DISCOVER DXB: The best way to explore Dubai in a day

Fancy touring Dubai from the streets, the skies, and the seas – all in one day?

From flying over the Marina to walking through the souks of Old Dubai, the Seawings Dubai Heritage Tour shows you Dubai’s famous landmarks and hidden treasures, like you’ve never seen them before.

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We skip work and be tourists for a day, and go along for the full tour…

After checking in at the Seawings HQ, a short safety briefing follows and we are handed our boarding passes.

With our phones in our hands, ready to snap up the perfect picture, we are now ready for take off. Fortunately you won’t have to worry about fighting over the window seat, because every seat in the seaplane has a window view.

We sail down Dubai Creek for about 10 minutes, before our seaplane revs up and takes off into the clear blue skies.

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If you think Dubai is beautiful from the ground, you NEED to see it from the sky.

We fly over all the Bur Dubai buildings and villas in Jumeirah, which look like boxes from the air, and straight past Dubai’s tallest skyscrapers, including the magnificent Burj Khalifa.

Our seaplane pilot Cam also takes us around the Burj Al Arab and Palm Jumeirah, right above our office in the always-busy Media City, all the way up till Jebel Ali and back.

He ensures we are in good hands, but our hearts are in our throats when he turns the seaplane 90 degrees clockwise – making us feel like we are going to plummet straight down in to Aquaventure.

The 40-minute seaplane tour comes to an end, but our adventure was only the beginning.

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After a short car ride to Dubai’s culture district Bastakiya, we sit down for a traditional meal in the Arabian Tea House, a cosy little outdoor café (left). Delicious food, amazing juices, garden furniture, lots of greenery and natural light – this café is definitely a hidden gem, and one of our new favourites.

The Dubai Heritage tour begins with the Dubai Museum, followed by winding our way through the narrow lanes and corners of Old Dubai.

We pass the old souks selling little trinkets, with every salesman trying to catch our attention by reciting their usual lines: “Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Dior, bags, shoes, watches, perfumes….”

Our favourite part of the tour is hands down the Abra ride. For only AED 1, you can take an abra to the other side of the creek. The view is phenomenal, with all big old wooden boats docked and the birds flapping about.

We then walk through the Gold and Spice souk, filled with flashy gold ornaments (some that looked like armour) and hundreds of spices we didn’t even know existed.

Our tour guide Murod is like a walking Wikipedia, filled with fun facts and historical references.

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Did you know that the world’s heaviest gold ring is right here in Dubai? The 63 kg ring can be spotted at a store called Kanz. Sadly for those picking out wedding rings, this isn’t for sale. (above)

We end our tour at the Dubai Women’s Museum, which is hidden in one of the original residential neighbourhoods of Old Dubai.

Compact but leaving us wanting to know more about the role women have played in Dubai’s hyperactive development, it won’t take up much of your time if embark on a DIY tour.

Although you can visit all of the attractions mentioned under your own team, it’s a unique way to explore Old Dubai, which is vastly different from the new end of the city and so rich in culture.

We love being whisked away from our side of town and recommend it for everyone who hasn’t braved it, or or has loved ones visiting and really wants to impress.

Need to know:

What: Seaplane Tour and Dubai Heritage Tour

Cost: AED 2,375 for adults, AED 2,015 for kids

Contact: seawings.ae

Dubai Week went on the Seaplane and Dubai Heritage Tour in partnership with UberSeawings – a special promotion for National Day. 

 

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