Although many beaches are the private domains of various five-star hotels, for a fee you can spend the day lounging on the sand and

Swimming in the Gulf’s clear water with the beautiful people. There are also public beaches, but single women may find the male attention a

bit much.


Dubai hosts the Class One World Offshore Championship powerboat races in late October or early November. Admission is free and entertainment is provided for kids. Wooden boats of a slightly older vintage race under sail

- up to 50 of them take part in a race and when they’re lined up with their sails hoisted it’s a spectacular sight.

The President’s Cup Dubai-Muscat Sailing Regatta is held every year in March. It begins in Dubai and finishes in Muscat at the Marina

Bandar al-Rowdha.

Camel racing

Racing of the much-beloved camel is a major spectator sport across the UAE and a visit to the camel races is worth the early wake-up call (races start around 07:00). The astonishing sight of pint-sized jockeys atop these ships of the desert, travelling at speeds of up to 60kph (37mph), is equalled by the madness of the local camel owners in their 4WDs, driving around the inside of the track, urging on their pride and joy.

Races take place early on Thursday and Friday mornings and on public holidays during winter and spring.

Extreme sports

Motor sports are very popular with Emiratis and the Emirates Motor Sports Federation (EMSF) has a calendar of events throughout the year, with the important events being held in the cooler months. A round of the FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup, the UAE Desert Challenge, attracts top rally drivers from all over the world and is held in November, starting in Abu Dhabi and finishing in Dubai. The Dubai Autodrome, which opened in 2004, now has a pretty full calendar of events (as well as a sideline in dance parties), including a round of the A1GP series.


It’s not surprising that the Dubai Desert Classic

( attracts some of the best golfers in the world - it’s one of the world’s richest golf tournaments. Currently

held at the Emirates Golf Club, the four-day tournament is held annually in late February or March. Tickets can be purchased from the website. Many golf-crazy expats take the week off to watch the world’s best do the rounds of their local course - especially if celebrity-mad Dubai has managed to get Tiger Woods to turn up again.


The Dubai Tennis Championships, held over two weeks from late February, consists of a Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) event followed by an Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) event. Some of the top names turn out for the women’s event; the men’s event is catching up. Tickets can be purchased for single days, as well as for the whole fortnight.


The Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament ( is one of Dubai’s fiercest contests. Besides the boozing, the rugby competition attracts teams from such notable countries as New Zealand, France, South Africa and Fiji as well as a team of expats banded together as the Arabian Gulf team. This popular event usually falls on the first weekend of December and sells out.


Ski Dubai is one of the world’s best indoor facilities, with two lifts, plenty of powder and fun for the kids.

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