Dubai really comes alive in the winter. As the temperatures cool down, it’s time for outdoor activities, nature-filled adventures and getting all your friends and family together. The city that spends most of its time indoors for half the year, comes outside and the atmosphere becomes lively everywhere. Winter is also the time when Dubai sees the most number of tourists. But if you’re looking to avoid the malls and the museums, and explore the great outdoors, we have some amazing suggestions for you. They may not all be the most famous places in Dubai, but they are our favorites winter after winter!

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1. Visit Global Village

Dubai is home to the world. As one of the most multicultural cities in the world, you can see a bit of every country in Dubai’s residents. But to truly see the world in this city – you should head to Global Village.

Global Village is an open-air festival that runs all through winter every year. And it’s a big deal in the UAE. Here, you can experience global cultures, shopping, and entertainment. The Village itself is made up of differentnpavilions representing each country. Each pavilion brings out the best of the country it represents with performances, “local” shopping, amazing dining experiences and more.  Walking through each of the pavilions feels like a mini visit to the country. And if all that “traveling” wasn’t enough – there are also exciting rides, games and a carnival-like funfair.

global village in dubai

2. Head to the Desert

Dubai deserts are world famous. And for good reason. The desert is absolutely beautiful. And during winter, the temperatures are low enough that you can really enjoy it. You can experience the desert for yourself by going on a desert safari. This is actually an extremely popular activity for tourists to do, but it is well worth it. You will be taken in a 4×4 Jeep over the rolling sand dunes on a cruise in the desert to a camp. Enjoy Arab hospitality and entertainment with dances, musical performances, henna artists and more. You can even try out desert sports like quad biking or duneboarding before you end the night with a barbeque.

If you prefer to do things your own way, grab a few friends and head to a desert campsite. You can set up your own barbeque kits and spend an evening under the stars. Fair warning though: it gets pretty cold at night. So come prepared.

places to visit in dubai

3. Skydive in the Desert

A tandem skydive is the quickest and easiest way to experience the most adrenaline filled experience of your life. You freefall at over 120 miles per hour,  harnessed to an experienced instructor. And we guarantee there are going to be very few experiences in life that can compare. In Dubai, you can choose between the Palm Dropzone and the Desert Dropzone.

The Palm Dropzone is in the city and gives you a view of the Palm Islands while the  Desert Dropzone, located about 35 km outside Dubai, lets you skydive over sandy dunes. Whichever one you choose, Skydive Dubai has to be your go-to. They’ll even give you extensive training before, and a professional video after your dive.

4. Go Wild at Dubai Safari Park

Dubai Safari Park is an eco-friendly wildlife safari park that’s home to around 3000 animals. The Park is located in Al Warqa 5 on the Hatta Road. It’s an amazing place to take people of all ages to spend a day with animals. The park is divided into zones based on the habitats of the animals there. There are Asian, African, and Arabian Habitat zones, as well as a petting zoo and explorer habitat for more interactive experiences.

The park’s major source of energy is solar energy, making it an environmentally friendly place. You can take part in a safari through the habitats or walk around and explore on your own. Keep an eye out for giraffes, crocodiles, buffalos, lions, tigers, hippos, rhinos, zebras and more! As far as Dubai tourist places are concerned, this one is limited as the park only opens during the winter – so it’s definitely the best time to go.

5. See Flamingos at Ras al Khor

Ras Al Khor is a wildlife conservation area where you can find thousands of birds in a single place. It’s almost hard to believe how close it is to the sprawling city of Dubai. The area is made up of salt flats, mudflats, and mangroves, which are great habitats for the birds. And you can catch all the action from three bird hides located around the perimeter.

You can expect to find cormorants, herons, egrets, reef herons, and black-winged stilts. But the main attraction is the pink flamingos, which come out in full force during the winter season. Ras al Khor was the first wetland in the UAE to be recognised by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in 2007.

dubai tourist places

6. Shop in Bur Dubai

If you’re looking for a shopping experience that takes you outside the most popular malls in Dubai, look no further than Bur Dubai. You’ll find one of the largest interconnected covered markets here.

The Bur Dubai Souk is also known as the Textile Souk or the Old Souk.It is THE place to go to find the most exotic fabrics from around the world. From original velvet, silk, cashmere, and hand embroidered fabrics to Indian saris, Kashmiri pashmina shawls, and local abayas – you’ll find an incredibly colorful selection.

If you do buy loose fabric, you can also get it tailored immediately at the surrounding tailoring shops. Though it’s not a typical Dubai tourist place, it’s well worth the visit. Besides textiles, Bur Dubai Souk is also a great place to find souvenirs to take home. These will often be significantly cheaper than the stores inside the malls. 

famous places in dubai

7. Take an Art Walk

Did you know Dubai was home to some incredible street art and galleries? The city is home to some amazing local and Middle Eastern artists who display their amazing work all over the city. Don’t let the tall metal and glass buildings fool you – Dubai has a super colorful cultural heart. You can find it by following this walk.

8. Visit the Design District

While we’re talking about art, let us introduce you to d3 or Dubai Design District. This is the creative heart of the city. This community is where industry heavyweights, artists, startups and entrepreneurs come together to collaborate and create.

The area is full of concept boutiques, galleries and artist studios, and you can even see the region’s top fashion and interior designers here. This is the place to look if you want to take home a piece of the new and booming cultural center of the UAE.

Even the car park mirrors the design district, with beautiful murals by Iraqi-British street artist Myneandyours or Marwan Shakarchi.

9. Challenge yourself at Dubai Autodrome

During the winter, Formula 1 fever is definitely centered around the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi which hosts every year’s season finale of the Formula 1 Grand Prix. But if you’re a motorhead, and you’re looking to avoid the crowd – you can experience the same thrills at Dubai Autodrome.

The Dubai Autodrome Circuit is an FIA Grade 1 race circuit that hosts 6 different experiences along a 5.39 km track. The Autodrome has a racing school, the Motorsport Business Park, the Grandstand Retail Plaza, and a VIP Paddock. You can choose from a number of driving experiences, including the chance to drive a real F3 car. There is also a separate karting area, the Dubai Kartdrome, where both outdoor and indoor go-karting is available. 

dubai autodrome

10. Watersports in the Marina

Dubai has an undeniably beautiful coastline and the best part is the crystal blue waters around it. While this means the beaches are absolutely stellar (and a must do in Dubai!) – we like to take our adventures out on to the water. While Dubai offers the host of usual activities like fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving etc., there are also a lot of exciting watersports to try for the first time.

Like flyboarding, where you strap your feet onto a board and soar up to 15 metres in the air using jet nozzles. Or what about being hooked onto a jetpack to fly across the waves? If you’d like to stay closer to sea level – the Dubai Marina has some iconic jetskiing that takes you through all the best sights in Dubai from the water.

But if you’re a wakesurf or wakeboard enthusiast, the Marina may be too busy for you. We prefer to head to Watercooled at Jebel Ali instead!

flyboarding in dubai

Winter truly is the best time to make the most of the city. And if you’re looking for places to visit in Dubai this winter, it might be worth it to look beyond what the usual tourist checklist tells you. We’re so happy to call Dubai home and have access to these amazing activities. We hope you’ll join us this year and have the coolest winter in Dubai!

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