Into the wild
Celebrate the arrival of the cooler months by exploring all that the great outdoors has to offer, from thrilling desert safari drives to deep sea diving and snorkelling.
Nothing beats hopping into a 4×4 and heading off for an adventure in the desert dunes. Platinum Heritage is a luxury tour company that offers experiences such as a desert drive in a vintage Land Rover through Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, with traditional activities including falconry and camel rides, and an authentic Arabic feast in a Bedouin camp.
From vibrant coral reefs to fascinating wrecks, the UAE is one of the best scuba diving destinations in the Middle East. This is particularly true of the East Coast, a popular spot with weekend warriors in search of ocean adventures. Al Boom Diving is one of the most established diving companies in the region and offers regular guided diving trips as well as certified PADI courses.
Historically, horses were highly revered in the region, as they were key to the survival of Bedouin tribes. Today, not only is the UAE home to one of the world’s richest horse races, the Dubai World Cup, it’s also a popular destination for horse riding and desert hacking. Exploring the wild landscape on horseback is a thrilling experience. Check out Al Wadi Equestrian Centre for guided rides.
The year-round sunshine, serene waters and pristine coastline make Dubai one of the region’s best places to learn stand-up paddleboarding, or SUP as it’s commonly known. There are a number of places in the emirate that offer lessons and equipment rental, from beach resorts to surf schools. Try Surf House Dubai on Jumeirah Beach Road for an early morning paddle, followed by breakfast at the Surf House Cafe.
For those who prefer to stay near the surface of the sea, snorkelling is the perfect alternative to scuba diving as it still offers a fascinating glimpse into the world beneath the waves. With its calm waters, sandy beaches and lively coral reefs, Fujairah’s Snoopy Island, named after the cartoon dog that it slightly resembles, is a popular spot. Expect to spot tropical fish, sea turtles, reef sharks, manta rays and more.