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Things to do in Dubai - updated March 2009

Muscat, Oman
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Things to do in Dubai - updated March 2009

This list now includes beach club and parks, details of dinner cruise companies, updated information and links to the interactive map with search function. Feel free to add to it - please!

WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO GO - A GENERAL OVERVIEW:

http://www.iexplore.com/cityguides/United+Arab+Emirates/Dubai/Where+to+Go

travelguides.lastminute.com/sisp/index.htm…

dubaicity.com/What_to_do_in_dubai/dubai_Attr…

dubaicity.com/what_to_see_in_dubai/what_to_s…

For a link to an interactive map of Dubai published October 2008 see this Trip Advisor link:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g295424-i872-k2329…

For general information about what's on, restaurant and bar listings, activities etc etc we recommend you look at Time Out Dubai:

www.timeoutdubai.com

We have put the following in some sort of alphabetical order to try and make it easier for you to find what you want - hope this helps. Some things to do are more active than others so take your pick but also check that your travel insurance covers you for anything you book:

** BALLOONING

http://www.ballooning.ae/

+9714 285 9295 or info@ballooning.ae

www.bluebanana.com

+9714 436 8200

There are others but these are two you could look at.

** BEACH CLUBS AND BEACH PARKS IN DUBAI

This information was taken from Time Out Dubai 2nd week in February 2009

Beach Clubs

Dubai Marine Beach Resort & Spa +9714 346 1111

Beach Road

Non-members can visit at lunchtime on Fridays.

Dhs200 including lunch (dhs100 for children)

Habtoor Grand Resort & Spa +9714 399 5000

Dubai Marina

Non-members Dhs200 or dhs250 with food voucher.

Children dhs150 or dhs200 with food voucher

Add dhs25 for weekends

Hilton Dubai Jumeirah +9714 399 1111

In front of Jumeirah Beach Residence

Non-members dhs250 Thurs - Sat, dhs180 Sun - Wed (children aged 4yrs -16yrs dhs95, under 3yrs free

Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa +9714 883 6000

Jebel Ali Golf Club

Non-members dhs250 (dhs125 children) from Thursday - Saturday including lunch.

Dhs150 (dhs75 children)

The Pavilion Marina & Sports Club +9714 348 0000

Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Non-members allowed accesss on weekdays only.

Dhs400 (including dhs100 meal voucher)

Children under 16 yrs dhs200

Beach Parks

Al Mamzar Beach Park

Nr Hamriya Port, Al Hamriya

Hours: 8am - 11pm

+9714 296 6201

www,dn.gov.ae

Jumeirah Beach Park

Nr Jumeira Beach Club, Jumeirah

Hours: 8am - 11pm

+9714 349 2555

www.dm.gov.ae

** BIRD WATCHING:

That's for the feathered variety - see "Twitching" below

For the alternative see Time Out Dubai: http://www.timeoutdubai.com/dubai/

BOAT TRIP

Boat trip from the Marina next to Le Royal Meridien in Jumeirah

** CITY TOUR

The Big Bus Company - It's the same company as in London and you can hop on and off the bus to see the bits you want to see:

www.bigbus.co.uk/dub/html/dub_contact.html

Ticket valid for 24 hours and includes Red Route City Tour, Blue Route Beach Tour (with English speaking guide). Free daily Arabian Dhow Cruise and Arabian Treasures walking tour (Oct - Apr), free entrance to Dubai Museum and Shk Saeed Al Maktoum House

Alternatively, if there are 2 or more of you you could take a cab. Cab will be air conditioned, only some of the buses have their lower deck with A/C (last we heard). Cabs do not include entrance fees that some places charge, although the charges are small.

Ticket valid for 24 hours and includes Red Route City Tour, Blue Route Beach Tour (with English speaking guide). Free daily Arabian Dhow Cruise and Arabian Treasures walking tour (Oct - Apr), free entrance to Dubai Museum and Shk Saeed Al Maktoum House

Arabian Adventures: arabian-adventures.com/ToursSafaris/…

They have regular tours or you can tailor-make your tour.

There are a host of other tour companies as well, AA is just an example and owned by Emirates Airline Group.

** CLAY PIDGEON SHOOTING

This one is closed in the summer but ...

