Top 10 Off-Beat Destinations in Dubai

Dubai might appear to be an over-the-top Arabian metropolis at first glance, dazzling and stylish in equal measure. For the trained eyes, Dubai is much more than its touristy attractions.

There is more to Dubai than meets the eye! If you are willing to explore beyond the obvious, here are the top 10 off-beat destinations in Dubai which mostly go overlooked for some reason or do not find a place in an apparent Dubai travel program or itinerary.

Top 10 Off-Beat Destinations in Dubai

1. Al Bastakiya Quarter

For those in the know, this quarter in the old part of Dubai offers a perfect gateway to the regional art, cultural, and traditional landscape. More than that, it provides a peaceful respite to those meaning to escape from the relentless noise and crowd of Dubai's most happening neighborhoods such as Downtown Dubai, Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai Marina, etc.

Al Bastakiya Quarter
Al Bastakiya Quarter

From its ancient dwellings to enlightening museums and quirky art galleries, there is plenty to discover in this charmingly well-preserved district; it takes you back to a time when Dubai was just a modest fishing village. Be sure to visit this place, also known as the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood.

2. Coffee Museum

Discover this lil gem on your visit to the Al Bastakiya Quarter. The rich aroma of coffee drew me in instantly. If you are a coffee enthusiast, just like yours truly, the Coffee Museum is a must-visit to learn about the origins of coffee and its significance in diverse cultures.

Coffee Museum
Coffee Museum

The perfect laidback ambiance of this museum allows you to explore the antiquated displays peacefully. Enjoy the live demonstrations of coffee roasting while you are there while learning about the brewing styles from different countries. 

3. Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU)

Want to have an authentic immersion into the city's culture, traditions, and religious beliefs? The SMCCU is just the right place for that! 

Housed inside one of Al Bastakiya's elegant wind tower structures, the SMCCU remains true to its motto of 'Open Doors, Open Minds.'

Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

Clear any doubt about the fascinating culture and heritage of Dubai while savoring traditional local dishes, relaxing in Bedouin-style seating. Enrich yourself with a deeper understanding of the Emirati customs and lifestyle.

4. Jumeirah Mosque

Yet another off-beat destination to acquaint yourself with the Islamic religion and Emirati culture! This marvelous white structure built with whitestone will take your breath away as it reflects the medieval Fatimid architectural style.

Jumeirah Mosque
Jumeirah Mosque

Located in the posh Jumeirah area, it is one of the oldest and largest mosques in Dubai, with a capacity to accommodate up to 1,200 worshippers. To make it a truly hassle-free experience, opt for guided tours arranged by the SMCCU. Just like the SMCCU, non-Muslims are allowed to enter and explore the mosque. 

5. Dubai Creek Park 

Unlike popular belief, Dubai has many parks enriched with green spaces, dedicated play areas for kids, BBQ spots, and facilities for many recreational and sports activities. If standard offerings are not your calling, find your way to the Dubai Creek Park.

Dubai Creek Park
Dubai Creek Park

Placed in the heart of Old Dubai, it is the city's second-largest park that comes with attractions and facilities which would certainly spark your interest. Dubai Dolphinarium (with a 45-minute dolphin and seal show), Children's City, Cable Car Ride, and Mini Golf are just a few to mention.

6. Camel Museum 

Most people believe that camel is the national animal of the UAE; it is not. In reality, it is the Arabian Oryx.

The camel's inimitable role in the region's history and cultural heritage cannot be ignored or overlooked. Located at the site of Beit Al Rekab, a camel stable once maintained by the Sheikhs, this museum is one portion of Old Dubai where you'll be able to learn about the significance of camels in the Arab culture. 

7. Red Dune Safari 

Desert Safari in Dubai is known to all. But if you want to notch up this experience with a twist, set out on a red dune safari!

Red Dune Safari
Red Dune Safari

Venture out to the mysteriously alluring red sands of the Al Lahbab region. With a bunch of thrilling and cultural activities included, such as the 4X4 dune bash, camel ride, Shisha smoking, and henna tattooing, you cannot help but fully immerse yourself in the exquisiteness and stillness of its pristine natural desert environment. 

8. Al Qudra Lake 

Another spot to consider when you wish to take a detour from the usual Dubai route. Tucked away in the Al Qudra Desert region, this man-made retreat promises you a peaceful nature escape in a quaint setting, complete with lakes and enriched by fascinating desert flora and fauna.

Al Qudra Lake
Al Qudra Lake

You can further make this trip unforgettable by taking to the region's exceptionally maintained cycling trails, night camping in its supremely secluded serene location. Moreover, the iconic Love Lake with two interlocked heart-shaped lakes is nearby. 

9. Alserkal Avenue 

On the whole, Dubai can be famed as a glitzy city, but the surprising reality is that every nook and cranny of this city has its own identity and distinctiveness. If you are a serious art lover, it will be hard for you to skip Alserkal Avenue, a hub of art in Dubai.

Located in the city's Al Qouz Industrial area, it spans over 500,000 square feet, rife with classic and contemporary art exhibitions. Add to these unique art cafes, workshops, and workout areas, and get ready for a nostalgia overload as this space of warehouses transports to you an altogether different part of Dubai. 

10. Traditional Arabian Souks 

For shopping in Dubai, look past the posh stores and outlets within its massive malls such as Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall, Burjuman Centre, etc. As an alternative, make a beeline to traditional bazaars (locally known as souks), mainly Spice Souk, Gold Souk, Perfume Souk, and Textile Souk. 

Arabian Souks
Arabian Souks

Besides having a run of irresistibly affordable options, these bazaars are a treasure trove of unique merchandise and stunning souvenirs, making for some amazing gifts to take home. 

Conclusion 

The buzz and excitement of modern Dubai notwithstanding, don't miss the above-hidden gems at any cost. Lying beneath the glamorous fa├žade of modernity, these off-beat options would unfold a side of Dubai that may be less flashy but will delight tourists, expats, and longtime Dubaiites alike.

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Comments

  1. Had been last year ....but hadno idea about Coffee museum....interesting

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  2. Wow your post is like a virtual tour to dubai. Dubai is in my wishlist so long, would surely keep these amazing destinations in mind when get a chance to visit it.

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  3. Dubai is in my bucket list too. I would definitely keep these amazing destinations in my mind.

    Jyoti
    Http:// momcaptureslife.com

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  4. One day I’ll be able to do the same and travel to Dubai, this is truly an amazing experience and Dubai is really an interesting place to visit. It looks like you had a great time checking out so many different things. Looks like so much fun!

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  5. Dubai is in my wish list & if covid was not there, I would have visited.
    Anyways in future in sha allah.

    The post is very helpful & I will make sure to visit these places when I travel.

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  6. These incredible tourist attractions to visit Dubai and to do fun things on vacation to Dubai will make this trip memorable . Great thoughts.

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  7. Some places that people staying in Dubai might also have missed. Great compilation!

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  8. Wow we girls were just planning a trip to Dubai soon and you have given me some great options to spend some great time there.

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  9. wow these are really some great suggestions you have given. Many miss these because it isn't in a regular itinerary.

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