Dubai is known for its glitzy shopping malls and mass tourism forays into glamorous high end lifestyles, not exactly the comfort zone of most independent travellers or backpackers, but there are some options for the more adventurous too.
Dubai is not high on my list of favourite countries, I’ll be perfectly honest with you. In fact it is not on there at all. The focus on money and wealth, the superior, self aggrandising attitude and all the bling and glamour do not interest me at all.
But give me the chance for a bit of adventure travel, to throw myself down a sand dune on a dune buggy or camp out in the desert and I am there!
Here are the top 10 adventure activities adrenaline junkies can try out if they are ever passing through Dubai.
Dune Buggy Riding.
These motorised bats out of hell are the perfect way to get that adrenaline pumping as they whip up small sandstorms skimming across the desert sands, and there are a ton of operators you can choose from who will happily take you out into the desert and strap you into these rollcages with engines.
Take A Camel Safari.
A camel safari is the perfect way to see the desert and get a glimpse into a romantic, timeless ideal of ancient traditions and cultures of various desert dwelling people, not to mention get those Lawrence of Arabia fantasies checked off the bucket list in a controlled environment. Just make sure you do your research about responsible camel trekking and go with an ethical company.
That’s right, I said fishing. It is easy to dismiss Dubai as a huge chunk of desert, but there are plenty of options for ocean adventures too, and there are plenty of great options to charter a boat, either privately or as part of a group, for a bit of ocean fishing. Just eat what you catch or make sure it goes back.
Take A Desert Safari.
There are endless options to explore the desert with varying levels of comfort, from ATV tours and camping with locals to 4X4 jeeps and a bit of glamping.
Forget surfing the waves, nothing gets your heart going and your inner 5 year old more excited than throwing yourself down a sand dune on a sandboard.
Take A Dhow Cruise.
This one isn’t so much a specific adventure activity as much as it is a unique way to see Dubai and get a glimpse of traditional cultural shows. Grab a seat on a cruise ship heading down the Dubai canal and simply sit back and soak it all in.
There are plenty of options to choose from if you want to take part in this ultimate adrenaline pumping activity, and whatever Dubai’s faults, it does make for an absolutely stunning location to see from the skies as you hurtle toward it!
So there you go, there are some decent activities beyond the soul sucking malls and things to do for the adventurous minded in Dubai who find themselves on a long layover.
Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.