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Dave Blacklaws (left) and his family love spending time outdoors when the weather cools in UAE Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: As the wintry weather blankets the UAE, residents have revealed how they plan to spend these cooler months. Their must-visit list covers cultural hotspots, sporting and family destinations, besides enjoying nature.

The great outdoors

Filipino expat John Leonard Del Rosario, 25, who works as a customer service manager, said he never tires of taking a trip on the Abra.

“It is definitely one of my most recommended heritage attractions in Dubai. The Abra showcases the primary transportation of old Dubai, a direct contrast to the modern version of the emirate today. The Abra today is a cultural experience, one that all tourists and residents must experience. Talking to the Abra driver can be an enriching experience as well where you can learn about the old ways of transportation," he added.

John Leonard Del Rosario
John Leonard Del Rosario Image Credit: Supplied

Rosario said when it comes to Dubai hotspots, Kite Beach and Expo City Dubai are top on his list.

“I love sports and fitness. Now that the weather is cooling off, these destinations prove great for an outdoor workout.”

The Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) comes next in his choice of a night out in Dubai. Rosario said he also loves to do some stand up paddle (SUP) at the Kite Beach.

“Paddling around Burj Al Arab with stunning coastal views followed by a great breakfast is my perfect way to start a weekend. I am lucky to have my own SUP, but one can easily rent a board and paddle from nearby outlets,” he added.

Heritage, nature trips

British–Australian expat Dave Blacklaws, who works as an IT leader at American University of Sharjah (AUS), said one of his favourite heritage spots in Dubai is Al Hamriya.

“It is refreshing to see the quaint, modest housing in its beautiful colours, a stark contrast to the modern skyscrapers and buildings of the city. It is also a lovely spot to walk aroun, explore along with opportunities to take some great photos of the previous period architecture,” he added.

Blacklaws plans to explore the Jebel Jais mountian in Ras Al Khaimah as well to take on the zip line there. “There are plenty zip line packages and I definitely want to take it on. To make the most of my time in Ras Al Khaimah, once we have finished the zip line adventure, I plan on doing a scenic mountain hike before returning home.”

Blacklaws said he had been waiting for the winter to dine out with family and friends at one of his favourite restaurants in Ajman.

Morning ride

Lebanese expat Ranim Al Halaky, a graphic designer and creative director, said she will be going on early morning desert horse rides.

Ranim Al Halaky

“It is my favourite pass time during winters. Watching the sunrise from here is remarkable. You can see hot air balloons in the sky. It is a sight to behold,” she added.

Al Qudra desert will be a great addition to her to-do lists for the winter. “I love going there with my friends to chill and barbeque.”

Weekend on the beach

Jordanian expat Hadeel Majali, a marketing specialist, said Umm Al Quwain is the top destination on her list to hang out with friends this winter.

Hadeel Majali

“I will be looking forward to staying in Umm Al Quwain for the weekends. An added attraction is that there is a pet-friendly beach, and it is the best way to spend your weekends. There are also several water sports to pick from like kayaking and kite surfing at this beach.”

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Hadeel Majali Image Credit: Supplied

Majali also said she will be checking into a resort where they have different hiking trails ranging from easy to severe.

“I usually take the moderate trail so I can get the chance to practice my archery and axe throwing skills and follow it by a quick kayaking trip on the lake formed by the Hatta Dam to enjoy a scenic view of the mountains. They also have paragliding, horseback riding and mountain biking here. So this is another winter getaway for me.

“A mini staycation at Sir Bani Yas Island is a must for me every winter and this time too I have booked for three days. The island is a home to thousands of large free-roaming animals, truly breathtaking. We went on the wildlife safari on one of the days and on the other days we were able to enjoy the other activities offered like mountain biking, snorkeling, and kayaking last year. I cannot wait to do the same this year.”

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Fitness training

Dutch expat Haseeb Haroon, 54, said: “Winter in Dubai is like summertime in Europe. I have always been an outdoors person. Since 2017, I have been working out with At the Park. This is a non-commercial, community-focussed and community-driven group that meets socially in the city of Dubai.

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Haseeb Haroon Image Credit: Supplied

“I cannot wait to train in the outdoors in various activities which includes, functional fitness, cross fit, running, yoga, kickboxing, Zumba, hiking and more.

“Our favourite workout spots are the beautifully landscaped amphitheatre at Dubai Internet City and the Science Park.” But what also catches his fancy is a trip to the Al Shindagha Museum.

“It is a journey from the land to the sea. The museum shows visitors a taste of Dubai. Dubai’s culture and traditions are at the heart of the Shindagha museum.”

Global Village

British expat Haadee Zaman, who works as a digital trainer, is waiting to head to Global Village. “Who doesn’t love this place? You get to see so many countries' pavilions. I am a big fan of karak and during winter I love to hangout at Al Serkal Avenue – it is honestly good for the soul.

Haadee Zaman
Haadee Zaman Image Credit: Supplied

"Wadi Showka will be my other favourite: now that the weather has cooled down, morning hikes here are amazing and the views are breathtaking," she said.