We all know Dubai is famed for its skyscraper buildings, incredible shopping malls and the man-made Palm, but is it really possible to do alternative things in Dubai that aren't flocked to by all tourists?
We’ve rounded up the Top 6 things to do in Dubai that are lesser-known:
1. Hike in Hatta
Just a two-hour drive from Dubai’s city centre is its best-kept secret; Hatta. You can spend hours here kayaking, hiking, horse riding, and mountain biking just to name a few! For a more educational experience, you can check out the Honey Bee Discovery Centre ad experience the life of bee’s, and enjoy a workshop on the wonder of honey. End your day with a visit to the 360 Observatory originally built as a military tower in the village, which today now sits proudly at a peak point offering unspoilt views of its natural beauty.
2. Soulful Souks
Take time to wander around these traditional markets and soak up the atmosphere of this traditional souks. There’s a huge variety of different ones to head to depending on what you’re looking for, or whether you want to simply souk-shop. The Gold Souk is considered the largest bazaar in Arabia and is the perfect place to pick up fine jewellery, as well as gemstones. For more than colours and aromas you can think of, head to the Spice Souk where you’ll be welcome with dried herbs and spices. For a more farmer market’s style vibe, head to Ripe Market to be dazzled by entertainment, artisan boutiques and all-round family fun as well as a great picnic area with kids activities.
3. Arabia's Art
Jameel Arts Centre is dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art and engaging communities through learning, research and commissions. As one of the first contemporary art institutions in Dubai, it prides its commitment to supporting artists and creative communities. Head to The Gardens where you’ll find each of the 7 gardens has a particular design and character, each representing a distinct desert environment as well as featuring a collection of sculptural plants native to the world\s varying desert ecosystems.
4. Dine-around Dubai
Five-star and Michelin-starred restaurants are great, but why not try something a bit different? You can find dishes from India, Iran and the Emirates and get a taste of their homelands’ recipes. To get the most out of your experience, head to old Dubai where you’ll find sizzling street food, hidden cafes and roof-top restaurants. You can find some real treats here, so go out your comfort zone and please your pallet.
5. Rub' Al-Khali Desert
The name literally means ‘Empty Quarter’ and it fits it perfectly. This isn’t to say there’s nothing to do there, however! Although its vast landscape spans UAE, Orman and Yemen, the majority is in Saudi Arabia. It is the largest contiguous sand desert in the world, and these golden sands are worth a glimpse. Most tourists will speed through the dunes in 4WD trucks which actually disrupts the landscape and wildlife. So instead, opt for a Heritage Desert Safari trip which heads out in a wildlife reserve owned by the royal family, and catch a look at the UAE’s national animal, the long-horned oryx, grazing in peace.
6. The Coffee Museum
Coffee lovers rejoice! There is a whole museum dedicated to the good stuff. You’ll get to have a taste, as well as learn about its origins and grow your collection. Coffee has always been an important part of Arabic culture and the museum showcases the celebration of coffee culture across the globe. The museum is located in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, hidden inside narrow lanes of the old district. Entry is free, with the museum shop located on the ground floor. Stop by and explore the incredible collections on show.