Summer in Dubai is not for the faint-hearted, with scorching temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius at times. So now that October is here, we all breathe a sigh of relief and head outside to enjoy the Dubai winter.
This list contains the best of what is on offer in Dubai and a few options a bit further afield during these cooler months. Make the most of the beautiful winter days and chilly evenings; whether you fancy camping, beach days or water sports, there is something for everyone.
Whilst the Dubai desert location might seem inhospitable at times, there are plenty of green breathing spaces within the city as well as outdoor experiences to connect you closer to nature. These are some of the best parks and gardens in Dubai to seek out in the cooler months:
One of the oldest parks in Dubai, with stunning views of the city. The park covers an area of 64 hectares and has plenty of sports facilities and play areas, so there is ample opportunity for the whole family to unwind.
The market is back at the flagship location of the Academy Park in Umm Suqeim. You can enjoy local farm produce and locally made products and sample an array of different foods every weekend.
A botanical feat indeed. Covering 72,000 square metres and with over 150 million flowers in bloom, the garden offers a great escape from busy city life. See our full review of this seasonal extravaganza.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the winter in this park, with several playgrounds, pedestrian tracks, a boating lake, and fitness areas. The park is also home to the Dubai Frame and Dubai Garden Glow; please note these attractions have separate entrance fees.
Dubai Garden Glow truly makes the park come alive after sunset. Handcrafted, colourful lanterns light up the park in a spectacular display. See our full attraction review for Dubai Garden Glow.
Spot the Greater Flamingo and other migratory birds at this sanctuary. This large wetland reserve is home to a wide selection of wildlife. You are able to observe the wildlife from three strategically located bird hides. Visits must be booked via the official website.
Ever thought about keeping your own bees? Receive training in the art of beekeeping from a master beekeeper at Sustainable city. You will be given hands-on experience handling bees and managing a hive.
Discover Dubai on foot. A sprawling city, Dubai has numerous districts to explore, and many are best enjoyed on foot. Make the most of the cooler weather, head out into the city, and experience Dubai up close.
While Expo2020 Dubai may be over, you now have the opportunity to visit the stunning site and explore select pavilions. In keeping with the Expo2020 ethos, sustainability and innovation are at the heart of Expo City.
This is where design, art and fashion meet. The area is home to some of the largest brands in design and art and hosts the annual Dubai Design Week as well as Sole DXB.
The new, old Dubai. This area, located on the western bank of Dubai Creek, is an updated version of the neighbouring historical district of Dubai. Here you can wander along the Creek, through the small lanes and find local handicrafts in the shops whilst also having access to cafes, restaurants and hotels.
Walk along the canal and enjoy the cityscape and the magnificent pedestrian bridges or jump on a dhow and appreciate the views from the water.
Fountains at Dubai Mall, The Pointe
The dancing fountains at Dubai Mall with the Burj Khalifa as a backdrop is always a crowd pleaser, but now there is a (relatively) new kid on the block, the spectacular fountains at The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah.
Old Dubai, Abra crossing, Souks
Old Dubai is best explored on foot. Meander through the narrow lanes with the traditional buildings and get a real sense of the history of Dubai. Start at Shindagha, carry on to Al Fahidi, then head to the Creek, where you can catch an abra across the water for 1 dirham. Continue on to the Souks, where you can shop for spices, fabrics and gold.
This is Dubai’s contemporary art and culture hub. The city’s best art galleries, food outlets and a thriving community of creative minds can be found here.
Explore Dubai through a guided walking tour and get a taste of a different culinary side of Dubai with these highly acclaimed tours for foodies and culture connoisseurs.
See more walking tour ideas for Dubai:
Amusements Parks and Rides
Dubai has plenty of theme parks and water parks, so there is entertainment for the whole family throughout the winter months. (Just be warned, sometimes the water parks close for a week or two in February for their annual maintenance).
Enjoy a whistle-stop tour around the world with sights, sounds and flavours from cultures across the world. Global Village opens for the season on the 25th of October. You can explore the 27 pavilions representing 78 different countries and visit one of the more than 200 food outlets all at this one incredible destination on the city’s outskirts. You can find our complete guide to plan your visit to Global Village here.