Clay pigeon shooting at Jebel Ali Shooting Club (part of Jebel Ali Golf Resort) followed by dinner there (Tex/Mex style). If you've ever shot clays at any - well most - local shooting clubs in the UK you'll be amazed. It's just like a hotel but without the rooms. Trap, skeet, sporting - it's all there. And they provide everything: http://www.jebelali-international.com

** DESERT SAFARI & DUBAI DESERT CONSERVATION RESERVE

dune bashing, camel riding, dinner and belly dancing etc) maybe with Arabian Adventures. They also offer a tour called, I think, Just for You which means that you get a private dinner in the dunes. After the Arabian Adventures general web address is a link to a brilliant report by Puppyjake about their experience of that tour:

arabian-adventures.com/ToursSafaris/…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g295424-i872-k1593…

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve - http://www.ddcr.org/

225sq.km of conservation reserve about 45 mins from the city / beach.

You can do the sundowner (above) in the DDCR.

There are only 4 tour operators that are licensed to go into the reserve.

http://www.arabian-adventures.com/

http://www.alphatoursdubai.com/

http://www.lama.ae/Static/about_us.html

http://www.travcotravel.com/main.htm

These are a host of other companies that offer a similar style tours (sundowner), but not in the DDCR.

Or if you're not interested in the desert, many companies offer tours to Hatta (on the Oman border - about 90 mins from Dubai) in the Hajar Mountains to see the wadis etc.

** DINNER CRUISES

AL BOOM

www.alboom.co.ae

+9714 324 3000

Al Mansour

www.interconti.com

+9714 205 7333

Bateaux Dubai

www.bateauxdubai.com

+9714 337 1919

Creek Cruises

www.creekcruises.com

+9714 393 9860

Creekside Leisure

www.tour-dubai.com

+9714 336 8406

Danat Dubai Cruises

www.danatdubaicruises.com

+9714 351 1117

** DIVING

We're not divers ourselves but here's what we know from friends who are. Diving in Fujeirah is great - everything from short trips from Al Aqah beach (there's a PADI dive centre at le Meridien there) to day long trips up to Musandam in the very north of Oman.

Diving in Oman is also supposed to be fantastic (Musandam is in Oman but is closer to Dubai than the other places in Oman).

Here are some sites you can check out:

For UAE:

www.7seasdivers.com PADI

www.alboomdiving.com PADI

www.diversdown.tk PADI

www.emiratesdiving.com PADI

www.jumeirahinternational.com PADI

www.sandybm.com

www.scuba-2000.com

www.scubainternationalnet.net PADI

As we say, we don't dive ourselves and these are details taken from the Explorer series of guides.

It's a pretty gentle drive of about 2 hours from Dubai to Fujeirah and le Meridien at Al Aqah is a good standard 4 star hotel (we've stayed there several times and wouldn't hesitate to go back). We've also read somewhere that there's a boat you can live on while diving in the Musandam area in the far north of Oman (it's often likened to a tropical Norway - the mountains drop straight into the Arabian Sea from quite enormous heights) but I can't find the details at the moment. Anyway, hope this has given you something to look at and think about ...

PS: We have friends who dive and have always enjoyed their diving from le Meridien at Al Aqah - night dives etc too

** FISHING

http://www.oceanactive.com/

Here's a link: www.dubailife.com/sports/index.asp… then click on Captain Vic's.

FYI - Ajman is about 45 mins from Jumeirah Beach.

Jebel Ali hotel:

jebelali-international.com/JAIH/properties/j…

If you can't see anything you fancy in the above fishing section, then put fishing in the TA Forum search engine as there have been some posts in the last 6 months.

** GO KARTS

Go-karting / driving lessons / motor sports at the Autodrome:

www.dubaiautodrome.com/general/index.aspx

Or at the Emirates Kart Centre nr Jebel Ali Golf Resort and Spa

www.emsf.ae or tel +0714 282 711

** GOLF

http://www.dubaigolf.com/

There are more courses than mentioned in this link and more coming.

** HALF DAY EXCURSION

Perhaps lunch at Hatta Fort in the Hajar Mountains?

http://www.jebelali-international.com/

** HELICOPTER RIDE

Helicopter ride (not sure if you can visit some parts of the Palm so that may be the only way to see it)

Google it and take your pick.

