Going Beyond the City: 5 Places to Visit Outside Downtown Dubai


Hundreds of tourists troop to Dubai every day to visit its most popular attractions: the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain, the Dubai Creek, etc. These are places located in the central area of the city or Downtown Dubai.

However, there are also several beautiful places found outside of Dubai’s central area that is also worth visiting and exploring.

If you want to go on the less-trodden path and discover other beautiful places outside of Downtown Dubai, make sure you visit these areas:

Hatta is an enclave of Dubai located about an hour from the city. It is a town located in the foothills of the Hajar Mountains. Although it isn’t a big town, Hatta is home to several interesting spots and some of the best mountain resorts in the UAE that won’t fail to delight tourists and locals alike.

This town is one of the few places in Dubai that is rich in natural, stunning sights. Since it is surrounded by the Hajar Mountains, you will be treated to various lovely views which include rippled peaks and diverse terrain. The weather is milder here as well so you can explore the area nearly any time of the day.

Hatta is home to these must-see and visit attractions:

  • The Hatta Heritage Village
  • The Hatta Dam
  • Hatta Hill Park
  • Hatta Rock Pools (open to GCC nationals)
  • Hatta Proper

With its amazing location, landscape, and mild weather, you can do a lot of things here that you can’t normally do in Dubai such as hiking and mountain biking.

  • Al Bastakiya

Al Bastakiya, which has now been rechristened as the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, is one of Dubai’s most well-known historical areas. When you visit this place, you will be immersed in the rich and fascinating history and culture of Dubai.

While here, make sure you drop by the:

  • Mawaheb Art Gallery
  • Coffee Museum
  • Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU)

If you’re hungry, thirsty, or simply want to rest a bit, take a breather at the Arabian Tea House Café or MAKE Art Café (or both). Don’t forget to sample their coffee and tea and other delectable menu items.

Al Bastakiya is located 25 minutes away from the city center.

  • The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve or DDCR is the UAE’s first national park. Located along the Dubai-Al Ain Road, the DDCR covers nearly 4.7% of the total land area of Dubai.

The reserve is home to 57 plant species, over 120 species of birds, and 43 mammals and reptiles including the rare Arabian oryx. There are different activities you can do here which include:

  • Camel trekking
  • Horse riding
  • Wildlife tour
  • Dune bashing
  • Sandboarding
  • Night safari
  • Camping
  • Falconry
  • Hot air ballooning

To visit DDCR and experience these activities, get in touch with an authorized DDCR tour operator.

  • The Global Village

The Global Village is Dubai’s most popular cultural attraction and family entertainment center. It is located along Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road.

This tourist destination boasts numerous pavilions, each representing a different country. It is a great place for kids to gain knowledge about the various countries and cultures around the world.

The Global Village is packed with a wide array of entertainment as well. You can shop at the pavilions and in other retail shops. There are also several dining options to choose from. In addition, there are a number of thrilling kids’ rides that your children will love.

Lastly, you and your family will be amazed at the various performances held here such as stunt or thrill shows, street performances, and cultural shows.

  • The Dubai Miracle Garden

Lastly, the Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest natural flower garden. It is home to different gardens including a butterfly garden and an aromatic garden.

The garden boasts 100 million blooming flowers of 70 different flower varieties. In addition, it holds two Guinness World Records as:

  • The largest flower arrangement or structure forming the shape of an Airbus A380
  • The world’s tallest supported topiary sculpture for an 18-meter floral Mickey Mouse statue

You will also see other floral models here such as animals, vehicles, and the Burj Khalifa, all made of fresh flowers. Some flower models can even move, change shape, and even light up.

The Dubai Miracle Garden is located in Al Barsha, Dubailand, approximately 21 minutes away from Downtown Dubai.

To visit these places stress-free and have quicker access to the emirate’s other popular landmarks, make sure you stay at a strategically located luxury hotel in Dubai.

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