Dubai’s glamour is intoxicating, but adventure and romance await outside the city. If you and your loved one are an off-the-beaten-path kind of pair, day trips from Dubai are a surefire way to make extraordinary memories. Leave the city behind to race over dunes, bathe in mountain pools, or take to the air for the view of a lifetime.
A desert safari the best way to experience the beauty of the landscape and the richness of Emirati culture. Outfits like Desert Safari Dubai provide an escort, taking you on adrenaline-pumping adventures as you crash through sand dunes in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The dunes are your playground, and soon you’re whooping and laughing as you race freely over the terrain, roadless and liberated.
As the sun sets over the desert, a Bedouin campsite appears in the distance. You disembark to mingle with the local Bedouin, ride camels, get matching henna tattoos, drink sweet tea, and even smoke some shisha (molasses-based tobacco) if you wish. Wind down with a delicious barbecue dinner under the twinkling stars. Traditional belly dancers emerge to dance the light of the crackling campfire, earning awed applause while you relax in the cool evening air.
The village of Hatta, nestled in the Hajar Mountains, is the jumping-off point for a glorious afternoon spent basking in cool freshwater rock pools. Spring-fed pools flow through narrow canyon passages and spill over into small mountain waterfalls — the water is so clear, you can look below the surface to see tiny fish darting around the rock formations. It’s easy to reach via a two-hour bus ride from Deira. The ride takes you past Jeema Village, famous for bottling the natural spring water of the area. There, you can stop to enjoy mangoes and dates pulled right off the trees.
Plenty of day trips from Dubai take you riding over desert sands and scrub landscape, but only one lets you soar exhilaratingly over them. Set up a 40-minute jaunt in a sea plane, where you can swoop over the city’s gorgeous skyline. Skim the Arabian Sea before you take off and fly over the ports, souqs, archipelagos, and skyscrapers of Dubai. Snap a few pictures of the awe-inspiring Palm Island and the bustling traders on the docks of Deira and Bur Dubai. A city this beautiful deserves to be seen from all angles.