Having developed around the long stretches of numerous creeks (the long, narrow inlets which bring the sea to areas which otherwise would not enjoy it), Dubai offers a multitude of remarkable landscapes, thanks also to the great expanses of green created by man. In effect, one should not forget that, originally, the territory of the Arab Emirates was almost all desert and it is for this reason that the ubiquitous gardens, tree-lined avenues and parks, which can be admired throughout the city today, are exclusively the fruit of the work of man, and these, apart from their having an irresistible charm, make the city much more liveable.
The creeks also offer extremely evocative scenery, both by day and by night, when the street lighting - sapiently set out along the seafronts, on the quays and the tree-lined avenues overlooking the sea, highlighting their perfume and the lapping of the waters - creates images of enchanting beauty. That same enchantment that one finds sailing along the canals in the creeks on board the characteristic Dhows or Abras, large wooden cruising vessels which offer excursions by day or night along the various sea inlets that wind into the districts of Deira, Jumeirah (with Dubai Marina) and Jebel Ali. Many dhows are also used as floating restaurants, on which it is possible to enjoy seafood specialities prepared according to the most various of world culinary traditions, as well as traditional Arab cuisine. Lastly, dhow-taxis are particularly active and appreciated by tourists and visitors, since they allow one to reach opposing shores in comfort, while enjoying the incomparable beauty of Dubai as seen from the sea. Alternatively, there are also extremely modern boats which offer a taxi service and excursions in all the city’s channels.
If, from the sea, Dubai seduces the visitor with its colours, its aromas and the charm of its landscapes, from the sky it ravishes with its spectacular skyline, the luxuriant flora of its parks and gardens, the expertly organised architecture of its sports centres and shopping malls, the extremely fine white sand of its beaches, the deep blue of the sea, the timeless charm of the traditional Arab buildings in the Old Town, the golden dunes and the green oases of the desert, the intense spirituality of the splendid mosques, the thousand colours of the souks.
To discover Dubai from the sky, there is nothing better than an excursion in a hot air balloon, to take the opportunity to film images of rare value, while also enjoying ideal climatic conditions for flying. The multicoloured balloons can carry up to 80 passengers per flight and it is possible to take off before dawn in order to admire the extraordinary spectacle of sunrise. As well as flying over mysterious desert, the hot air balloons also reach the Hajjar Mountains, a chain which stretches from the North East of the country, in the Emirates of Ras Al Khaimah, Umm Al Qaiwain and Fujairah, then reaching perpendicularly and to a small extent Dubai also, before proceeding to Oman. The mountain peaks, which reach as much as 3,000 metres, further diversify and enrich the landscape, guaranteeing, furthermore, a climate which is fresher compared to the rest of the territory, which is completely flat. For climatic reasons, in effect, hot air balloon flights are not effected between June and September, when temperatures and humidity levels are too high. For those, on the other hand, who prefer the comfort of a helicopter, the choice ranges among tours of varying length, which are faster and more immediate, so that one can find oneself surprised in the presence of the most representative icons of the UAE metropolis.
The traditional excursions by land are also a means of knowing the place that cannot be renounced. In the vast panorama of possibilities, particular mention here goes to theme tours, which, differently from the usual tours of Dubai by tourist bus and minibus, offer the choice of routes more suitable to ones personal interests, which can be explored through specific visits, as a possible prelude to subsequent personal rivisitations. Here we would mention, among others, the archaeological tours to the four important sites in which digs of great historical significance are currently underway in the areas of Al Qusais, Al Sufooh, Jumeirah and Hatta. Even though the work is still going on and they are not officially open to the public, it is possible to visit them by making an application for special permission at the Dubai museum.
For those, on the other hand, who may be interested in religion and spirituality, it is certainly worth the trouble to choose a tour dedicated to the mosques of Dubai, among which some, dating back to past centuries, are of great importance also from a historical and architectural point of view.
The ever growing offer as regards museums, on the other hand, is an excellent stimulus to those who have a passion for history and anthropology, since they offer a complete and detailed view of the very old history of the Arabian Peninsula, an ancient land which even today encloses mysterious secrets in its depths.
Safaris are also a very popular type of tour. In an off the road jeep or on the back of a camel, these are a must for anyone who wants to see the real heart of the country, which has always been incisive in the life of the people of the Emirates: the desert.
Horse and camel racing, birdwatching tours, visits to Bedouin villages, tours to the other Emirates, shopping tours and the many other organised excursions, all have interesting aspects on offer, among which you can choose those which most attract you and respond to your interests and passions.