There is more to Dubai than what meets the eye

Proudly cosmopolitan and a buzzing transit point for travellers across the globe, Dubai is the perfect city to hit pause and enjoy a short holiday to unwind. The city’s throbbing cultural and adventurous heart has countless options for the traveller that are often overlooked. A Dubai vacation might be incomplete without hitting the glitzy shopping malls and seeing its many architectural achievements, but there more to it than meets the eye. Visiting over a long weekend, or making a short stop? Here are some ideas to see some Emirati landscapes and sights.

Dubai from the skies

Seaplane flights are undoubtedly one of the best aerial trips to discover the incredible beauty of Dubai. Sign up for the Seawings Signature Tour to fly high above the skyscraper-scaped city. This 45 minutes Dubai city tour is full of thrills as you soar above the world’s most fascinating architectural marvels and beaches in a premium Cessna seaplane. The seaplane ride is ideal to spot buildings such as the Burj Khalifa, The World Islands, Burj Al-Arab, Palm Jumeirah - the palm-shaped archipelago. Seawings Dubai offers a unique way to delight the senses with a bird’s eye view of the towering buildings and a water-highways that criss-cross the town. This is one of the best Dubai excursions to tick all the major rights off the list. There are multiple seaplane tours that span 20 minutes to longer overnight tours to fill a weekend. Amongst Dubai tour packages, a seaplane tour of the city helps to experience Dubai swiftly and comprehensively.

Skiing in the desert

The words ‘snow’ and ‘Dubai’ are ludicrously incongruous, but the city never fails to surprise. Now you can whet or try your skiing skills in the heart of Dubai. The sprawling Mall of Emirates has a 22,500 square meter indoor ski area complete with lifts and tubing runs to match any skiing facilities in the upper reaches of a high-altitude country. The facility also has options to go zorbing and whiz down a subzero dual zip line. Up for some wildlife? Meet penguins in the segregated area. This a great pick for a family holiday where elders and kids can both enjoy -6 °C (42 °F) temperature and activities that suit a freezing day.

Hit the curves of a racing track

Fascinated by wheels and speed? Now you can don your helmet, a protective suit and get behind the wheel to a state-of-the-art racing car for the day. And the wheels that you get are nothing less than that of a Formula 1 car. Motorsports enthusiasts will the love the idea of racing down a track with guidance of experts and feel what their legendary icons feel on the tracks. This is the perfect chance to test your driving skills on the laps and crank up the speed to feel the real Formula One delight.

Cruising in an Abra

For a slice of traditional life, discover the fun of cruising down Dubai’s creek in a dhow – a wooden boat.  Of all Dubai excursions, this one transports you to another era. The erstwhile merchants of the region would traverse the region on the water highways with the help of these great water vehicles. The faster speedboats may be more prevalent now, but nothing beats a breezy ride in a dhow for a couple of hours. You can board these in the old side of the city, taking in some of the best places to see in Dubai along the way and even sign up for a meal. The smaller dhows are more personal, whereas dinner cruises can be a bit touristy - take your pick.

Explore wildlife in Sir Bani Yas Island

Located 170km from Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas Island is an Arabian Wildlife Park that homes giraffes, cheetahs and gazelles and numerous desert animals. A day long trip is the perfect way to switch off from city life and be in the company of the wild. You can take a Seawings tour on a personal seaplane, which offers great views of the emerald coloured Arabian Gulf. Most of the visitors come here for the Sir Bani Yas Island Safari, but there are a number of other things to see, including ruins of an ancient Christian monastery, the iconic salt dome hills and stunning beaches. With more than 13000 animals to see at the park and exploring the island for its other sights, this makes for an excellent long weekend tour, amongst the islands of Abu Dhabi and areas around.

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