If you haven’t been to Dubai, I encourage you to give the UAE a chance. I know it can sound overwhelming in a large city, immersed in an unfamiliar culture, but don’t be discouraged! Dubai is a beautiful city, and you I promise you will enjoy one of the most unique experiences of your lifetime while visiting Dubai. Here are a few suggestions on what to do:

1) A Desert Safari

If you want to revel in the sand dunes of the desert instead of the skyscrapers of the city for a change, a desert safari is an ultimate experience! One of my favorite safaris is the through the Platinum Heritage company! They offer a variety of luxury and authentic safaris in vintage Land Rovers, and prides themselves in the leaders in ecotourism in Dubai. They’ve consistently been featured in Conde Nest Travel, and National Geographic, and well worth spending the extra money for a quality vacation experience.

Platinum Heritage Desert Safari Tour in Dubai | Must-See by Mapping with Mandy

With a Platinum Heritage desert safari tour in Dubai, your luxury desert safari starts in a vintage Land Rover with a group, or in a private air conditioned Land Rover. Sit back, relax, and dive into the rich culture, history, and wildlife of the Emirate.

The desert sand goes for miles, and Gazelles wander through the protected land.

There are two types of tours to choose from: The Heritage Desert Safari package which places emphasis on giving you a peek at the local heritage, culture. Enjoy the tour in a vintage Land Rover, sunset falcon demonstration, and a superb emirate dinner inside a luxurious camp. The Platinum Desert Safari tour offers more privacy and exclusive facilities such as luxurious SUVs, and private dining inside an oasis of a royal property. Either tour is going to be wonderful!

Traveling around the desert, and exploring UAE history, while tasting Emirati cuisine is quite the Dubai treat! I highly recommend Platinum Heritage for your next Dubai desert trip.

2) Camel Ride on the Beach

The beaches of Dubai are exquisite at sunset! The JBR Beach is one of the calmest beaches, offering a wide range of water activities including camel rides. Ride through the Dubai Marina beach on the traditional local transport, also referred to as the God`s gift to the Bedouins in Dubai. It is truly a fun experience. Just make sure to bring the hand sanitizer. I learned that camels are pretty dirty!

Camel Ride on the Beach in Dubai | Mapping with Mandy

3) Brunch it in Dubai at a Beach Club

Music, sun, sand and sea are three of my favorite things. Yes, in Dubai you can enjoy a cocktail at the local hotel beach clubs, without that awkward wonder: “can I really drink and wear a bikini here”? I found the brunch atmosphere to be lively, with  diverse and eclectic crowd. Brunch usually consist of free flowing champagne, delicious food, and some with pool or beach accessibility. You’ll miss out if you don’t stop for a brunch in your sun-filled trip at a beach club! I recommend trying the Purobeach for your next brunch/beach club experience in Dubai.

Brunch at Dubai Beach Club | Mapping with Mandy

4) Cultural Tours at the SMCCU

This is still on my bucket list when I return. A trip to the SMCCU is highly rated, and very popular with expats and tourists alike. A good way for a culture vulture to learn more about the Emirati life would be going on a cultural tour at the SMCCU. The tours offered by the SMCCU (Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding) will immerse, and enable you to understand the deep rooted values and way of life. The tours are interactive, and include a historic neighborhood tour near Dubai Creek, a mosque visit. Most are also accompanied by a traditional meal.

5) Burj Khalifa

Oh my heights! At the Top of Burj Khalifa, soaring at 555 metres, is without a doubt the most incomparable destination in Dubai! You begin your journey to the world’s highest viewing platform by stepping in the Burj Khalifa sky lounge, at the Top, from where you are taken to an elevator. When it begins, revel the sensation of flying over the worlds landmarks provided by the specially designed projections as you are taken to Level 125. Admire the surrounding skyscrapers and sparkling lights (if you’re lucky enough to get a reservation at sunset). See the massive Dubai desert from the highest observatory, and tallest skyscraper in the world. Your stomach will turn, but it’s so worth the trip!

View from Burj Khalifa at the top in Dubai | Mapping with Mandy