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  • Dubai – Things to do ?
  • FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    We have  a 4 day break booked for mid November, more because its where Mrs FD wants to go than myself, but at least it will be nice and warm !

    We will be staying on the Palm if that makes any odds?

    What is good to do, it all looks a bit Vegas without Vegas IMO. I fancy getting out in to the dessert but I dont want to pay £100 to go and ride on some camel and have my photo taken.

    Any advice ? Ta

    Full Member

    Did a couple of fabulous weekend Rock climbing in the area a few years back. But I guess that’s a bit full-on

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    Wear Rainbow stripes?

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    Tandem base jump from one of the big buildings?

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    I was there a few weeks ago on a work trip. I didn’t do much of the tourist stuff. I went up the Burj Khalifa which was ok. From what I could see there wasn’t loads to do that wasn’t just an activity for the tourists. There is a road cycle circuit (80km?) which is outside the city and traffic free. Trek have a store there with bike hire, cafe and changing facilities. I’m planning to do that when I’m back there in a couple of months.

    From my limited experience it does seem to be like Vegas without the good/naughty stuff.

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    There isn’t a great deal to do really – there’s the waterpark but it isn’t anything particularly special. I enjoyed walking around the Souks the most and the Dubai Mall is good for a wander around too (the little fishtank is cool).

    Ohh, and if you like a drink, buy it in the duty-free when you get there as you can’t buy it in shops (the only alcohol available is in hotels and its ££££££s).

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    Apart from leave asap, I guess the least unpleasant thing I did when there for work was 4wd driving in the desert. Oh and drive to Oman.

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    Hmm no one is doing anything to additionally sell Dubai over what I originally thought it would be.

    Ah well at least the Mrs might be happy

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    I spent 6 months there about 10 years ago.
    To be honest other than the all day brunch (£50 for all you can eat drink etc). there wasn’t a huge amount to do.
    I did the touristy stuff in the first couple of weeks.
    Wild Wadi water park, Burj Kalifa, Dubai Mall (think they still do the shark dives), Mall of Dubai (indoor skiing), and if you can afford it/get a space high tea in the the Burj Al Arab.
    Oh and Ferrari World……

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    Pub crawl?

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    Get home asap?

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    Set up an Insta account and get your wife to take pics of you on the beach – while you pretend not be to noticed!

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    I agree with a lot of the above – I visited frequently on business and do not like it.

    However, there are things to do.
    Wild Wadi Waterpark.
    Atlantis Waterpark
    The Dubai mall – Shopping, plus indoor waterfall plus the glass wall Into the Aquarium (or go in to the Aquarium!)
    Burj Khalifa tower, then, just before dusk, try and get a seat outside a restaurant by the lake to watch the fountain display while you eat.
    Tour the Horse Racing stables at the Maydan
    Spend an evening at the Creek, see if there is a show on at the Amphitheater while you are there.
    Dubai Souk for a evening browse and a meal.
    Boat tour round the Creek/marina.
    Ferrari World.

    PS – Maybe you should ask your wife. As she wants to go she might have some ideas.

    Free Member

    Burj Khalifa tower, the, just before dusk, try and get a seat outside a restart by the lake to watch the fountain display while you eat.

    Ohh yeah that ^^^. I had forgotten about that one 🙂

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    Went a few years ago. It was cheaper to go to Oman via UAE than via Heathrow. Also my wife had spent 6 months living in a Hilton with work so it cost us nothing in accomodation using points.

    The water park was good. Spent most of a day there.

    This was interesting enough and the food nice, nothing ground breaking.

    Cultural Breakfast

    Plenty of nice restaurants. Love middle Eastern food which helps. Nicest one wasn’t expensive, just look for more local stuff.

    Mall and big building interesting enough.

    Other stuff I found in an old email

    Deira gold and spice soul
    Al fahidi historic district
    Go somewhere high up for a drink at night for the view
    Jumeirah mosque (not as good as the one in Muscat or Casablanca).
    Marina is nice for a wander, good food options.

    We had a pleasant few days there, but that was long enough.

    Full Member

    PS – Sorry for the typos. Faulty keyboard 🙁

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    Tandem skydive?

    There is a dropzone right in the marina. You can only solo sky dive if you have over 2000 jumps IIRC, they’re a bit paranoid about people crashing into tall buildings….

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    Nice cafe run by a friend of a friend:

    You can also rent SUPs at the beach nearby

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    PS – Maybe you should ask your wife. As she wants to go she might have some ideas.

    Shopping, read a book in the sun….

    Thats why I was hoping there was something more interesting to do 🙂

    Surprisingly it would appear going to a city in a desert doesn’t have anything more interesting to do

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    So most of the interesting stuff has been mentioned. But I think I would emphasise the following:

    Dubai Mall. Huge, impressive, definitely check out the ski slope, it’s like no other indoor ski slope I’ve ever seen. Even if you don’t ski or board go and grab a drink in the restaurant with the chalet style balcony overlooking it all.

