Things to do in Dubai – Camping, Scuba Diving, Bird Watching, and More

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Getting the campfire started
Getting a campfire started

As I mentioned in the previous post about the wildlife center in Al Ain, the weather in Dubai is just gorgeous at the moment for outdoor pursuits. In case you need more ideas of how to take advantage of this weather, here are a few that we have personally experienced:


Whether inland or beach-side, the UAE and Oman have some great camping spots. We’ve only been to Fujairah (don’t go on the windiest night of the year), Dibba (where we didn’t deflate our tires and got our SUV stuck in the sand), and even Jebel Ali (disaster as we went too early in the season).

I keep hoping to make camp in Kasab one of these days.

BBQ Dinner - yum!
BBQ Camp Dinner – yum!

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Weekend Stay in Liwa:

The beautiful red-orange sand dunes of Liwa in the southernmost part of Abu Dhabi are an impressive sight and with heights up to 250 metres (820 ft), they would probably be great for daredevil dune bashing or sand surfing – not that we’ve done either.

Qasr Al Sarab
Qasr Al Sarab pool

We did spend a weekend relaxing at the Tilal hotel with lunch at the luxurious Qasr Al Sarab resort – click here to see more photos from that weekend and for an Emirati shrimp recipe.

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Scuba Diving:

Book a trip to Musandam in Oman for a dhow cruise, snorkeling, or scuba diving and find yourselves swimming with lion fish and leopard sharks.

Musandam Dhow Cruise
Musandam Dhow Cruise

We did a day trip which involved leaving very early in the morning and getting back very late at night. Overnight trips where you stay on the dhow (Arabic sail boat) are also possible and we may do that when Wee Scotch is a little older.

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Wildlife Centers and Bird Sanctuaries:

Besides the Al Ain Zoo, we’ve also visited the Sharjah Arabian Wildlife Center not just once but twice.

Sharjah Arabian Wildlife Center

It’s less than an hour’s drive from Dubai and the 15 dhs entry free also gets you into the adjacent Natural History Museum, Botanical Garden, and children’s petting zoo. A bargain and well worth the visit.

If there are any bird watchers out there, the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary by Business Bay has three bird watching hides. But don’t go on a Friday.

Flamingos at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Santuary
Flamingos at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Santuary

The last time we visited, which was a few years ago, the hides were closed on Fridays and only Flamingo and Mangrove hides were open.

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Hash House Harriers:

For a little exercise combined with seriously fun socializing, why not check out the Hash House Harriers – known as “a running club with a drinking” problem.

Dubai Hash House Harriers
Dubai Hash House Harriers

The Hash meets every Sunday at different locations throughout Dubai.


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