Go for a winter walk in Dubai

Usually known for its desert climate and sweltering heat, Dubai boasts balmy winters that are the exception to the rule. By early November, temperatures begin to drop and continue to hover around 27°C until late February. This is when the city embraces its pockets of green, expertly manicured gardens and purpose-built walking paths, each as pleasant for a quick stroll as they are for a full day.

Roam Al Barsha Pond Park
As close to a quintessential European city park that you’ll get in Dubai, pretty Al Barsha is a great choice for a stroll day or night, thanks to lighting under the palm trees and colourful hanging lanterns. Stick to the running track and you’ll cover around 1.4 km, with acres of greenery on one side and clear blue water on the other. Popular with local families and expats alike, the park has swings, slides and climbing frames to keep kids amused, and the whole family can head out on the water in one of the kitsch swan boats. Bring a picnic and set up on one of the pockets of green on the east side of the lake to enjoy an excellent view of Media City’s towering skyscrapers and the tip of the Burj Al Arab as an impressive backdrop. If you’re taking a taxi, ask to be dropped off at Al Barsha Mall and then head across the road to Al Barsha Pond Park.

Spot an oasis in Al Qudra
With acres of desert dunes surrounding a cluster of lakes, out here surrounded by nature at the unexpectedly beautiful Al Qudra, you’ll soon forget that the oasis was created artificially. It’s now home to free-roaming wildlife, including more than 130 species of birds, plenty of fish and several desert trees and plants. For the real untouched oasis vibe, make for the outer lying lakes that see less footfall. You might even be lucky enough to spot wandering oryx, camels and antelope. Getting here involves a drive, but it’s worth it. Follow the D63 out of Dubai towards the Dubai Cycling Track until you come to The Last Exit street food park. Stock up on snacks here and then head a little further south into this oasis in the middle of Saih Al Salam desert.