Not just one but four theme parks in one location. MotionGate, Bollywood Parks, Legoland and Legoland Water Park, have endless fun with rides and entertainment for all ages. Why not stay over at one of the resort hotels to ensure you make the most of your visit?
With over 105 rides and experiences, Aquaventure is the largest waterpark in the world. There are rides for all thrill levels and ages, making this one of the best water park experiences in the world you have to experience at least once. You can find our guide to all the lastest ride and slide openings here.
The oldest water park in Dubai, Wild Wadi continues to be a hit with families with its relaxed atmosphere against the beautiful backdrop of the Burj al Arab.
With over 40 rides and attractions, there is water fun for everyone on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Only about an hour away from Dubai, this is one day trip worth taking from Dubai for water park thrill-seekers.
Outdoor Sports Fans & Wellness Enthusiasts
Make the most of the beautiful weather, and head outside to keep fit in Dubai this winter.
You can now practise yoga three times a week at Aura, the highest 360-degree infinity pool in the world, located in the same building as The View on Palm Jumeirah
If sailing is your thing, Dubai Offshore Sailing Club is for you, or if you are a novice on the water, you can sign up for an introductory sailing course.
Fingers crossed for a good catch. Go Fishing Dubai offers several day trip options for new and experienced fishing enthusiasts.
If you prefer a more traditional game of golf, you are spoilt for choice in Dubai. There are more than a dozen incredible golf courses to choose from in Dubai and the UAE – you can learn more about the best golf courses in Dubai here.
Head to Meydan Cycling Track and rent a bike from Loop. Take in the gorgeous city views as you ride along the track and enjoy the best of the cooler weather in Dubai.
For the equestrian fans, practice riding or refine your polo skills at Al Habtoor Polo Club.
Enjoy a game of padel tennis on this outdoor court in Al Quoz. The Matcha Club offers a little oasis dedicated to Padel enthusiasts, a boutique padel court.
Monty’s Rowing School offers a full selection of water-based sports, from rowing to stand-up paddleboard, kayak and even pedalos.
Seva Experience encapsulates wellness, and the lush green garden cafe offers food to nurture both the body and mind.
Catering for all skill levels, Top Golf offers a unique way of enjoying a game of golf with a twist and all the social aspects thrown in for good measure.
Heading to Louvre Abu Dhabi? Nurture your inner yogi by joining a yoga session in the serene space of the Louvre. You can even join a kayak tour under the incredible domed roof of this impressive modern museum of humanity.
Hire a yacht and see Dubai from the water. Many operators will sail around Palm Jumeirah and the Marina with fantastic views of the skyline.
Want to learn how to scuba dive, or do you already have your PADI certification? Head to Nemo Diving Centre on Palm Jumeirah. They can also help with other scuba diving locations, such as off the coast in Fujairah.
Only Kids Allowed
Skateboard park by the beach. Scoot, skate, bike or practise your parkour in the playground.
Green lush gardens with plenty of shaded play areas, this place is perfect for younger children to interact with nature.
Beach & Pool Days
Dubai is synonymous with pristine beaches and luxury hotels. Here are the best options to enjoy a day at the pool or lounge at the beach, whether it’s in a luxury beach club or enjoying the public beaches in Dubai.
All day party beach club in JBR
The Aussie coast meets Dubai at “The Byron”, the latest beach club sensation to open on Palm Jumeirah.
Pristine beach on Palm Jumeirah, and also one of the only areas where dogs (on a leash) are allowed.
Love a day by the pool or the beach? A Privilee subscription gives you day access to some of the best pools and beaches in Dubai for a low monthly fee.
Kite Beach is still the most popular beach spot in Dubai and is always worth a visit.
A slice of Maldives in Ras al Khaimah. You’ll find this serene paradise in the northern Emirates just an hour away from Dubai.
Black Palace Beach
Not after anything more than a wide stretch of beach to enjoy the sun? This is a serene beach without the frills, just stunning views and blue water – pop it in your Google maps!