** HORSE RACING:

www.emiratesracing.com/era/rcJebelAli.cfm

http://www.dubairacingclub.com/

** ICE SKATING:

Al Nasr Leisureland - open to the public except when in use by clubs. Open 09.00 - 24.00

www.alnasrleisureland.ae or telephone +9714 337 1234

DUBAI ICE RINK ( +9714 437 3111 or www.dubaiicerink.com)

at Dubai Mall (near Burj Dubai)

Galleria Ice Rink at the Hyatt Regency in Deira

Open 10.00 - 13.30 : 14.00 - 17.30 : 18.00 - 21.00www.dubai.regency.hyatt.com

** MOSQUE VISIT

Sheik Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) www.cultures.ae or smccu@eim.ae

Visit Jumairah Mosque: dubaicityguide.com/tourism/sightseeing-4.asp

Note all arms and legs must be covered for the above, that's both sexes. Ladies must cover their heads as well.

www.gulfnews.com/nation/General/10223987.html

It is also possible to take part in a weekly cultural breakfast or Sunday lunch at the SMCCU in Bastakiya - details on the SMCCU website. Bookings are recommended as there are a limited number of places available for either. For further information see this from March 12 Time Out Dubai: Emirati breakfast - timeoutdubai.com/community/features/7065-emi…

** MOTOR SPORTS

See Go Karts

** QUAD BIKES & OFF ROAD MOTORBIKING

www.bluebanana.com or +9714 436 8100

** SEAPLANE FLIGHT

Dubai based seaplane: http://www.seawings.ae/

** SHOPPING

- there's a surprise ... Dobuy ain't called Dobuy for nothing! (BUT, if you're expecting huge bargains you'll likely be disappointed. Check out prices of cameras, dvd etc in your home country first) Prices aren't that much different and at least you get a warranty/guaranty which is valid in your home country.

Here are the websites for the larger MALLS in Dubai:

http://www.dubaicityguide.com/shop/ (Includes Souks)

The biggest are these:

http://www.thedubaimall.com/en

http://www.malloftheemirates.com/

http://www.ibnbattutamall.com/

http://www.burjuman.com/site/index.php

http://www.waficity.com/

http://www.deiracitycentre.com/

www.dubaifestivalcity.com/cntn.aspx?id=4

http://www.goldanddiamondpark.com/

http://www.dubaioutletmall.com/index1.htm

This last is on the edge of town, quite easy to get to by cab (30 -> 40 mins) and prices are cheaper. In general all the shops in the above are open from 10.00 - 22.00 but later on Thursday, Friday and (sometimes) Saturday, usually until midnight.

Also see: http://www.dubaicityguide.com/shop/ (Includes Souks)

Antiques Museum: Al Quoz Industrial by Interchange 3 on Shk Zayed Road. Get your taxi driver to call for directions. +9714 347 9935 or +9714 347 9729. Locally known as the House of Tat (but full of bedlinen etc, lamps, souvenirs, T-shirts etc etc etc)

Gold & Spice Souks:

These basically back onto each other and are in the Deira/Al Ras area on the Sharjah side of the Creek so it makes sense to visit them in tandem with each other. The Gold souk is open 09.30 - 13.00 and 16.00 - 22.00 but Friday hours (being the Holy Day) may be afternoon hours only so Spice Souk hours would probably be the same. Don't forget to haggle for the best price.

The Textile Souk is across the Creek from the Gold and Spice Souks in Bur Dubai and the opening hours are the same as the Gold and Spice souks. If you want to buy fabric from around the world this is the place to go - and don't forget to haggle.

A WORD OR TWO ABOUT PRICES AND GUARANTEES/WARRANTIES .....

CHECK THE PRICE IN YOUR HOME COUNTRY! There seems to be this myth that if it's in a shop in Dubai, then it will likely be cheaper than in your home country. This may well not be the case, thus you must check the price on any specific item that you are thinking of buying here before you come. As for warranties - you must check the warranty on electrical goods etc to make sure you're covered when you go home. Some manufacturers use lettering in the warranties and the ones that we have come across here are: EMEA (Europe, Middle East & Africa) and MENA (Middle East & North Africa). You must check to see you are covered, obviously a worldwide warranty is the ideal.

Nearly 100% of all electrical goods here come at 240V, except for those imported from the US, but most retailers will give you the transformer. Some also come with two-pin plugs.

