For anyone who lives in Dubai, you know that the summers get SUPER hot, so we tend to value our cooler winters and spend as much time as possible outdoors! Certainly, with the pandemic it makes sense to take advantage of the cool weather and spend more time outdoors this year. Dubai is a very urban city, and it may not seem as if there are a lot of places to get outside and connect with nature, but if you look hard enough you’ll definitely find some gems. I’ve been living here for almost seven years, and in this blog post I’m going to share some of my favorite outdoor locations in the UAE where you can safely spend time with friends and enjoy the cool winter weather!
In Dubai we have a lot of beaches ranging from fancy beach clubs/resorts to stretches of sand with a bunch of food trucks. In my opinion, to make the most of the outdoors the beaches that have few distractions are the best. My top recommendations are Kite Beach if you’re looking for something with food options or Black Palace Beach if you’re just looking for somewhere to swim in the sea and soak in the sun. The beach sunsets in Dubai are unrivalled, so I would recommend bringing some snacks down to the beach and watching the sunset at the beach.
‘The desert’ seems a bit broad, but by this I literally just mean any patch of sand out in the desert! I love that in Dubai you can drive 20 or 30 mins and end up in a stretch of untouched sand dunes. My family and I love driving out into the desert, picking a sand dune, doing a barbecue and making a campfire. The sunset in the desert is also amazing and it’s one of those things that just grounds you and really makes you appreciate your surroundings. I would recommend going to Al Qudra, there is an exit you can take where lots of people drive out into the desert, or you could also head to the Al Qudra lakes if you want to see the desert and some water.
Gardens & Markets
For a mainly urban city, Dubai has a lot of green spaces and parks to choose from. I have a lot of memories from high school of running in different parks, which perhaps are not all happy memories, but the parks themselves are really great! You can go take a walk or run, grab a picnic, or even a game to play with friends. Sometimes the Ripe Market is also on at the park, which is one of my favorite places to go in Dubai – you can find all the market timings and locations here.
Drive further out
If you drive for around an hour from Dubai you can see a huge change in scenery from our urban city. You can drive out to Hatta and see endless sand dunes and rocky mountains. You can head to Hatta Wadi Hub where you can take part in a bunch of activities from mountain biking to zorbing. It’s a really nice change of scenery from Dubai once in a while, and can even feel like you’re in a different country now that most of us aren’t travelling for vacations at the moment!
The last piece of advice I have for spending time outdoors in Dubai is to take advantage of the ‘novelty’ gardens and outdoor shows that are offered. By this, I mean things like Dubai Miracle Garden with its beautiful flowers or Glow Garden Dubai in the evening with its cool light show! These aren’t activities that will necessarily connect you more with nature, but they are just fun things to do outside.
I hope some of these activities will help you get outside, spend time with friends safely, and make the most of the cooler weather here at the moment. If there are any other places you’d add to this list, leave them in the comments section!
See you next week,