    Deira Spice and Gold Souk. This is great, get on the water taxi boat with loads of other people, get shouted at for payment (it’s not much but make sure you have the cash) walk around the Souk and get hassled to buy weird spices and jewellery – it sounds awful but it’s quite fascinating if you can avoid being annoyed by the hassle.

    Burj Khalifa. Go up the elevator to the viewing platform (125th floor), look out at not much, go back down again and then watch the fountain show.

    Show at the opera house could be worth it if there’s anything decent on.

    Wolfi’s bike shop is pretty cool for a visit, some fancy bikes.

    Atlantis for the aquarium and waterpark.

    Free Member

    You could gaze in wonder at the huge temples of Mamon built using exploited labour?

    So most of the interesting stuff has been mentioned


    Full Member

    Read a book about a) CO2 emissions about b) human rights then you will not consider such a trip again.

    I agree but it does sound like OP doesn’t wear the trousers & has been railroaded into it! 😃 But yeah surely a short-haul flight to Tenerife or something would be favourite (and a lot cheaper!) for a bit of winter sun on the beach.

    Full Member

    We used to go sailing a lot when we lived out there. Local clubs / hotels had various dinghies / windsurfing kit for hire.

    Four wheel drive stuff in the dunes as well of course but I’ve no idea if you can just go and do your own thing anymore.  Way too long ago…

    Free Member

    Dragon market is probably the only shopping things worth while imo.

    There is a little bit of old town worth a wonder. A few sooks (spelling), but the middle Eastern selling style is very in your face so be warned.

    Full Member

    I’d probably just sit there marvelling at what the jolly well paid/treat immigrant workers have managed to do to bring in the tourist buck.

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    Hels on Wheels has just been – and seemed to have a few days of things to do.

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    I tried to go for a walk there, it’s not aimed at walking places.

    As for the shopping comments above it’s all designer brand shops and very high end high street. So to go there and shop you need to be well off first.

    The desert drive in a land-cruiser was good, the bbq we had while out there may be the reason I spent most of the return flight in the loo though.

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    Yeah, I get it. It totally wouldn’t be my choice for a holiday destination either. I go out there for work and have a friend who lives in Abu Dhabi. If I wanted to visit somewhere in the middle east that hadn’t just been built on oil money to sustain a potential future tourist industry when the oil dries up then perhaps Oman? But the OP is going to Dubai, and those are a few of the things to do rather than sit by a hotel pool and drink overpriced booze.

    And Golf. (urgh)

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    Hmmm no one is really selling this one to me…. including the wife.

    And yes on this trip she is wearing the expensive trousers ! (she is paying for the trip) I have no doubt she will complain that it is too hot !

    This looks great fun, but no way can I afford £600 for 2 hrs !

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    If glitzy shopping isn’t your idea of heaven, there’s still plenty to do. It’s just not what people go there to do, if that makes sense?
    The culture is really concentrated in the old part – gold and spice souks, the older museums and mosques. You won’t be woken at 5am by call to prayer on the palm. You will in the old part. You’ll also find carts selling amazing chicken or lamb shoarma, and fresh watermelon juice with ice. The air will smell of ozone and diesel. It’s great.
    In the old bits you’ll be able to hire some shit car for a few Dirhams a day – guaranteed it’ll be a Nissan Tilde, and it’ll be awful. However, it’ll get you out to the robot camel racing at daybreak, and the pyramid that houses the Rainbow Sheikh’s collection of disparate vehicles.
    Yes, Dubai is an absolute toilet on the surface, but scratch that surface and there’s loads to see. Enjoy.

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    Whatever you do, don’t get caught watching the Flintstones on TV when out there. The people in Dubai really don’t like them. Which is strange as the people in Abu Dhabi do.

    I’ll get my coat…..

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    Its a shiny shithole.

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    Oh, do you like watching horse racing? Well, imagine that but with camels ridden by little robots dressed like monkeys. Do they still do that there?

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    I used to work and wander all over the ME – Dubai was malls and sanitised/boring with little wandering around to be had. Ajman and Sharjah next door were more fun or were.

    Free Member

    Could you round up all the ex-pat Instagram influencers and take their phones off them?

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    Dune bashing then a BBQ in the desert at night with dancers was quite nice/fun.

    Water parks are good.

    The rest is not for me. It’s like Milton Keynes in the desert. Souless.

    If you like shopping and glam it’s great.

    You go from air conditioned car to air conditioned building and back around again.

    Been for holiday 4 times as my old man lived there for years so we visited. I wouldn’t go back again now he’s home.

    Interesting to see the wealth divide and blatant racism. Nothing more awkward than having a Filipino woman following you round insisting on carrying your drink.

    Oh and if it rains everyone drives at 10mph with hazard lights on.

    Full Member

    It’s a long way to go for a few days are some of my thoughts/advice. The rest I’ll keep to myself!

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    I did a 14hr stop over in the airport once. It was great.

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