Since updating my blog, I have realised that I mainly posted content about my layovers in different parts of the world, and often neglected the things I did in Dubai. I therefore thought I would share some of the day trips and activities I have done throughout the year, that are not the typical ‘touristy’ things to do.
Visit During The Winter
In the Winter, Mamdouh and I decided to go to Al Qudra – an 80km cycling track in the middle of the desert. Neither of us are avid cyclists, but we thought it would be a nice activity and some good exercise. At the time, we didn’t have a car so we took a taxi there – which I would not recommend as it was pretty far, expensive, and also difficult to get back from.
We arrived at Trek Bicycle Store which is where you can hire bicycles and it is also the start of the track. I can’t remember the cost of the bike rental exactly, but it was around 50 AED. There are different routes that you can take, but we decided to take the standard, beginner route.
Towards the beginning of the track, there is a sign pointing towards the Al Qudra ‘Love Lakes’. I was excited to see these as they are shaped in two love hearts, but of course, you can only see this from above, so it looked like a pretty standard lake! Still pretty cool though, considering we were in the middle of a desert.
Take A Break
We continued with our cycling and by this point, we had worked up quite a sweat, so when we spotted a derelict Well, we thought it was a good idea to stop, have a rest and check it out. It was called the Hamari Well and must have been years old, but it was no longer operational. After a brief stop, we continued cycling.
We cycled for the next couple of hours. It is a completely flat track which is great and it is silent which is actually very relaxing. We passed by a handful of other cyclists but we pretty much had the track to ourselves.
Throughout the ride, we saw several signposts suggesting there were Oryx in the area so we kept our eyes peeled. I was dying to see one, so when we spotted a beautiful white Arabian Oryx in the distance it was such a special moment. Living in Dubai, you expect to see camels, oryx, falcons, but you very rarely do.
The Most Beautiful Sunset
As the hours passed, we were greeted with the most incredible sunset. I have seen some beautiful sunsets in my travels, but this was one of the best. It was such a nice reward after cycling for so many hours. Due to the heat in Dubai, we didn’t arrive at the cycling track until 3pm, as this is when it starts to cool down. Therefore, we only had around 3 hours to complete the track. As the sun set, we tried to make our way back as quickly as possible as we didn’t fancy cycling in the dark.
As I mentioned earlier, we took a taxi there which was a big mistake! There are no taxi’s around the area, and the Trek Bicycle Store staff said that it would take over an hour to get a taxi to come and pick us up. A very lovely man overheard us and offered to drop us back home as he didn’t live too far from us. We later found out that he was an Emirates Captain so we had lots to talk about on the journey home.
That is one of the things I love most about Dubai. Back home in England, I would never accept a lift from a stranger, but in Dubai it feels so normal. The other day we were shopping in Mirdif City Centre, and as we left the mall, a man in a black car outside offered to drive us home for only 30 AED (half the cost of a regular taxi). Again, if that was anywhere else in the world, we would have politely declined, but instead, we accepted and he took us home safely!
Al Qudra is a wonderful area and I would highly recommend this activity. Even for tourists visiting Dubai, it is a great way to stay active and see the desert, and possibly even a glimpse of an oryx. You can cycle for as long as you want, but definitely arrive early morning, or late afternoon to beat the heat.
I will definitely be returning here!
Thanks for reading,