As the summer approaches it’s time to hotfoot it outdoors now and make the most of the animal encounters available throughout the city.
We’ve rounded up the top five ways to make new furry, or finned, friends in the city.
A Dubai classic: there’s no better way to experience the desert for than in the UAE. This family friendly experience sees trained safari guides drive 4x4 vehicles and lead a thrilling journey over the sand dunes before you can enjoy a camel ride and a barbecue feast in the desert.
From Dhs230. Pick up from hotel in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, arabian-adventures.com (800 272 2426).
Atlantis The Palm
Meet, play and swim with dolphins in this state-of-the-art facility. Perfect for all ages and swimming abilities, interactions range from posing for a photo to swimming or scuba diving alongside. You’ll get free access to the brilliant Aquaventure Waterpark and the chance to learn about the amazing mammals.
From Dhs490. Open daily 9.30am-5.30pm. Dolphin Bay, Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 1030).
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
You’ll need a car to visit this inner city sanctuary, but once you’re there you’ll (hopefully) see the enormous flock of pink flamingos gathered on the marshlands with the soaring city skyline in the background. It’s closed on Fridays, so don’t go scrapping your brunch plans for this one.
Free. Sat-Thu 9am-4pm. Ras Al Khor Road (04 426 6822).
Dubai’s indoor ski resort is perfect for kids, big and small, and guests can get up close to the penguins to enjoy a personal play and training session. You’ll learn about Dubai’s resident Antarctic friends, see their sophisticated homes and feeding habits. You can also hit the slopes or grab a hot chocolate in the on-site restaurant afterwards, too.
From Dhs510 per person. Daily, times vary. Ski Dubai, Mall of Emirates (800 386).
Jumeirah Al Naseem
Caring staff at the brilliant rehab centre have helped nurture, raise and release hundreds of critically endangered turtles back into the wild since the project began in 2004. Learn about the dangers these magnificent creatures face from over-fishing, pollution and global warming. You can help make a change.
Free. Feeding session Wed 11am-onwards. Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeira Road, Umm Suqeim 3 (04 366 8888).
Don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Bucket List for the top 30 things to do in Dubai.