Dubai is a hub of adventure, attracting thrillseekers with a dynamic array of offerings that span desert, sea and sky. The United Arab Emirates’ diverse terrain ensures that those who are keen to try out new hobbies or continue to hone their skills while on vacation will not be stuck for choices. The UAE’s predictably good weather spans from October to May and means that outdoor activities can be enjoyed for the majority of the year.
Head to the desert for a dune buggy session, start the day with a sunrise horseback riding trek, perfect your golf swing from new heights, dine suspended in the air or explore the city from the skies – Top Spots Dubai has rounded up the best adventure activities for you to try.
Remember: before embarking upon any adventures or activities in Dubai we recommend that you follow the safety advice of your experienced instructors and utilise any recommended safety equipment. Before booking please refer to the guidelines of individual operators to ensure that you meet all requirements for participation. We also recommend that you pack your valid ID as many operators require this.
1. Morning Desert Safari
Start the day in an unforgettable way with a morning desert safari. There are many desert safari options tailored to suit different tastes from the family-friendly to the luxurious but for adventure seekers, we recommend a desert safari that includes dune bashing. Desert safaris typically include a thrilling ride in a 4 x 4 across the United Arab Emirate’s expansive desert. After a heart-racing dune bashing session in the vehicle guests can experience local traditions such as falconry, camel rides and sports like archery and sand surfing. Morning desert safaris also typically include an alfresco breakfast of delicious Arabic cuisine, served by a traditional Bedouin Caravan to give you a true taste of Emirati hospitality.
Tip: While there are hundreds of desert tour operators to choose from we only work with the best. Top Spots Dubai has curated a tried and tested selection based on first-hand experience. Contact us to make your booking.
2. Dune Buggy
The ideal activity for adventure-seeking groups, hop into a two or four-seater off-road dune buggy and get ready for action. Safari guides will drive you across the Dubai desert’s beautiful dunes while more confident drivers might wish to go it alone and navigate their own path. These specially-adapted off-road vehicles can climb high sandbanks and reach surprising speeds so hold onto your hats.
Tip: While the desert temperatures can get high, especially during the day remember to keep your helmet on at all times. Safety first: remember to follow the instructions of your supervisor and keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles and individuals.
3. Quad Bike
A combination of speed, striking views and off-road exploration grab your helmet, put on your protective goggles and buckle up – quad bikes are one of the most exciting ways to move across the desert. These four-wheeled vehicles are ideal for single riders or group expeditions. We recommend quad biking with a qualified instructor either privately or as part of a group. Enjoy the striking Dubai desert views, bounce up and over sand dunes and ride on a rush of adrenaline.
Tip: Stay hydrated, the combination of sun and sand can quickly leave you thirsty. Safety first: remember to follow the instructions of your supervisor and keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles and individuals.
4. Dirt Bike Tour
Take your adventures in Dubai up a gear and book a dirt bike (also known as motocross bike) tour. Remember, two-wheeled dirt bikes are a little more intense than the four-wheeled quad bike and buggy options. The tours typically take place in the Dubai desert with bikes and the necessary safety equipment included. Under the expert supervision of trained instructors, enjoy the thrill of this action-packed off-roading adventure experience, ride your dirt bike over the sand and take in the stunning views of the desert. Typically, experienced motorcyclists can enjoy more flexibility with their ride while beginners can begin their biking journey with expert-led lessons.
Tip: Safety first: remember to follow the instructions of your supervisor and keep a safe distance between yourself and other vehicles and individuals.
5. Hot Air Balloon Ride
Gliding over the vast Dubai desert, hot air balloon rides combine the rush of adventure with a sense of serenity. Explore the Dubai desert from 3,000 feet above in a hot air balloon, take in the desert dunes and the UAE’s majestic wildlife and magical terrain as you’ve never seen them before. Balloon rides typically last 40-70 minutes. While group hot air balloon rides can accommodate 16-20 guests there are also options to book private flights for a more intimate and personalised experience.
Tip: Hot air balloon rides typically take place at sunrise, why not spend the day in the desert and combine your hot air balloon ride with other activities such as a desert safari.
6. Horse Riding in the Desert
Equestrianism plays an important role in the UAE’s culture. There are several horse stables situated in Dubai as well as in the desert. A horse trek is an excellent way to discover the desert. Under the supervision of an experienced instructor, sunrise and sunset horse riding sessions are truly magical ways to get in your workout and experience some of the United Arab Emirate’s desert wildlife from camels to oryx. There are options available for various age groups and competence levels as well as group and private sessions.
Tip: For an exceptional nighttime experience book a full moon desert horse riding session.
7. Paramotor Flight, Skydive Dubai Desert Campus
A once in a lifetime experience that has all the potential to become a regular hobby, paramotors are a unique and thrilling way to get to know the desert while soaring through the skies. A paramotor is a motorised paraglider, a propeller, powered by an engine, is strapped to the back of the pilot who guides you up into the air. There are tandem flights as well as training courses available at the Skydive Dubai Desert Campus. Paramotor flights typically take off at sunrise or sunset, creating the perfect backdrop for your sky-high selfie.
Tip: Adrenaline lovers can ask their pilot to give them a thrilling aerobatics experience which includes G-force spirals!
8. Dinner in the Sky, Sky Dive Dubai, Dubai Marina
Situated in the Sky Dive Dubai diving centre, Dinner in the Sky launches diners looking for a meal with a difference up to new limits. The famed dining concept has sprung up in more than 40 cities around the world and offers guests the chance to enjoy a chef-prepared meal from a table, suspended by a crane 50 meters in the sky. Enjoy your cuisine while you take in jaw-dropping views of the city and sea from Palm Jumeirah to JBR and Dubai Marina.
Tip: There are lunch and dinner time booking slots available. Dinner in the Sky operates seasonally between October and June.
9. Paragliding, Hatta
Drive for 1.5 hours outside of Dubai’s city centre and you’ll arrive at Hatta, a striking mountain-lined community with a host of outdoor activities on offer from glamping to kayaking and paragliding!
In the safe hands of an expert team, put on your parachute and take to the air. Enjoy the rush of adrenaline as you float above Hatta’s spectacular mountainous terrain and bright blue lake – best experienced from above.
Tip: You can discover Hatta by air, foot and water. There are several beautiful mountain trails in the area as well as centres to rent bicycles and kayaks from.
10. Topgolf Dubai, Emirates Golf Club
A game of golf with a difference. Located in the chic Emirates Hills district, Topgolf Dubai offers striking city views and a fun-filled golfing environment. Ideal for first-timers or those who wish to keep their skills sharp while travelling, Topgolf Dubai has games available to suit every level of capability without any age restrictions.
Topgolf Dubai’s onsite bars and restaurants play music and create a lively golfing atmosphere. For those that wish to elevate their Topgolf experience, private rooms offer a more intimate experience, ideal for special occasions or VIP group outings.
Tip: Topgolf Dubai stays open past midnight several times a week, ideal for those night owls who want to take in the twinkling city skyline and enjoy a few rounds of golf after dark.