Look: Soon, soar over Dubai's Love and Expo Lakes in giant balloons, air taxis; ride a horse or camp in the desert

The Saih Al Salam scenic route, or simply Route 1 will enhance the desert tourism experience that the emirate offers


A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 28 Nov 2022, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 28 Nov 2022, 6:24 AM

Dubai has stunned the world on several occasions. But carving lakes out of the golden desert and building a thriving green oasis around them has got to be among the emirate’s top achievements. A short drive from the city transports residents and tourists to a complex network of manmade lakes around Al Qudra. These include the heart-shaped Love Lakes and the Expo Lake that is carved in the shape of the Expo 2020 Dubai logo.

The Saih Al Salam scenic route, or simply Route 1 — approved and announced on Sunday — will enhance the desert tourism experience that the area offers.

It is part of a comprehensive plan to develop Dubai’s countryside approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Route 1 will have visitors soar over the lakes in an air taxi or hot air balloons. They can unlock a lake’s secrets in a kayak. They can also explore the golden sands of the deserts on a horse or camel back; or simply pitch a tent or camp in a caravan.

Based on information extracted from a map and video shared by the Dubai Government Media Office, here is how the area will be transformed:

Bird’s eye view

It’s virtually impossible to understand the complex shapes of Love or Expo Lakes from the ground. Route 1 will have the following means that will have visitors soaring above the site for a bird’s-eye view:

  • Air taxi/helicopter tour
  • Skydiving
  • Air balloon
  • Vertical air balloon

Horse/camel riding

This is among the several heritage activities that will be available:

  • Visit the Saruq Al Hadid archaeological site
  • Visit Al Marmoom Heritage Village.

Open-air cinema

Perched on Al Maha platform, other experiences include:

  • Art gallery
  • Cafes/canteens
  • Archaeological museum

Caravan park

In addition to spending a night in a caravan, you can also:

  • Camp or picnic at any of the 23 camping sites around the lake
  • Watch birds
  • Do yoga at a dedicated centre

Domes and retreat

Camps and lodges with glass domes that offer panoramic views will be built. There will also be cafes and souvenir shops.

Kayak around the lakes

Means of transportation

  • Off-road bicycle rental
  • Horse rental
  • Off-road autonomous vehicles

Other activities

  • Desert safari
  • Remote-controlled aircraft club
  • Remote-controlled car club
  • Off-road competitions


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