Beyond The Skyscrapers: Exploring Dubai’s National And Cultural Treasures

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A destination which often appears on blogs which list things like the most unique dining settings, the most impressive buildings, and the most unexpected interior spaces, it’s safe to say that Dubai is highly regarded in the design sector. Recognised as one of the world’s leading concrete jungles, Dubai is famously home to hotels which surpass all expectations and to luxury which is entirely unrivalled.

But beyond the malls, the hotels, the skyscrapers and the architecture, Dubai is an immersive destination boasting its own natural spectacles and cultural treasures.

Natural Attractions And Things to See In Dubai

One of the most interesting things about Dubai is that it is a centre of luxury, built into the middle of a vast desert landscape. What this means is that visitors can hop from luxury designer shops to camel rides and wild desert camping experiences with ease – and while the latter may not be for everyone, one cannot argue with the juxtaposition that exists in a destination so full of natural and manmade beauty.

Big Red is one of the most visited spots just outside of central Dubai, offering a sweeping sand dune landscape which is popular for activities including sandboarding – and which makes for some incredibly impressive holiday snaps. The name of the Big Red dune comes from the high iron oxide content in the sand which gives it a rich red-look hue.

Another natural attraction just outside of central Dubai is the Mangrove National Park in Abu Dhabi – a conservation area which is currently seeking to reverse some of the damage done by extensive mangrove destruction caused by construction and building. In an effort to balance the damage with positive action, the national park is used as a hub of education and awareness around the importance of conservation, with visitors able to paddleboard, kayak, or book a spot on a boating tour across the mangrove. 

A few other notable natural sites and attractions to consider visiting in Dubai include the Al Qudra Lakes (a short 30 minute drive from Dubai), and Hatta which lies further afield but is perfect for a more relaxing day trip away from the city. Both combine outdoor adventure and wildlife experiences with lake settings which are perfect for cooling off.

And for those who want to bridge their love of the great outdoors with the convenience of a luxury getaway to Dubai, The Green Planet offers an innovative inside experience – replicating a tropical rainforest in a vast greenhouse setting, finetuning the environment to support incredible biodiversity for plant life and wildlife. 

A Look At Dubai’s Culture

The aforementioned natural attractions and activities in and around Dubai span both entirely natural settings and manmade experiences which connect Dubai visitors to the landscape outside of the city.

A big part of this local experience lies in Dubai’s culture, which is richly steeped in Islami tradition – combining ancient practices with the more modern experiences which are now part and parcel of Dubai’s tourist landscape. Hospitality is a major driving force across much of Dubai’s background culture, and you will notice that many of the hotels and venues across the city and beyond combine modern luxury with flavours and concepts derived from ancient traditions – for example, serving freshly brewed gahwa from the comfort of a majlis.

For those interested in taking their luxury trip to Dubai to the next level, bridging the retail and 5-star experiences available across the city with some more cultural and historical experiences, the Dubai Design District is considered a must-see. This district is home to galleries and creative hubs which bring the traditional Arabic calligraphy and local traditional art to life.

Other cultural experiences worth considering include some of the area’s more traditional sporting events which centre around camel racing and equestrian sports, and a day trip to the outskirts of Dubai along the Dubai Creek, where you have an opportunity to connect with the smaller local villages and traditional towns.

Visiting Dubai

At its core, Dubai is an incredibly diverse destination that’s founded on Islamic culture, and which connects the manmade and the natural through a plethora of luxurious and high end experiences. For visitors, Dubai is whatever you want it to be – whether you choose to stay inside the city boundaries or venture outside and learn about the local culture.

Whatever you decide to do, Dubai is well worth the adventure.

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