Surprising Experiences To Try in Dubai

See a surprising side of Dubai with these experiences
See a surprising side of Dubai with these experiences | © Jason Knott / Alamy Stock Photo
Dubai is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. Popular with tourists and travellers, these handpicked experiences show the city in an entirely different light.

As one of the most popular destinations in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is known for its luxury shopping malls, ultramodern high-rise buildings and easy accessibility. If you’re looking to venture beyond the usual tourist trappings, here are a selection of things to try that even the locals recommend.

ToursBateaux Dubai Dinner Cruise
From $117 per person
2 hours 30 minutes
5 (291)
Dubai’s only luxury cruise with freshly prepared meals onboard.Revel in the sights of nighttime Dubai on this memorable dinner cruise on the glass-enclosed ‘Bateaux Dubai’! Enjoy a welcome drink and canapés and gaze through the boat’s wraparound windows as you cruise along glittering Dubai Creek to key attractions such as the Al Maktoum Bridge, Twin Towers, and Grand Mosque, all illuminated against the night sky. Then, savour a delicious four-course meal served at your table. Sip on a selection of sodas or house wines, depending on which option you select.
ToursDubai Private Food Tour Including 10 Tastings
From $140 per person
3 hours
3.5 (6)
Dubai is a foodies’ paradise! With a multicultural vibe plus the local cuisine, the choice of dishes in this destination are divine. On this private tour, your local host has picked 10 tastings for you to try. Discover how delicious the food in Dubai is.Your culinary journey starts in an authentic and cosy restaurant and the type of tastings you will have change from camel burgers to riqaq, tabbouleh & moutbal, Arabic bread called khubz, Spice Souk and a local market, saffron ice cream, coffee, lemon mint drink, date candy and some more in this private tour with a local guide.Any dietary restrictions can be accommodated if notified before the tour. Join this private experience now.
AdmissionMusandam Khasab Day Trip and Dhow Cruise
From $179 per person
9 hours
5 (37)
Escape to Oman’s stunning Musandam Peninsula for a dhow cruise on this day trip from Dubai. Traveling by air-conditioned minivan, head to Khasab in the Musandam region, and board a ‘dhow’ (Arabian wooden boat). Admire the spectacular fjords, coves and mountains that give the coastline its nickname, ‘Norway of Arabia,’ and stop off rocky Telegraph Island to swim and snorkel in the aquamarine seas. Your cruise includes a buffet lunch, unlimited non-alcoholic drinks and use of snorkelling equipment.
ToursCulture Coffee and Colourful Souks Small Group Dubai Tour
From $77 per person
3 to 4 hours
5 (3)
Get away from the OTT skyscrapers and fantasy hotels for the morning and discover the old-world charms of Dubai from before the oil rush. We will meet local Emirati friends who will introduce us to their traditional ways of life, discover the cultural treasures of the Alfahidi district, and then shop ‘till we drop in the best souks in the city. Plenty of time will be dedicated to browsing (and making a street food pit stop if you fancy) with your local guide on hand to assist in finding the best price for what you want.
ActivitiesAl Ain City Sightseeing Tour With Lunch From Dubai
From $69 per person
8 hours
4.5 (34)
Surround yourself with the greenery and sights of the ‘Garden City’ of Al Ain on this full-day tour from Dubai. Board an air-conditioned coach and cross the desert to this lovely, relaxed city cradled by the jagged Hajar Mountains on the Omani border. Discover its history from your guide, and picture-postcard Al Jahili Fort, former royal palace, two museums and falaj irrigation channels. Cool your feet in the hot springs beneath Jebel Hafeet mountain and then finish with a visit to the traditional camel market.
ToursDubai Open Top Magical Night Tour
From $53 per person
2 hours 45 minutes
4 (89)
Join us on this magical journey through a city of illuminated landmarks on this panoramic night tour under the stars. Sit back and relax on the open-top deck while taking in the stunning views of Dubai by night, a city that will capture your heart. Our recorded audio commentary in 12 languages will tell you all about Dubai and its traditions. Gaze at world-renowned landmarks such as Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Palm Island, Souk Madinat, Dubai Marina and future projects during the tour.
ToursWildlife Night Drive
From $96 per person
4 hours
Escape the city and venture into the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve for an off-road adventure at night. Contrary to popular belief, the desert is brimming with life, especially at night. Many desert-dwelling species have made fascinating adaptations to survive in what can be at times a harsh environment. You will have the opportunity to view the nocturnal species and gain a greater understanding of how they live and survive.