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12 months of 2023

The new year has ascended upon us, and like most people I too jot down detailed 20 point resolutions and fail to complete any of them. But this year, I think I owe it to the world (no, you don’t) to complete at least one of these goals, and that is to step out of my comfort zone by exploring things I have never done before. I realise it does sound like a lot of work. The bigger challenge here is to decide what to do each month, I mean there is a plethora of things I could do. But if you’re someone who is like me looking to do something daring and distinctive, here is a guide from me to you.

1. Taking the leap with SkyDive Dubai

As someone who has a crippling fear of heights, what better way to shock your system than jumping from a flight at 12,000 ft, right? (cries internally). SkyDive Dubai, UAE’s own skydiving institute offers great prices to do this all by yourself, even without any prior instruction. P.S. If you are a UAE resident, you are eligible for a 10% discount on the regular fares, or if you’re like me, you can even avail a special rate on your birthday.

2. Row, Row Row your boat

Whoever said roads lead to beautiful destinations, I disagree. You can explore the hidden gems even from your kayak. Blessed with natural valleys and mangroves, UAE offers most captivating views on your kayaking expeditions. From bird sanctuaries to alluring waterfalls, what better way to fall in love with nature?

3. Lights out and off we go

For all petrolheads and muscle car fanatics, get your adrenaline fix by taking a ride on the infamous F1 track, right here in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina Circuit. The guided tour will take you behind the scenes of the working of F1, the teams and the drivers. The highlight – a chance to drive a Porsche Taycan or an Aston Martin on the track!

4. Camp in style

As the long weekend approaches, you may be thinking of going on a road trip, leading to a four-day staycation at a beach side resort. Staycations are a thing of the past, try glamping with your fam. Simply put, it is camping with all amenities and of course the added luxury to make you feel at home. Escape to the sands of Dunes Camping and Safari in Ras Al Khaimah and hide under the open night sky.

5. Bring out the sleuth in you

If you’re an ardent fan of Sherlock like me, you ought to love this. Find clues and unfold the mystery behind the death of Professor Hawthorne. Set in a heritage hotel, every weekend, this murder mystery hunt is sure to send you into your full detective mode.

6. Immerse in culture and art

Step into your art critic shoes with a tour of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Unlike other museums, the Louvre isn’t divided based on themes or borderlines. The Louvre’s structure emphasises the openness and connectivity between cultures and how it binds us as humans. Louvre displays artworks of artists like Da Vinci, Monet, Bellini and more.

7. Cool off the Mediterranean sun

What better way to beat the blazing UAE sun and the heat of peak summer days than water sports? With an added advantage of extraordinary views, who could say no? Head out to Fujairah’s clear waters and swim along the coral gardens with Al Boom Diving Institute. An all-inclusive class packed breathing techniques, assistance, gear and with fun, tiny companions is all what you get on this trip to the mountains.

8. Back to the 50s

The vibrancy of Cuban culture embodied into a restaurant is what Rumba offers. Bringing 1950’s Cuba in all manner, from food to aesthetics, to cigars and beach, all the way to the whole experience, right next to you. So bring your chicas and chicos to dance to the tunes and sway to the beats!

9. Ziplining through the rocky terrain

It’s no surprise that UAE holds the record for quite a number of things – Tallest building? Check. Largest hotel? Check. Largest picture frame? Check. Futuristic buildings? Which one? UAE also owns the world’s longest and fastest zipline, embedded in the ravines of Jebel Jais. Swoop across the mountains of Ras Al Khaimah along 2.83 kms at a speed of 120 kph. If you’re up for an adrenaline rush or made a new year resolution this year to fly high, this is your sign. I doubt even the Man of Steel can beat this speed, but you can.

10. Ride the waves at Dubai Marina Harbour

Catch the waves and the mesmerising skyline of Dubai, the Sea Kart. The newest addition to water sports, this thrilling ride is a must try for all adventure lovers. Equipped with the safety of a boat and the exhilarating power of a jet ski, sea kart is sure to fill up your fix of adrenaline.

11. Gain the power of wisdom

Knowledge is power and what better way to walk into the next year with the power resting within your palms. The House of Wisdom, beyond a library, is a cultural hub that plays as an intersection for this very power. It’s a common ground for exchange of ideas, education, entertainment and more to invoke the power of gaining knowledge. Get inspired at this home for books where you can spend hours across rooms, designated reading spaces or even the cafes to enrich your minds.
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About the Author

Sandhra Sam, a textbook example of a third-culture kid, was raised in Dubai and is frequently seen wandering Bengaluru’s streets or cuddling up with a movie if she isn’t deep in reading. Sandhra has been writing since the construction of Burj Khalifa began in ’04. Curating recipes, indulging in poor jokes and most of all, having a good time is what she’s known for. You can also find her amidst a heated discussion about current politics, human rights and international relations. Oh and also she works as a Business Journalist on the side.

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