There are plenty of content on the internet about places to see in Dubai. The Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, Miracle Garden, Ski Park, Sheikh Zayed Road, etc. top the list as they are some of the most glamorous places in the city. However, people who live and work in Dubai or those who are visiting for a long time may get bored of seeing and visiting the same things again and again. But in reality, there is no reason to get bored in this amazing Emirate city. This is because there are many things to do in Dubai that not many are aware of. With this note, we will check out the top 7 hidden gems of the city: unique places that you must visit in Dubai.
Right in the middle of the city, amongst all the huge buildings and skyscrapers, is one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Dubai. The Bastakiya Quarter was built during the 1890’s and was a place where the rich residents of the city lived. Although a part of the Bastakiya Quarter was later demolished (for more modern constructions) and some of it was used for labour accommodation and warehousing, the place still holds a certain charm of the bygone times. The sandstone buildings, the narrow lanes and the unique wind towers are what add to the uniqueness of the place. It is also close to the Al Fahidi Fort, which houses the Dubai Museum, and do visit both of these places to know more about the history and culture of Dubai in detail.
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
As Dubai is known for its marvellous architecture and unique buildings, it would be surprising to know that it is home to the best wetland reserve in the area. What is even more astonishing is that more than 20,000 water birds can be found at this sanctuary, which is located amidst all the buildings, traffic and crowd, just along the Dubai Creek. So, if you think you have had enough of the crowd and the noise, a visit to Ras Al Khor would be refreshing. The best time to visit this place is in the winter when you would find plenty of migratory birds. Some of the birds to look out for at the three bird hides in the park are grey egrets, black-winged stilts, grey herons, reef herons, osprey, sandpipers, etc. However, the stars of the place are the pink-hued flamingos. You would find mangroves, salt flats and intertidal mudflats in the 6 km area of the place, providing the birds with a vast range of natural habitat. One of the best things about the place is that the entry is free, making it one of the best hidden places in Dubai on a budget.
Al Mamzar Beach Park
If you are craving for a relaxing day with your partner, kids and friends, the Al Mamzar Beach Park is a place you might find attractive. Apart from gorgeous white-sand beaches, this park has children’s play area, swimming pool, playground, snack parks, lawns and picnic areas with barbecue. In short, there is no time to get bored after you arrive at the park. If you love water sports, you can indulge in jet skiing. Some other beach sports to enjoy at this park are football, basketball, volleyball, etc. It is also a great place to have a barbecue or a picnic. When the heat becomes too much to handle or if you want to snooze for a bit comfortable, you can also rent a beach cabin, which is available for AED 200. All in all, the Al Mamzar Beach Park offers enjoyment and comfort, the perfect place to have fun and rest during holidays.
The Coffee Museum
Tucked away at the back of the Al Fahidi Village in Bur Dubai is the city’s Coffee Museum, a place dedicated to a drink that is loved by people from all over the world. The Coffee Museum would give you information about the history of coffee not just in Dubai or the UAE but in the world as well. From how it all started to the latest brews and coffee making techniques, there is lot to know and learn at this one-of-a-kind museum. Apart from checking out videos and photos on coffee making, you would also be able to enjoy delicious cups of coffee at the museum’s cafe. Also, do not forget to visit the Museum Shop where you can buy a variety of things like barista equipment, books, coffee, grinders, etc. for yourself as well as for friends and family.
Dubai is known to be a shopper’s paradise with so many shopping malls and souks around the city. However, shopping in the city can be expensive. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you cannot indulge in some retail therapy. If you want to enjoy some great shopping without breaking your budget, you can head to Dragon Market, the largest Chinese or Asian Market outside China. The place has more than 5000 stores as well as several restaurants, cafes and entertainment zones. Here, you can buy things like home appliances, electronics, household goods, garden items, toys, furniture, clothes, accessories, leisure equipment, etc. In short, you name it and you would find it at the Dragon Market and that too at really affordable prices.
Al Qadra Lakes
It is rare to see lakes in the desert but when it comes to Dubai nothing is impossible. Al Qadra Lakes is a series of manmade lakes located between Seih Al Salam desert and Bab Al Shams. It is a perfect picnic spot where you can relax and enjoy the sight of more than 170 bird species like geese, ducks, flamingos, Steppe eagle, Asian houbara, etc. As it is located in the desert, you may also get lucky and be able to see the free-roaming wildlife of the desert. Do wait till evening to enjoy the beautiful sunset at the Al Qadra Lakes. If you want to do this in luxury, you must visit Bab Al Shams, which is a five star desert resort, where you can also enjoy a delicious dinner or maybe a snack and a drink.
Lisaili Camel Market
The camel is an integral part of desert life and the only mode of transportation in the past, when the Arabs lived in the desert. But the importance of camels hasn’t died down and the camel heritage has been preserved at the Lisali Camel Market. Apart from hundreds of camels, you would also be able to see a bustling market selling everything from camel fodder to camel blankets. You can buy some unique souvenirs like perfumes, camel wraps, handmade ornaments, canes, etc. This is an exclusive market and would be a fun place to visit, especially for the children.
The presence of these hidden gems does not mean that you should ignore the regular Dubai attractions. On the other hand, include these in your travel itinerary for a complete Dubai experience. Also, make sure you fulfil the Dubai visa requirements accurately, so that you get a valid visa that would give you the chance to visit the city.