While Dubai’s claim to fame might lie in its reputation as a city of scintillating skyscrapers, slick sportscars, and snazzy malls the size of small towns, a trip to the city need not be just about the luxurious and ostentatious. If you’re looking to enjoy Dubai’s abundant sun, sand, and sea through the lens of adventure, the city and its neighboring emirates are not short on epic offerings.
Some of the outdoor options are as over-the-top (and pricey) as you might expect from Dubai — as in ziplining between skyscrapers or snow skiing when it’s 120 degrees. Others offer the serene escape from the urban glitz that you may be seeking. Think kayaking alongside mangroves or hiking in the Hajar Mountains. Whichever adventure you seek, avoid pursuing it during the height of summer between May and August to avoid the real risk of dehydration.