Dubai: The winter months are almost here and UAE residents can start to make the best use of all the outdoor attractions that are on offer in Dubai. Whether you are looking to enjoy adventurous activities with friends, or enjoy a laidback weekend with family, here are the top 5 attractions in Dubai that you can consider.
1. Hatta hiking trails
The city of Hatta is surrounded by the Hajar mountains and one of the best ways to discover its peaks and wadis is going on a hiking trail. The hiking trails currently span a total of 32.6km, with five routes of various difficulty levels that cater to all hikers, from beginners to those who are experienced hikers and trail runners.
These routes are colour coded to easily guide hikers – green, blue, red and black. These trails are open to the public and a great way to explore the natural beauty of Hatta.
Hatta hiking routes
Green – easy trails
Green grade hiking trails are suitable for beginners or novice walkers and runners
Blue – moderate trails
Blue grade trails are suitable for intermediate level walkers and runners.
Red – difficult trains
Red grade hiking trails are suitable for proficient walkers and runners. They are advised to use hiking poles on this route.
Black – severe trails
Black grade hiking trails are suitable for expert walkers and runners used to physically demanding and technical routes. The hikers are strongly advised to use hiking poles on black routes.
5 hiking rules to remember
1. Inform a friend or family member on where you intend to hike.
2. Carry a trail map.
3. Carry the right equipment.
4. Have your mobile phone fully charged.
5. Study and match the colour coded system of Hatta Trails to your physical ability.
2. Mushrif Hiking Trail
Dubai Municipality has set up a hiking trail of 9.7km in Mushrif National Park, which has multiple tracks suitable for both beginners and professionals – an 8.3km yellow recreational track and 1.4km orange sports track. The trail was opened to public on June 20, 2023.
Amenities along the trail
Administrative and supervisory employees are stationed at the track locations. Amenities include public restrooms, safety instructions and warning signage boards with directions. The trail consists of various sculptures, wooden stairways and bridges, slopes and rest areas, which provide a comprehensive view of the landscape and wildlife in Mushrif Park.
8 safety rules to follow
The municipality has also issued a variety of guidelines for visitors and hikers to follow while using the tracks in order to ensure their safety. These include:
1. Mountain hikers should ensure they are carrying sufficient drinking water and wearing proper clothing, footwear and safety tools for hiking.
2. Children between the ages of 12 and 15 are permitted to use the tracks, provided that they are accompanied by an adult.
3. Hikers should abide by the trail etiquettes and instructions mentioned on the boards.
4. Hikers should ensure that they keep the mountain bike trail in Mushrif Park safe for cyclists, making way for them before crossing.
5. Always walk in the direction of the trail, not the opposite.
6. Adhere to the designated track.
7. Choose the right track level as the orange track is designed to be suitable for skilled athletes with higher levels of fitness and endurance.
8. Cooking, smoking, camping, and staying overnight in the forest after hiking must be avoided.
3. Mamzar beach chalets
If you want to relax in your own private space with friends and family, enjoy beachfront views and set up a barbecue, you can book a chalet for the whole day at Al Mamzar Beach Park for only Dh150.
There are a total of 15 chalets, with facilities like air-conditioning, sofas, folding chairs, a TV, a small kitchen, and a washroom. All the chalets have their own outdoor private barbecue area. You can book a chalet through the Dubai Municipality app, which is available for Apple and Android devices or the official website – dm.gov.ae. Click here for a detailed guide on how to book the private chalets.
The chalets are located inside the Al Mamzar beach park, near Flamingo Beach. The area is accessible by car and it also has a separate public parking space. Parking is free for visitors.
You can rent a chalet for a full day, according to this schedule:
• Sunday to Wednesday: from 9am to 9pm.
• Thursday, Friday, Saturday and public holidays: 9am to 10pm.
According to Dubai Municipality, the cost of the chalet depends on the size:
• Small chalet for up to six people: Dh150 plus five per cent Value Added Tax (VAT)
• Large chalet for eight to 12 people: Dh200 plus five per cent VAT.
Additional knowledge and innovation fee: Dh20
Entry fee for Al Mamzar Beach Park
To access the chalet area, you must first pay to enter the park. Here are the entrance fees for Al Mamzar Park, as per Dubai Municipality:
• Dh30 per car – the payment must be made with a nol card.
• Dh5 per individual – payment can be made with cash or nol card.
• Free for People of Determination and children under the age of two
4. Global Village
One of the most popular attractions during the cooler months of the year in Dubai is Global Village. The family friendly destination allows visitors to not just enjoy shopping for unique traditional items from across the world, there are also plenty of food stalls and restaurants that give you a taste of global cuisines and a ‘carnaval’, where you can enjoy over 170 rides, games, and attractions.
Ticket prices start from Dh22.50 (for online bookings) and you can also take an electric abra ride to explore the entire area. To know more about the ongoing Season 28 of Global Village, click here.
5. Dubai Miracle Garden
If you are looking for some quiet time, instead, with your family or with friends, you also have the option of walking down alleys and pathways, surrounded by over 150 million flowers. The Dubai Miracle Garden, which is the world's largest natural flower garden, opened for this winter season on September 29, 2023.
For the new season, Dubai Miracle Garden has introduced new installations, which include the ‘Floral Tunnels’ featuring a display of flowers, water-themed attractions, and 3D water and lighting installations. The garden has also revealed a new, bigger-sized Water Wheel—which will accompany the two smaller Water Wheels that already exist within the garden.
While regular ticket prices are Dh95 for adults, there is a discounted ticket rate for UAE residents. All you need to do is present your Emirates ID at the ticket counter on site, and you will be able to get tickets for adults for Dh65. You can also visit the adjacent Butterfly Garden, to experience walking through the specially built domes with butterflies fluttering all around you. To know more about this popular attraction and how to get there, click here