Al Fresco Dining
One of our favourite outdoor activities in Dubai is alfresco dining.
Instagram-worthy and vegan-friendly dining in Dubai outdoors.
One of the best places for sundowners on the beach in Dubai at One&Only Royal Mirage.
Asian fusion with magnificent views of Burj Khalifa, what more could you ask for?
Cocktails overlooking Souk Madinat and the Burj Al Arab.
Al Barari is truly an oasis in the desert. With its lush greenery, you will feel transported to another world.
Off the beaten track – as the name suggests – this quaint cafe is in a secluded desert spot.
The OG spot for sliders on the beach, and don’t forget the lotus ice cream.
For Outdoor Adventurers
If you are looking for more active outdoor experiences in Dubai, these activities are for you.
Hit the high ropes and climb, jump, balance and zipline your way across the treetop course in Mushrif Park. It is sure to get the adrenaline pumping. There are different levels of activities starting from ages six years and upwards. You can find our full review of Aventura here.
Quest for Adventure, Mangroves of Ajman
Less than an hour outside of Dubai, visit the Al Zorah Nature Reserve, where you can explore the mangroves by kayak, watch the wildlife, plant a tree and help clean up a beach.
Bear Grylls Explorers Camp UAE – Jebel Jais
Want to take your survival skills to the next level? Join a course at the Bear Grylls Explorers Camp, where you will learn crucial life-saving techniques in the mountains of Ras al Khaimah.
Hatta is located about 1 hour and 40 minutes drive outside of Dubai city. A bit of a drive, the nature is so vastly different, making it well worth a trip. Kayak on the dam, hike in the mountains or go mountain biking on the trails – the ultimate outdoor playground.
Desert Lover Experiences
Living in or visiting Dubai, a trip to the desert should be a must. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned camper, there are plenty of ways to discover the Dubai Desert. Get close to the real fabric of this country, both figuratively and literally, as you are bound to leave with sand in every possible (and impossible) place.
Romantic spot in the desert. Enjoy the stunning scenery, catch a sunset or make the most of the designated BBQ areas. Note that overnight camping is not permitted at the Love Lakes.
This is a great option to be introduced to the desert in a fun and safe way. Get picked up in a 4×4 vehicle at your Dubai address and head out into the desert with a professional driver.
The desert safari experience will often include dune bashing, sandboarding, watching the sunset, a traditional BBQ meal and, of course, a camel ride! There are plenty of other itineraries on offer, such as morning safaris or overnight safaris and those focused on nature, while others are focused on sand sports.
Camping in the Dubai Desert
Staying overnight in the desert is a fantastic option for getting close to nature and spotting some local wildlife.
Please ensure to only camp in areas where it is permitted, and please make sure to collect all trash when you leave. If you would prefer someone to do the heavy lifting for you, why not book a camping experience with the Sand Sherpas? They provide the gear, the guide and a camp with extra comforts.
Or if you are considering a first camping outing on your own but are not quite convinced to buy everything, you can rent all the equipment you need from the Camping Box. They can even assist you in setting up camp and taking it down if needed, so you can just concentrate on enjoying the desert.
For a little something in between, not quite a resort but a step up from camping, why not try one of these glamping experiences in Dubai?
For the Thrill Seekers
For the daredevils among us, these experiences will see your heart racing and adrenaline pumping.
Catch a desert sunrise from a completely different vantage point, and take an early morning hot air balloon ride with spectacular views of the Arabian desert.
One of the ultimate Dubai experiences is a tandem skydive with a professional and choose between two drop zones, Palm Jumeirah or the Dubai Desert.
The world’s longest urban zipline glides across the iconic Dubai Marina at 170 metres in the air.
Unleash your inner speed devil and try your hand at MX Ride in the desert. The ultimate motocross playground.
Not for the faint-hearted – walk the edge on the outside of Sky Views Observatory, 219 metres above the ground.
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack, and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws, and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass from iVenture or a Go City Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
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Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.Dubai Travel Planner