Dubai is a major tourist stop for people who want to see the world’s biggest, tallest, and richest. The Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world. Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. Some of the richest millionaires stop by Dubai to soak up the sun and stock up on their gold and perfumes. But there is so much more than this to Dubai, and for those who want to experience the more historical, residential, and sometimes grittier parts of Dubai; here are a list of some of the most underrated places to visit in Dubai:
While many tourists rush to the Gold or Spice Souq for shopping in Dubai, Souq Naif is the market for the more adventurous traveler. From sparkling Arabic inspired dresses to Persian carpets, from local sweets and dates to Indian run snack shops, this enormous souq will give you a glimpse into the local market life for the residents of Dubai.
Mirdif City Centre tends to get dwarfed by the much larger Dubai Mall, but this shopping center is also one of those underrated places that all travelers should stop by! It has a friendly, family atmosphere, and is the perfect place for people watching the local Emirati families and Arab residents of Dubai do their shopping. Mirdif City Centre also has enough brand name shops, cute cafes, delicious restaurants, and touristy shops to fulfill all your mall needs!
Many tourists will stick to the glitzier beaches of Jumeriah and JBR, but Al Mamzar Beach Park is just as wonderful for a relaxing soak in the sun or walk along the corniche. Here you won’t be bombarded by tourists trying to squeeze in a spot on the sand, but instead enjoy a clean beach, green park, local families, and even delicious food stalls! For those who wear the hijab or would rather enjoy the beach without the prying eyes of men, Al Mamzar Beach also has women-only days.
Dubai Desert Conservation Centre
A trip to Dubai is not complete without an excursion into the desert, however it can be hard to choose which tour or which experience you want to pay for. Instead of paying for a tourist-trap trip, why not support the Dubai Desert Conservation Centre, which aims to educate about local wildlife in the desert as well as provide guided tours into the desert to experience the authentic desert and culture of the Emirates. You’ll be able to ride camels, hold a falcon, and even spend a night in the desert while learning about the traditional ecosystem of Dubai.
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Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
While many tourists see Dubai as a modern and even futuristic city for the most globalized of citizens, many forget that Dubai has a historical and traditional past that all Emiratis are proud to protect and treasure. Instead of getting trapped in the materialistic aspects of the city, why not stop by the Dubai Museum located in the ancient Al Fahidi Fort for an educational experience, find out about the life of Emirati Bedouins, and traditional local culture. You won’t regret this experience and will walk away with a whole new appreciation for the history of Dubai!
Known for being the old quarter of Dubai, many tourists skip Dubai Creek because of the dirtier, grimier image this area holds. However it is definitely worth the trip for those travelers who want to experience what Dubai used to look like before the modern skyscrapers and malls. You can walk by traditional souqs, take a small dow ride (traditional boat used more than a century ago for pearl divers and fishermen) across the river, and walk through traditional houses that are still standing to keep the memory of old Dubai alive.
Finally, this Sikh Temple located in the middle of Dubai is a must for those who want to appreciate the cultures and religions of those who moved to Dubai and helped build the city that too often ignores the contributions of foreign workers. Enjoy the spectacular beauty of the Sikh temple, while appreciating the work that Pakistani and Indian workers have done for the city of Dubai!
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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