditional Arabic barbecue.

sand dunes in the desert near dubai
The sand dunes around Dubai, with some mountains in the background. Picture from Yoshua @yoshuarijk

Activity 2 – Discover Dubai’s culture

Dubai used to be a more traditional city. The Gold and Spice Souks will give you a taste of the previous local culture. They are great places to walk, even if you do not want to spend money. While walking there, you can take in the culture of the city and see a more simple side of it. Both souks are traditional bazaar-style markets, located outdoors and offering people the chance to walk around the tiny spice stands and the breathtaking gold stores.

Activity 3 – Hit the gym

What’s best than staying healthy while traveling? Dubai is one of the only cities in the world where you can do that. Thanks to its numerous gyms, you can easily find one. If you are not into fitness, but into another sport, Dubai will also astonish you. You can choose to do both indoors our outdoors activities. Simply think about your favorite sport, and open Google Maps. You will be surprised by Dubai’s panel of choice. However, choosing to hit the gym is a good choice for short layovers.

Why choosing to visit Dubai differently

By choosing to visit Dubai differently, you will probably save money. If this layover is only the beginning of your trip, it could be a good idea to keep some money for it. Choosing this way of visiting Dubai will also make you discover activities you cannot do everywhere else.

As you saw, there are other ways to visit Dubai than going to the aquarium or to the mall. You can easily have a cheap and enjoyable layover. Everyone can do it, just pick activities you value. Remember that Dubai can be expensive and that you do not want to spend all your money here. You are only here for a stopover.

footsteps on sand dunes in the desert near dubai
Follow my steps and enjoy Dubai differently. Picture from Raffaele Cabras @mixyourshot
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