Dubai put the United Arab Emirates on the map, but the constant desire to build bigger and better is what thrust the city into the arm’s of the rich and famous.

While the rest of the world put the Middle East on the backburner, Dubai was slowly building higher and higher. Bringing in cranes for new buildings and a whopping 94 million cubic meters of sand for its twin Palm Islands the city virtually recreated its skyline to fit the sexy lifestyles of the 21st century’s wealthiest.

Complete with desert landscapes, gorgeous deep blue seas, and plenty of luxury retreats, Dubai is a treasure trove of fun for adrenaline junkies who live by the mantra, “You only live once.”

Take in the sights from Burj Khalifa
Sightseeing isn’t usually on our list of extremes, but we’ll make an exception for this one. Ranking in as the tallest building in the world at just over 2,700 feet is no small feat. You’re fooling yourself if you think checking out the tallest outdoor observation deck in the world is just another tourist attraction. But, if you must, you can up the ante and book a ticket for the evening when the telescopes on Level 124 are free reign. 

SUP boarding the coastline
Just off the Palm Jumeirah is Watercooled UAE, your one stop shop for all things water sports. An hour and a couple of paddleboards will give you an exclusive look of the coastline minus the pesky tourists. If you can swing it, opt to reserve the boards around mid-morning when the crowds haven’t hit the beach yet and the water is less choppy. 

Try desert camping
Hanging out in the hot sun is only fun when it involves the beach, but desert camping is worth an exception. Your best bet for an unforgettable evening will come with a local tour group, who can guide you to the best spots and will include extra activities like camel riding. 

Explore the wrecks
Bad news for seamen: There are a lot of wrecks in this area of the world. Good news for scuba divers: There’s a whole lot to see. Rookies will stay close to the city for smaller wrecks, but the professionals will do their homework and head out toward Oman for a chance to see an array of fish, a few reefs, and possibly even a whale shark or two.

Explore by sea kayaking
Tag team extreme adventures and rent the kayaks from the same place you rented the SUP boards. Once again, it’s all about planning. Use the SUP board to explore the more shallow areas of water, then go deeper with the sea kayaks in tow. You’re bound to see way more ocean life and maybe even find a few off-the-beaten-path spots tourists hardly ever explore!

Discover sandboarding
Snowboarding, surf boarding, and sand boarding are all the same when it boils down to it. High speeds, soft padding, and lots of laughs are guaranteed when you’re riding on the dunes of Dubai. It’s just like surf boarding — only completely different.

Test drive an Audi
Take it to another level and go full-blown Fast and Furious with a luxury Audi ride at one of the coolest racetracks in the world. While tickets do sell out (and can be pricey), spending the pretty penny is worth it. 

Sky Dive over The Palm
Skydiving in Dubai should be the first item on your Dubai bucket list and the final item you complete during your stay. Book your spot with the guys at Skydive Dubai, who will make sure you see all the iconic sites in the safest (and insane-est) way possible. The city’s skyline is a stunner, and seeing it fly by at 130 miles per hour is like icing on the cake to a stay in paradise.