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Family-friendly outdoor adventures in Dubai

Camels are a key part to United Arab of Emirates' rich heritage. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI
Camels are a key part to United Arab of Emirates' rich heritage. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI
Hop on a camel safari ride for an iconic Dubai experience. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI
Hop on a camel safari ride for an iconic Dubai experience. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI
Witness the amazing speed of these majestic falcons as they soar the skies. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI
Witness the amazing speed of these majestic falcons as they soar the skies. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI
Enjoy the scenery and fresh air as you bond with your loved ones. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI
Enjoy the scenery and fresh air as you bond with your loved ones. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI
Kayaking near the Burj Al Arab. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI
Kayaking near the Burj Al Arab. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI

Get high on adventure with your family as you bond through fun outdoor activities the city has to offer

FOR A QUINTESSENTIAL ARABIAN ADVENTURE


Stargaze under Dubai's desert sky as you spend the night among the dunes. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI

While quad biking and sandboarding are popular with kids, don’t miss out on a truly immersive Arabian experience. Have a taste of the Bedouin life as you hit the dunes – ride camels, witness majestic falcons soaring across the skies and try to identify glittering constellations such as your own star sign or well-known Orion and Canis Major. Ecotourism desert safari company Platinum Heritage offers a wide range of desert tours that include camel safari rides, falconry experiences and an overnight desert camping.

Or head to Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, UAE's largest unfenced nature reserve, and explore the native wildlife such as Arabian oryx, sand gazelles, foxes and wild cats there.

FOR THE WATER SPORTS LOVERS


Sign up for diving lessons in Dubai and get geared up to explore the ocean depths. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI

If your family loves to make a splash, Dubai has it all when it comes to water play options – diving, kayaking, jet-skiing, and more. For a start, head to five-star Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) centre The Pavilion Dive Centre at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and get geared up to discover exotic marine life and ancient wreckage around the Arabian Gulf. The instructors there conduct lessons catering to different ages and skill levels. Training for free diving is also available here.

FOR A TASTE OF THE WILDERNESS


Hatta has hiking and mountain biking trails of varying degree of difficulty. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI

Plan a day trip to Hatta, located about 130km south-east of central Dubai at the foothills of Hajar Mountain. The town is home to stunning views of the Hatta Dam and its surrounding rugged mountainscape. Opt for a slow-paced hike or sweat it out over an adrenaline-powered mountain biking sesh along one of Hatta’s hiking and biking trails. It’s a perfect activity for the whole family after indulging in all the delicious local Emirati food. Your glutes and quads will thank you for it. Alternatively, you may want to relax and enjoy the surrounding view while kayaking in the lake formed by Hatta Dam.

FOR THE RACING ENTHUSIASTS


Witness the modern day version of traditional camel racing deep in the Dubai desert at Al Marmoom Camel Race Track. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI

Make a pit stop at Dubai’s camel racing mecca, the Al Marmoom Camel Race Track. Located next to Al Marmoom Heritage Village and the Al Lisaili area deep in the desert, it is the biggest camel race track in the city. From your grandstand seat with the rest of the family, enjoy the heart-pumping spectacle of 60 camels racing to the finish line. Racing season runs between October and April. Swing by earlier and get a family photo taken with the competing camels for a travel memento.


Channel your equestrian spirit as you saddle up for a horse ride through the desert. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI

Alternatively, opt for a day of horseback riding at Al Jiyad Stables. The family-run business, located in the desert region of Saih Al Salam, is home to over 120 horses and offers professional riding lessons for all skill levels. Modern riding clubs are also available in the form of equestrian centres. Hop on the saddle and gallop through the desert as you head towards Dubai’s magnificent horizon.

FOR A BREATH OF FRESH AIR


Enjoy a picturesque bird's-eye view of Dubai's dunes with a hot air balloon ride. PHOTO: TOURISM DUBAI

You may not have a magic carpet to fly you across the golden Arab desert, but you can enjoy majestic Dubai from a hot air balloon instead. Spot travelling camels, oryx and other wildlife in the distance, and be in awe of emerald oases from thousands of feet above ground. It is an experience guaranteed to give you a different perspective of the city, and everyone will enjoy the unforgettable views.

For more information on how you can curate the perfect outdoor family adventure, visit www.visitdubai.com.