** SKIING

Skiing at SkiDubai in Mall of the Emirates (cost includes hire of all equipment except gloves and hats -they even have disposable socks!):

http://www.skidubai.com/

Or if you're not into skiing/snowboarding lunch at Apres in the Kempinski (part of the Mall of the Emirates) watching everyone else fall over on the ski slope. Good pizzas and great fun.

** SKYDIVING

http://www.skydivedubai.net/

** SURFING

http://www.surfingfdubai.com/

** TEN PIN BOWLING

Al Nasr Leisureland - can't see a website, but here's the phone number: +9714 343 1000

City Bowling at Deira City Centre (+9714 295 9139)

** THEATRE

Al Sahra - Jumana, a show with lights, lasers, fireworks in the desert - only during the cooler months. Check website for details

http://www.alsahra.com/

TA Comment on the above: tripadvisor.com/…9285338

** TIME IN TRANSIT AT DXB:

timeintransit.com/airport/…

** TRAFFIC JAMS:

This is one of the few free activities you can enjoy in Dubai although it's probably more properly termed an "inactivity" lol. However your time can be used to count the number of people using mobile phones, operating computers, putting on make-up, eating and drinking, reading the paper, consulting a Dubai road map which was out of date the minute it was published, driving with children on their laps and any number of fascinating things Dubai's drivers do while they're out and about!

** TWITCHING

See this link: http://www.tommypedersen.com/UAE.htm Then click on "Guiding" in the left hand column.

** WATER SPORTS

All kind of water sports including, wind surfing, sailing, fishing and scuba diving.

www.dimc-uae.com/english_html/index.html

** WATER THEME PARKS

At the Madinat Jumeira - http://www.wildwadi.com/

At Atlantis, Jumeirah Palm - www.atlantisthepalm.com/aquaventure.aspx

** AND WHEN IT'S TIME TO GO HOME:

DUBAI DUTY FREE - dubaidutyfree.com/cgi-bin/…Catalog

Muscat, Oman
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1. Re: Things to do in Dubai - updated March 2009

Here's one we forgot to add:

** WALKING TOURS

This is a link to a couple of tours from National Geographic (thanks Raoul):

…nationalgeographic.com/places/places-of-a-l…

and to the Latimer Trail (thanks Latimer):

"If you take a taxi to The Arabian Courtyard you will be right oposite Dubai Museum. Stand in front of the hotel and face the museum.

If you go walk away from the museum and AC to the right in about 250 yards you will come to Bastakiah heritage area. Really nice and worth a wander about - I can recmommend Basta Art Cafe for lunch or breakfast.

Stay on the same side of the road as the Basta Art Cafe, walk back to the Arabian Courtyard and walk to the back of the museum. (The museum is worth a look and is a welcome air conditioned haven if you're getting hot)

Turn left and you will be in Meena Bazzar, where all the tailors shops are. Wander along this street to the end (keeping an eye out for the beautiful Iranian building on the right hans side that is covered in Lapis Lazuli tiles), take a right and you will be at the abra station on the creek side. Grab an abra for 1 dirham and cross the creek. When you get off, immediately in front of you and across a very busy road is the Spice soukh (use the subway) and if you wander throuhg the spice soukh you will pass through the embroidery soukh into the gold soukh.

You can then go back across the creek to Bur Dubai or catch a taxi back to your hotel from the Gold soukh exit."

Newton Abbot...
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2. Re: Things to do in Dubai - updated March 2009

Nice one Huge, I think you need a hobby though ; )

Tyne and Wear
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for Dubai
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3. Re: Things to do in Dubai - updated March 2009

Fantastic post again! I hope you dont mind (I know you wont) but I've asked for this post to be made a Sticky, that way we can refer people to it without bumping it or posting a link to it.

Melbourne
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4. Re: Things to do in Dubai - updated March 2009

Thanks for the information it's very helpfull. when I click on the Danatdubai.com link it looks more like an advertisment site rather than the actual site itself.

What i am after is a cruise that takes you in and around the palm and around the Burj Al Arab, do you know of any companies on nice boats that do so, and what there details are ie; websites, phone etc

Your help would be much appreciated

Regards

Erol Ibrahim

Melbourne Australia

Here and there
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for Dubai, Pissouri
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5. Re: Things to do in Dubai - updated March 2009

See here

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g295424-i872-k2626…