I love to travel to not just learn about other cultures, culinary dishes and customs, but I love to travel because in the process of exploring all those, I learn more about myself too. Your holiday to Dubai can be a perfect combination of tourist activities, beach days and those days where you learn something new. Here are some of my recommended activities for you to enjoy in Dubai:
Made with your own fair hands at the pottery workshop
It’s nice when you buy a little dish or a pot from your travels and take it home to remind you of your visit. But isn’t is even more special and unique if the ornament or dish was something you made with your own hands?
At Yadawei (which means "handmade" in Arabic), you can learn all about pottery and ceramics.
Partakers study how to use the pottery wheel, and if you become a member, you can use the facilities whenever you like. Memberships start at 975 Dirhams per month.
8th Street, Al Quoz, Dubai, 10am to 2.45pm, Dhs635. Tel: (04) 3791312. Taxi: Opposite Alserkal Avenue.
Learn belly dancing, tango, salsa; and more in Dance Ductac Dubai
It’s time to bust some moves on your travels to Dubai – bring out your belly dancing belt and brush up on your belly dancing in Dubai at one of Ductac’s regular dance classes.
Don’t worry If you are not a skilled dancer, because you can choose a lesson according to your level – beginners, intermediate and advanced.
Ductac, Mall The Emirates, Dubai, Sat to Thurs 9am to 10pm, Fri 2pm to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3414777. Metro: Mall of The Emirates.
Learn to kiteboard in Dubai
Learn to kiteboard with Dubai’s first official kiteboarding centre at Watercooled with a qualified instructor. You’ll see many locals and tourists alike, on Kite beach, rushing across the sea, looking effortlessly cool. Now you can be one of them.
The instructors at calm bay are excellent too – they will help you learn this new skill and help you ride along the Kite beach like all the other cool kite boarders.
JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort, Jebel Ali, Dubai, daily 9.30am to 5.30pm, Dhs350. Tel: (04) 8876771. Taxi: Jebel Ali Golf Resort.
Volunteer at Dubai’s urban garden
There’s something about working with plants and in a garden. Enjoy the sunshine in a garden with the greenery in Dubai this year. Dubai’s first ever garden has opened on the terrace at Time Oak Hotel & Suites in Tecom, and they are accepting volunteers.
Last summer, the planting beds were arranged and a former coop was repurposed as a potting shed for sprouts. Since then, a small army of Slow Food Dubai volunteers have watered, dug and planted, to create an edible sanctuary. Valuable seeds, organic compost and fertilisers have been used all over, and today the Urban Garden is evidence that food can be grown and cultivated sustainably in the heart of a city.
Why not get your own hands dirty whilst you’re in Dubai, helping with digging, planting and watering the produce?
Learn to cook at Dubai’s very own Culinary Boutique
Bake off, eat your heart out! Here’s your chance to give Mary Berry a run for her money, at Dubai’s Culinary Boutique.
Perfect those pastries, bakes and master a delicious steak by learning how to bake and cook some wonderful Emirati cuisine. You will find this close by the Dubai Zoo and is a popular activity for many holiday goers, so it’s advisable to book in advance.
Villa 56, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, daily 8am to 10pm, Dhs295. Tel: (04) 3450023
Paint using Dubai’s special Bright Side Painting techniques
Founded on the notion of painting using the right side of the brain, classes will teach participants how to actively learn how to paint by means of special techniques that require assistance from the brain’s right side, which is responsible for creativity and creative thinking.
The three-hour gathering takes place to expressive melodies playing in the background, to get those creative juices flowing.
Dhs250 for one three-hour class; Dhs650 for three classes. Tue and Thurs 10am-1pm; Fri 2pm-5pm. Brushes and paints included. Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha (052 837 6611)
Plenty of creativity activity for artistic souls in Dubai
Some of these arty workshops are just what you need on a holiday for therapeutic relaxation time. You’ll also get to know yourself a little better, and you never know, you may find a hobby or a friend, for a lifetime.
I find these sorts of classes are an excellent way to meet other people who have similar interests to yourself. A holiday to Dubai needn’t be all about shopping, beaches and glamour. These creative classes will make your holiday to Dubai that extra bit memorable.