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Dubai is great to visit anytime. In the winter, especially in December and January, the city is infused by a distinct kind of magic, with crisp pleasant weather, lively events, glittering lights, and cool desert parties to name a few. So if you're planning for an unforgettable Dubai trip during cooler months, don't put it off. Just plan it right away, as this post gives you an insider guide on exciting things to do in Dubai in January. This guide is beyond visiting its obvious attractions such as Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Parks, and Resorts.
Dubai is one of the ultimate places to kick off a brand-new year. On New Year’s Eve, the entire city is washed out in an unmatched festive spirit, all ready to bring in another year in its true grandeur. Be part of the imposing New Year’s Eve parties, savour exclusive dinner feasts, and most of all, watch in awe at the supremely majestic fireworks display, mainly at Burj Khalifa - the world’s tallest building, Burj Al Arab, Al Seef, and La Mer.
The city becomes a hub of cool activities, events, and sights every year during the one-month-long Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF.) In 2021, the festival takes place from 26th December 2020 to 24th January 2021. As its name suggests, this is the time to grab maximum discounts (up to 70%, and sometimes even 90% off) on almost all merchandise from your favourite apparel, cosmetic, and gadget brands.
DSF is not just for shoppers. Many street performances, concerts, live shows, and brilliant cultural events accompany this festive spirit. Finally, the icing on the cake is the chance you get to win jaw-dropping prizes worth whopping amounts, thanks to mega raffle draws.
There is a unique pleasure in open-air shopping and dining, particularly when the weather is pleasantly cool. Dubai’s Global Village takes this experience to the next level, as it serves up before you the shopping, culinary and ethnic specialities of different parts of the world. After all, there are the pavilions of over 90 countries, all wrapped in this unrivalled amusement venue.
From Carnaval and Circus Circus to the region’s first of its kind Ripley’s Believe it or Not! The museum also offers plentiful options with attractions and experiences ideal for all including families and kids. That’s not all; it features some amazing concerts and live shows by brilliant performers. Placed on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, this is open from October to April.
This is the event which allows you to experience Emiratis love for exciting sports. Conducted as per the rules of Hurlingham Polo Association, this unique polo match is one of the most looked forward to events in Dubai calendar. It’s part of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series, also including four other tournaments, such as Polo Masters Cup, Standard Chartered Gold Cup, Dubai Challenge Cup, and Dubai Cup. In 2021, it is all slated to take place from 22nd January to 5th February, with overall eight teams. The venue is at Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club.
Dubai may be a desert city, but it has shown the world how to create wonders out of mere sand. And one of the unmissable among them is Dubai Miracle Garden. It’s the biggest ever natural garden filled with over 50 million flowers in its 72,000 square meter space. You can expect to see a variety of themed gardens, as well as flowers arranged in almost every design, pattern and shape you could imagine. Needless to say, it’s an oasis of lush greenery complimented with a burst of vivid floral colours.
This is a year-round activity, but Dubai’s desert and its raw appeal should be best experienced during the cooler months. At that time, the unbearable desert heat calms down, and the whole region becomes salubriously pleasant. So be sure to go on a desert safari on your January trip to Dubai – there is a distinctive allure to it. Just 30 to 40 minutes’ drive from the city centre, it’s easy to get there. To avoid the hassle, take your desert safari through an experienced service provider.
You can be rest assured that they will take care of everything from 4X4 dune bash and camel ride to traditional shows and cultural inclusions, like Shisha smoking and henna tattooing. Make the whole experience truly special with an evening or overnight desert safari complete with BBQ dining and traditional entertainment, like belly dance and Tanura show.
Fabulous fireworks display in Dubai is not just restricted to New Year’s Eve. You’ll be able to watch it throughout DSF on every weekend (Thursday and Friday). This awe-inspiring pyrotechnics is showcased across the city in its prime locations, including Al Seef (Dubai Creek), Dubai Festival City, La Mer, the Beach at JBR, Dubai Frame, and the Pointe (Palm Jumeirah).
Whether you’ve already been to Dubai before or not, add this latest attraction to your Dubai bucket list. Placed at the ultimate leisure destination of the Pointe at the iconic man-made island of Palm Jumeirah, Palm Fountain Show is a spectacular dancing show which sprays out water in perfect sync to regional and world music. It is similar to the Dubai Fountain at Downtown Dubai, but it’s a bit more intricate, extensive, and grand. After all, it’s the world’s largest fountain and also the city’s first coloured fountain show.
Travelling to this relatively new spot in Dubai is a must-do for nature lovers and of course, anyone romantic at heart. Located in close proximity to the serene Al Qudra desert and lake region, its highlight is the two lakes that take after two massive interlocked hearts. They are tucked away in the Al Salam Desert area but surrounded by lush trees, plants and cool serene ambience. This makes it a haven for several amazing bird species like ducks, eagles, falcons, swans and more. You’ll further get to capture some fantastic clicks against the marvellous desert sunset views and even enjoy a walk through its shallow waterways.
Surely, the brighter skies and pleasant weather in winter make it the prime time to experience Dubai’s outdoors. So why don’t enjoy it with a twist? Try a session of zipline adventure above the skyline of Dubai Marina, go underwater on a scuba diving/snorkelling session, or take to the clouds with a helicopter/seaplane ride or an epic sky diving adventure. Looking for exotic fun and adventure in your Dubai outdoors? Sign up for XLine Slingshot which gives you a first-hand feel of the world’s fastest human slingshot. There is also the desert tandem flight adventure – a fun way to enjoy paragliding backed by the safety of an aircraft.
The city’s skyline views are strikingly beautiful all year round. One of the best vantage points to catch up it is from the water on a dhow cruise. This sightseeing experience becomes extra special during the winter season, thanks to the lovely weather. A dhow cruise takes you on a two-hour cruise along Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina. You can choose between the indoor (air-conditioned) or outdoor (partially open upper deck) seating. Buffet dining with traditional performances, like Tanura, adds to this unique cruise aboard a traditional Arabian vessel.
Make sure to take an unhurried stroll across the Dubai Marina Walk. It stretches for more than seven kilometres along the artificial marina, which is in the heart of modern Dubai. This elegant waterfront promenade is surrounded by breathtaking contemporary structures, and it is worthy of a visit for its vast array of dining, shopping and entertainment options, You can further hire a cycle or set out on a luxury yacht cruise across Dubai Marina.
Prep for your trip by obtaining your Dubai visa (if required) and get ready for a vacation like no other! Dubai in January is the time when you'll be able to enjoy the region's sunny outdoors without worrying about harsh heat. Make the most of its ground-breaking attractions, exciting entertainment shows, and most of all, stunning events that don't take place in any other season of the year. In fact, a winter trip to Dubai is truly special as it's loaded with everything to make your holiday one to cherish and remember forever.
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We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.