Dubai desert adventure named No. 1 world’s best experience for thrill-seekers

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Dubai tourism favourite listed as world’s best activity in prestigious awards

A Dubai desert adventure has been named the world’s top bucket list activity at the 2023 Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best “Things to Do” Awards.

International travel platform Tripadvisor analysed 12 months of review data from millions of people across the globe to create the Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best Things to Do list, and Dubai came out in the top position.

The definitive list of extraordinary experiences for travellers also includes a trek to Peru’s Machu Picchu, whale watching in Alaska, USA and tectonic plate snorkelling in Iceland.

Dubai tops the Tripadvisor list

It was a Dubai desert adventure, however, that has been named the number one bucket list activity in the world.

The official Dubai Media Office tweeted about the victory, saying the activity in the Lahbab dunes “combines dune-bashing, quad biking, camel rides, sandboarding, stargazing” as well as Arabian barbecue on a six-hour expedition.

As well as being the best bucket list activity, Dubai’s desert adventure was named the fourth best experience of any type in the world, a major claim for the UAE’s developing tourism sector.

In addition to the Top Overall Experiences, Tripadvisor awarded titles for categories such as Top Attractions, Amusement Parks and Water Parks, Bucket List Experiences and Cultural and Historical Tours.

The Dubai desert adventure was not the only category to see UAE attractions listed among the best in the world.

The Dubai Fountain was named the World’s fourth best attraction, Behind Rome’s Colosseum and Barcelona’s Basílica de la Sagrada Familia, but ahead of the Eiffel Tower in Paris and New York’s Empire State Building.

In the World’s Best Amusement Park and Water Park category, Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island scored a double win. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld Yas Island both featured in the global top 10.

According to Tripadvisor’s most recent Seasonal Travel Index, almost a third (28 per cent) of travellers are motivated by the opportunity to experience something new and just under half (44 per cent) want to make memories with family and friends on vacation.

With experiential travel taking centre stage, Tripadvisor’s Best of the Best “Things to Do” is an essential guide for travellers looking to do something a bit different on their next trip.

Kate Urquhart, General Manager, Experiences at Tripadvisor, said: “Experiences turn travellers into adventurers, connecting them with the local community and giving them unforgettable stories for years to come.

“With more than 300,000 bookable experiences in over 250,000 destinations worldwide, Tripadvisor helps people access the best things to do globally, and we’re committed to expanding that number of tours and attractions across every destination.

“These awards are a testament to the businesses dedicated to ensuring the Tripadvisor community enjoys the most memorable trips, and we’re grateful to everyone who took the time to share their reviews and help fellow travellers plan their next escape.”

World’s Best Bucket List Experiences named by Tripadvisor

  • 1. Dubai desert adventure, UAE  
  • 2. Inca trek to Machu Picchu, Peru  
  • 3.  Whale watching in Alaska, USA  
  • 4. Cliff walking in Dublin, Ireland   
  • 5. Jeep safari in Aruba   
  • 6. Cappadocia hot air balloon ride in Turkey
  • 7. Lan Ha-Ha boat ride in Vietnam
  • 8. Manatee swimming in Florida, UAE    
  • 9. Tectonic-plate snorkelling in Reykjavik, Iceland   
  • 10. Volcano adventure day in San Jose, Costa Rica