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7 unforgettable experiences to enjoy in Dubai

With the resumption of Emirates flights outside of SA, we now have the opportunity to once again experience all the wonders Dubai has to offer.

With the resumption of Emirates flights outside of SA, we now have the opportunity to once again experience all the wonders Dubai has to offer.

Published Mar 2, 2022


With travel bans being lifted worldwide, many are eager to start planning their next trip abroad – and it looks like we'll soon be able to do just that. This is confirmed by travel experts who believe the 2022 international travel outlook is positive as Covid-19 vaccination rates increase and countries ease restrictions.

For South Africans who love to travel, the resumption of Emirates flights outside of SA couldn’t have come soon enough. On February 1, 2022, Emirates took to our country's skies once again - offering flights out of Johannesburg, including flights to and from Cape Town and Durban. This means that many locals now have the opportunity to once again experience the wonders Dubai has to offer.

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From incredible attractions that keep bringing tourists back to Dubai every year to brand-new exciting experiences that will wow you, here are some must-dos and must-sees to add to your itinerary for your next trip.


IOL Sport's Zaahier Adams rides a camel during his experience in the Arabian desert. Photo: Zaahier Adams

1. A camel-back adventure through the desert

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Get ready for an unforgettable experience exploring the vastness of the red sands and dunes, often with optional entertainment after the camel ride. For example, the Bedouin-inspired Al Khayma Camp offers visitors a BBQ dinner feast and traditional desert activities including henna painting, belly dancing and shisha pipe smoking.

Camel rides are most accessible at The Beach, JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residences), for AED 50 per person, plus AED 25 to have your photo taken. This experience requires no prior booking, and the brightly decorated staff members are always eager to take you on a trip of a lifetime.

2. See the tallest building in the world

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Add the Burj Khalifa to your bucket list and ascend the 828-metre building via high-speed elevators to experience downtown Dubai in all its glory from the observation deck. With more than 160 stepped floors that narrow as it climbs, this building is designed to mirror the complex geometry of Islamic art.

While the building can be seen from almost anywhere in Dubai, it’s best to experience it for yourself. Be sure to book your tickets online ahead of time to secure a specific time slot.

3. Visit the Dubai Aquaventure Waterpark

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Experience the thrill of adrenaline-filled rides and slides at the Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark. This park is home to the world’s first dual waterslide within a waterslide. There are also 30 other attractions for you and the family to enjoy, including Dubai’s longest Lazy River, the Tower of Poseidon, twisting Aquaconda, and 500 metres of private beach to relax on.

After all the water sport fun, visit the Lost Chambers Aquarium in Palm Jumeirah to see more than 65 000 marine species up close – after all, it is the largest aquarium in the Middle-East and Africa.

4. Plan a day trip to the Global Village

Open from November to early May, the Global Village offers visitors of all ages a full theme park experience with kid-friendly rides, concerts and attractions from around the world. After experiencing all the fun activities, fuel up with delicious food and a global shopping experience like no other.

Although it’s on the outskirts of the city, the Global Village is perfect for those who want to experience more of what Dubai has to offer, so be sure to take some time to include it in your plans.

5. Snap a selfie with the Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain is the world's largest choreographed fountain system, located on the 12-hectare Burj Khalifa Lake at the centre of Downtown Dubai. With multiple fountain shows running throughout the day, you may even catch the water-shooting spectacle while shopping at the Dubai Mall. Plus, a new floating viewing platform means you can get even closer to the action - and even better, the shows are completely free.


6. Take a spin on the Ain Dubai

Translated to Dubai Eye, the Ain Dubai is the latest world record-breaking structure to be added to Dubai’s ever-growing list of attractions. Coming in at a breathtaking height of 250 metres, this giant observation wheel is located on Bluewaters Island and is surrounded by the ultra-glam Caesar’s Palace Dubai, shoreside shopping spots, and the world-famous Madame Tussauds Dubai.

For comparison, each leg of the incredible wheel is 126m high – that’s about 15 stacked London buses – and the enormous structure is as heavy as four A380 aircraft. Definitely a sight that's not to be missed!

7. Stroll through the Museum of the future

From artificial intelligence to augmented reality, these types of technologies have the potential to contribute to a better society and stronger global economy. Unlike other museums, this brand-new exhibition explores how science and technology can impact life as we know it in the coming decades.

Dubbed a “living museum”, visitors can engage with the exhibitions designed to resemble an interactive movie set, along with expert storytellers, technologists, visionary artists, and special workshops and talks from the world's greatest minds.

So, if ground-breaking innovations, space travel and elements of traditional exhibitions are your thing, take a trip to one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and uncover the limitless possibilities of technology and science for yourself.

For a city surrounded by desert, Dubai sure has a lot to discover and marvel at.

IOL Sport's Zaahier Adams about to board the Emirates aircraft ahead of his trip to Dubai. Photo: Zaahier Adams

A few things to consider when travelling with Emirates

All passengers travelling from Johannesburg to Dubai need to present a negative PCR test result – with scannable QR code – obtained within 48 hours of departure.

Passengers with Dubai as their final destination will also be retested upon arrival at the airport. These passengers are required to self-isolate until they receive their test results. If positive, they will be required to quarantine.

Children under 12 years old are exempt from these testing requirements.

You can learn more about Emirates' travel updates and requirements here.

Book, travel and experience the wonderous city of Dubai with Emirates today.