Over the past couple decades, Dubai has steadily built its brand as one of the coolest travel destinations in the Middle East.
Safe, super modern, and harbouring a burning ambition to offer its visitors the coolest attractions, hotels, restaurants, and shopping experiences in the world, you are doing yourself a disservice by skipping over this dynamic city.
Think you can’t make a holiday in the United Arab Emirates happen on the cheap? This simply isn’t true, as there are numerous low cost flights to Dubai, cheap street food meals that cost $5 USD are readily available, and cheap hotels offer rooms starting at about $40/night.
There are even a few apartment style hostels that offer bunks for about $30/night, so even backpackers aren’t left out.
Ready to discover the coolest things to do in Dubai? Check out our tips below, and you’ll be able to plan a trip you’ll remember for years to come.
1) Go skiing/boarding (no, really)
Surely we mean sand skiing/boarding, right? Nope. In true Dubai fashion, you can do the ‘impossible’ and practice your favourite snowsport in one of the hottest places on Earth.
Located within the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is an indoor snowsports facility that uses unreal amounts of refrigeration to create an environment cold enough for artificial snowmaking.
The result: a single slope offering a run 400 metres long. While it will fail to thrill experts used to world-class mountains in Canada, the novelty of getting in some turns in the Arabian desert still makes this attraction worth a visit.
2) Go on a dune bashing expedition
Dubai sits on the edge of one of the most punishing places in the world for life forms of any kind – the Arabian desert.
Stretching for many hundreds of kilometres from the western edge of Dubai, the sand seas of the Empty Quarter might not be the best place to channel your inner Bear Grylls, but it is the perfect spot to engage in a homegrown sport known as dune bashing.
Paired with a skilled driver, you’ll head out into the Arabian wilderness in a Land Rover with specially deflated tires, allowing your SUV to scale sand hills without getting stuck.
The high speeds and sudden maneuvers your driver will employ may make you a touch uncomfortable at first, but once you realize the limits of these vehicles, you’ll be whooping it up with them in short order.
3) Pay a visit to the Gold Souk
Want to feel like a sultan during your visit to Dubai? A trip to the Gold Souk is just one way you can accomplish this goal.
A market lined with hawkers selling a dizzying array of golden jewelry, coins, bars etc, you can get many pieces far closer to the current spot price than other places in the world if you are prepared to bargain hard.
Otherwise, the window shopping opportunities here are endless, and they won’t cost you a dime.