Exploring Dubai: The 10 Most Underrated Attractions

Written by Qadeer Khan

Whether you want to shake up your Instagram feed or you just feel like unwinding after a long week’s work, Dubai has plenty to offer. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, we have shortlisted 10 of the most captivating places that will keep you coming back for more.

Most of the attractions on the list are hidden gems that warrant a visit. The best part is, these spots are ideal whether you’re seeking solitude; or looking to have a timeless experience with friends and family. So, let’s dive right into the list.

SEVA (Previously, “Life N One Café”)

As the name suggests, the café champions the idea of a beautiful and fulfilling life, and is the perfect escape from the grind of the city. Funnily enough, the café is nestled in the busy streets of Jumeirah, yet offers a tranquil escape – all in the spirit of good, and healthy living. Some of the unique options include plant-based, soy-free, gluten-free, and organic delicacies, soothing music, and various types of aroma therapies. At SEVA, You cannot help but feel one with yourself and nature; and its bounties, of course.

P.S: They don’t offer Wi-Fi

Alserkal Avenue

For those into science fiction and dream of experiencing cyberpunk in real life, look no further than Alserkal Avenue. The place is designed to let you scratch your artistic itch in the most creative forms possible. From avant-garde art pieces to experimental role plays and musical arrangements, Alserkal Avenue serves as a middle ground for artists and home-grown entrepreneurs to meet, discuss ideas, and collaborate. Plus, there’s no entry fee, anybody can visit the place and get inspired.

The Banana Beach

The Banana beach is probably our favorite on the list because it gives you this unique and vulnerable vibe (in a good way), where you have a beach and different types of chalets, swings, tents, water hammocks, and camping facilities to keep you company. Once at the beach, you get a primal vibe that takes over you. Away from technology and city life, you appreciate the simplicity and the nomadic aura of the beachfront. It’s an experience that is stripped down, pure and pays an ode to the DIY lifestyle of yesteryears.

A standard One day pass for 1 person is 100 AED (this excludes overnight stay and camping). The cost for an overnight tent is AED 350 excluding VAT - one tent accommodates 2 people.

Love Lake

Despite Dubai being one of the top tourist destinations for couples on honeymoon, the Love Lake is still somewhat shrouded in obscurity. Located in Al Qudra Lake, it is essentially two heart shaped bodies of water intertwined. The lake is just one part of the experience, the surrounding areas are filled with sights such as swans, bbq spots, rustic tree houses, and of course, the orange sun setting in the backdrop of the lake is a sight to behold. The lake is perfect for a romantic getaway with your partner or to have some bbq with your family.

P.S: A trip to the Love Lake is free of any charge.

Moon Island

What better way to tell someone you love them to the moon and back by actually taking them to the Moon Island? Situated about 50 kms off the coast of Dubai, the Moon Island is a crescent-shaped mini island that offers a plethora of activities; such as water skiing, snorkeling, swimming, fish sighting, boat trips and of course, food by the beach side. The only caveat here is that the island is located at a distance of 60km from the main city, but rest assured, the drive would be worth taking to explore this marvelous island.

The Farm – Al Barari

If you are looking for a destination where nature takes your breath away, then there are few places that can top The Farm at Al Barari. The Farm exudes calmness, serenity, and peace. Adhering to the philosophy of sustainability, The Farm offers breathtaking views of lush green flora against water bodies that ebb and flow. In food, you get to choose flavors from around the world – including Thai, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisines. Despite its obscurity, The Farm advises guests to book with them in advance. You can book your experience simply by going to their website.

Dubai Ladies Beach Club

Who says it’s a man’s world when you have an exquisite beach on the outskirts of Dubai reserved only for the ladies? Located in Jumeirah, the beach club serves as a point of intersection for the women of Dubai to talk ideas, partake in activities, walk the ramp in fashion shows, or simply spend a relaxed afternoon under the sun. Moreover, the club offers a host of world-class amenities such as a Moroccan-inspired spa, fully equipped gyms, and exquisite dining. The club offers different types of membership options, which can be availed through their website.

The Coffee Museum

For all the caffeinoholics out there, this is the place to be in Dubai. Located in the historic district of Bur Dubai, the museum pays homage to the art of brewing and features unique artefacts from the coffee world. The museum also offers souvenirs to patrons; such as, vintage barista equipment, book, brewing history, classic recipes and a lot more. Oh, and just for the record, they make some of the finest coffee in Dubai.

P.S: Their signature blended mocha is a delight on the taste buds.

Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve

The Al Marmoom Desert Conservative Reserve experience takes you an inch closer to the nomadic ways of life. The Bedouin-inspired conservation reserve is home to a plethora of flora and fauna (including rare and endangered species). The site is also home to various archaeological findings; with artefacts such as, gold jewelry, pottery, seals and handicraft that date back to the Neolithic era. For visitors, there are tons of fascinating activities, such as running up a dune, cultural festivals, and the famous heritage festival.

With Al Marmoom, the idea is to preserve the heritage of Dubai, and at the same time, pave way for sustainable ecotourism in the country.

Ripe Market

What’s beautiful about the Ripe Market is that you can buy fresh, organic produce directly from the farmers. The market defies the standards set by modern supermarkets, and instead has a very minimalistic feel to it. Besides, the market is almost always having fairs, community programs, entertainment for families; and tantalizing food. Ripe Market has several pop-up locations throughout the city and, as the weather cools, now is the perfect time to experience it. You can find more details on their website and social media pages.