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Academic Trips & Language Classes

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (www.cultures.ae), located in the Bastakiya old quarter of Dubai, offers city tours with a focus on history and culture. One excursion is the Jumeirah Mosque visit, which takes place four times a week as a fixed public tour. Guests at the mosque participate in a talk on the U.A.E.'s official religion, Islam. Other activities include Arabic courses, U.A.E. culture and Dubai orientation courses, a Bastakiya walking tour, a cultural breakfast and lunch, coffee mornings, cultural question-and-answer sessions, Iftar dinners during Ramadan, and "story circle for children."

Adventure & Wellness Trips

Desert Rangers (tel. 04-357-2233; www.desertrangers.com) is a Dubai-based operator offering specialized adventure travel in the desert. Among the thrilling options are desert-driving courses, camel trekking by night, rock climbing, canoe expeditions, deep-sea fishing, and desert balloon safaris.

Arabian Adventures (tel. 04-303-4888; www.arabian-adventures.com) will also custom design adventure travel in the desert surrounding Dubai.

Horse Racing Abroad (tel. 01244-355-580 in the U.K.; www.horseracingabroad.com) offers a week's holiday from the U.K. to the Dubai World Cup. Join the jetset crowd that comes to Dubai each March for this world-renowned event. The adventure package includes 6 nights' luxury accommodations, tickets to the World Cup, and round-trip airfare from London Gatwick, Birmingham, or Manchester.

Mountain High (tel. 050-659-5536; www.mountainhighme.com) founded by British adventurer Julie Lewis in 2003 offers adventure challenge retreats and personal leadership programs for women, with a mission to empower and inspire them. Activities include mountain treks, multi-activity challenges, weekend retreats, and workshops.

TEN Travel & Tourism (www. travel.theemiratesnetwork.com) offers half-day shopping tours of Dubai. The guided tours, which require at least two people and can start anytime of the day, include visits to major malls and souks, with tips on bargaining. Free pickup and drop-off service is provided anywhere in Dubai.

Reem Tours & Travel (tel. 04-272-7116; www.reemtours.net) offers city tours, safaris, and help with arranging outdoor activities like golf, helicopter rides, deep-sea fishing, and yacht charters, among others.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.