10 Offbeat Things to Do In Dubai
What does Dubai represent to you? Endless shopping, and fabulous attractions and activities including staying at luxury resorts? Most of the people who come to Dubai make it a point to visit the majestic Burj Khalifa, which is absolutely the right thing to do, as there’s only one Burj Khalifa in the world, the globe’s tallest building. Many people also sign up for exciting helicopter tours over Dubai’s 400 plus skyscrapers, taking in the sights from above. The record number of malls in Dubai is a major draw for shopaholics. Still, there’s more to Dubai than what most people choose to experience. Forget the Mall Trolls. Steer clear of the over-priced extravagances of mainstream Dubai and discover the true, off-beat Dubai that exists just below the surface. You’ll find that Dubai is much more than mere sightseeing. It’s a world of color, of friendly people, of exotic spices and fantastic food, just waiting to be discovered.
Explore Dubai’s Spice Souk
Head over to Bur Dubai next to the Dubai Creek and explore the spice souqs there. Spend a leisurely morning enjoying the incredible fragrances that hit your nostrils, savoring the aromatic smells of the spices. Here you can shop for everything from saffron to turmeric to vanilla to cinnamon to exquisite potpourri blends. Buy a pack of assorted spices and dates for loved ones back home. They’ll appreciate that much more than a miniature of the Burj Khalifa! Exploring the traditional souq is one of the best offbeat things to do in Dubai.
Sit Back With A Sheesha At A Sheesha Bar
Old Dubai is packed with interesting shops. Head over to Karama in Old Dubai and explore the jam-packed market for sheesha bars. You’ll find many, including local bakeries and shawarma joints. La Casa is a sheesha bar in Oud Mehta, close to the Lamcy Plaza. It is a conventional sheesha bar, with cute sitting areas, each with its own television, comfy couch, PlayStation and of course, sheesha pipes. Indulge yourself in a sheesha pipe and some local Arabic tea and enjoy the local flavor. The prices are cheap and the vibe is so relaxed and homely you’ll find it hard to resist.
Enjoy A Hot Shawarmas In Karama!
Check out one of Karama’s local shawarma joints. There are many, but we like the Al Reef Lebanese Bakery and Roastery. Bite into an achingly perfect shawarma roll as you gaze out at the hustle and bustle of Old Dubai which is so far removed from Dubai’s urban glitz. This is the real Dubai, right here.
Enjoy A Sunset In The Desert
A desert safari is becoming a mainstream activity in Dubai now, but it is still a very offbeat thing to do. Head to the Arabian Desert with an operator to experience one of the most spectacular deserts in the world. Enjoy some dune bashing after letting out the air in your vehicle’s tires. You’ll trapeze over the desert dunes and have the most dizzying experience of your life, never mind all the roller coasters you’ve been on.
Zip Over Dubai’s Incredible Views
Looking for an off-beat adrenalin rush? Want to see Dubai from a perspective that’s not available to everyone? Then sign up for a ride on Dubai’s XL zipline. This is the largest urban zip line in the world and runs for 3,200 feet over Dubai’s skyscrapers, notably the Dubai Mall and the incredible Dubai Fountains. See the bustling city from high up above, flying over the streets of Dubai at 50mph. Dubai from the zip line experience makes you fall in love with the city all the more. For those who intend to enjoy more of such once in a lifetime opportunities, must enjoy the BurjKhalifa sky experience.
Taste Some 23 Carat Gold Ice Cream At Scoopi Café
Can you expect regular ice cream at one of the richest and most luxurious and exclusive cities in the world? Not at all. So get over to the Scoopi Café, and get yourself a scoop of the Black Diamond Dessert, the Scoopi Café’s signature dish, which is topped with shavings of 23-carat gold. It’s the most expensive ice cream in the world, without a doubt. It’s made out of Madagascan vanilla, tossed with Iranian Saffron and Italian truffles. What’s more, it comes with a tiny silver spoon that’s a keepsake – you can take it home. The ice cream costs about 2999 AED (£588) a bowl, but it’s worth it.
Get Mesmerized By The Glitter Of Gold
No, you don’t need to bank billions in order to enjoy the glitter of gold. Just take a walk along Dubai’s spectacular Gold Souq and you’ll shine in the reflected glow of the incredible range of 24-carat gold jewelry arranged in the stores, shelf after shelf. You cannot help glowing when you’re there. The Gold Souq is a winding labyrinth of streets selling gold in Dubai, silver and other precious metals. Don’t be afraid to haggle; there are over 300 vendors, each willing to offer a better price so haggle your way to your own piece of treasure.
Enjoy A Game Of Camel Polo
Sign up with a tour operator for a game of camel polo and ready yourself for one of the most popular pastimes in Dubai. Camels are gangly and hilarious creatures; they’re fun to look at and playing polo while seated on them is quite the challenge. It takes a team of 8 to play polo; enjoy this unique version of traditional polo, even if you have no prior training. You’ll love it!
Chill Out In Sub-zero Temperatures
Grab a bunch of friends and head out to the freezing Chillout Bar, which is made entirely out of ice. Everything in it is made of ice – the chairs, the tables, the walls at all. You’ll be given warm clothing to wear as soon as you enter so you don’t freeze in the -6°C temperatures. You can enjoy a number of warm mocktails, fruit juices, hot drinks, and even hot food here. Sitting in an icy lounge and enjoying hot tea in the middle of boiling hot Dubai is a crazy and very off-beat thing to do.
Sign Up For A Night At Atlantis’ Underwater Suite
Forget about staying at the world’s tallest hotel suite. Just go underwater! Spend a night in Hotel Atlantis the Palm’s underwater suite, gazing out at more than 65,000 different marine species from the Ambassador Lagoon. Stay awake and watch the incredible ocean life swim past just meters from your bedroom walls. If you close your eyes, you can imagine there are no doors between you and you are swimming among the fish.
Another weirdly offbeat thing to do in Dubai is to spend a night at the Cirque du Soir, where you can party with jugglers, aerial artists, dwarves, fire breathers and more. It’s Dubai’s own Moulin Rouge! If you want to experience the whole world while in Dubai, we suggest taking a trip to the Global village. It’s as big as a theme park, with 160 kiosks from 65 countries. You can see the entire world right there. If you look around, you can find more offbeat and interestingly weird things to do in Dubai that are far removed from the mainstream attractions.