Travel Information - Dubai

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Camel racing:

A camel races during the winter months can be one of the most memorable highlights of any visit to Dubai. An excursion to the camel races, which take place on Thursdays and Fridays during the winter months, can be one of the most memorable highlights of any visit to Dubai.

At the race track on the edge of the city, visitors can view the exciting proceedings from the grandstand, wander around the paddocks, and buy camel "accessories", including blankets, rugs and beads from the nearby market.

Tourists on one of the organised overnight safaris may be lucky enough to see an early morning race at a remote desert track where spectators follow each event in a mad melée of four-wheel-drive vehicles.

Camel Riding:

The camel, a symbol of Arabia, is also a major tourist attraction. Camel rides are part of some tours and desert safaris. Tour operators and hotels can also arrange camel rides separately, with lessons for beginners.

Horse Racing:

The sport of kings has rapidly become Dubai's most popular spectator event, attracting crowds of over 15,000. Race meetings are held every week during the cooler months at one of the UAE's four racecourses -- Dubai Racing Club, Jebel Ali Racecourse, Sharjah Equestrian Club and Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. Dubai Racing Club, at Nad Al Sheba, the country's largest and most spectacular track, also holds night meetings under floodlights. There is no gambling, but popular free raffles offer attractive sums of money as prizes.

Bird Watching:

The United Arab Emirates varied landscape supports over 390 bird species, of which 330 are migrants from Siberia and Central Asia.

The country's prime position on a migratory crossroads guarantees an amazing selection of birds, many not easily found anywhere in Europe or elsewhere in the Middle East.

Customised bird-watching tours range from a day to a week or more, and take in the full range of landscapes from Dubai's parks and golf clubs to desert, mountains and the Creek.

Abra:

The most picturesque way to cross the Creek is by abra -- the traditional water taxi -- which takes you on a short journey across the waterway from the glass-and-steel office blocks of Deira to the old-world souks of Bur Dubai, providing a fascinating glimpse of Dubai's trading heritage.

Desert Feasts:

Most popular are safaris that culminate in the evening with spectacular sunset views followed by a traditional Arab barbecue under the stars. These can be tailored to meet every taste from a romantic and peaceful experience to elaborate fun-packed evenings complete with music and a belly dancer.

Sand-Skiing:

Those with a taste for speed, a head for heights and enthusiasm for an unusual sport will enjoy sand-skiing down the dunes of the Dubai desert. Special skis are used and high dunes in the interior of the desert are chosen as "slopes". Sand-skiing sessions can be arranged on request as part of a full-day or half-day safari.

Wadi-Driving:

A popular pastime with both residents and visitors is known as "wadi-bashing" -- exploring the wadis or dry beds of streams that flow after winter rains from the Hajar mountains. Real exploration off the beaten track requires four-wheel-drive vehicles which are available for hire with or without drivers.

For the adventurous, an hour or so of rough driving can be rewarded by scenes of great and unexpected beauty: rock pools, some with water year-round, carved into strange shapes by the rushing seasonal torrents; greenery clinging to a precarious existence; tiny cultivated plots and stone houses, evidence of man's tenacity.

Dubai has a number of highly professional inbound tour operators offering a range of services for both individual tourists and the travel trade. The major operators are well-equipped to provide a full destination management service covering hotel bookings, airport transfers, ground transport and a daily programme of tours and activities with multilingual guides.

Museum:

The National Museum of Dubai is immensely popular with locals. It celebrates the history, heritage and culture of Dubai and its people. Visitors take a journey through space and time, "disembarking" from a dhow onto the busy waterside suq in Dubai c. 1950. The greater part of the museum is underground; only in Mariners of the Gulf does the world above become apparent - visitors walk below a blue glass ceiling whilst fishing boats above their heads.

 

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