An Arabian vacation is not complete without taking a desert safari in Dubai. You can take a heritage tour of Dubai’s old city and further discover its souks or traditional bazaars, but nothing probably comes closer to a desert safari when it comes to experiencing the country’s bonafide cultural and natural legacy. In fact, a desert safari is one of the Dubai activities which you shouldn’t miss, predominantly if you’re visiting this emirate for the first time. It not only gives you the unique chance to admire the endless stretches of golden sands which is away from Dubai’s shimmering modern attractions but also promises you sheer adventure, fun, and entertainment.
Dubai Desert Safari: where to go?
This is possibly the first thing to consider when you decide to head out for a Dubai desert safari.
To start with, make a trip to the unequaled dunes that extend across the Al Avir region. It’s not far away from the city center and yet makes a wonderful retreat from the city’s glistening sights.
If you’ve already been to this desert or just want to elevate your fun and excitement quotients, venture a bit farther to the Al Lahbab region whose tall and stunning red dunes offer a perfect backdrop for an unforgettable desert safari.
Another option is to go on a hot air balloon ride across Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve which is on the Dubai – Al Ain Road, in the Margham area.
What to expect in a Desert Safari?
Unmatched Desert Scenery: Desert may appear to be barren but the reality is that its golden dunes which glisten against the sunlight are full of life, thanks to its rare and unique desert flora and fauna. And not to mention its surreal landscape which blissfully detaches you from the worldly hassles for a few hours.
Sunrise and Sunset Views: The striking colors and views of the desert sunrise or sunset or even both are so magical that just a glance of it is definite to overwhelm your senses.
Dune Bash: An absolute treat for fun lovers and thrill seekers alike, this activity takes you on a high-octane ride over the low and high sand dunes aboard a powerful 4X4 vehicle like Land Cruiser or Hummer. In fact, this is one of the main reasons that attract an adventurist to go for a desert safari.
ATV Rides (Quad Biking & Dune Buggy Ride): An all-inclusive morning or evening desert safari allows you to explore the desert dunes on your own, along with an opportunity to ride an All-Terrain Vehicle such as a quad bike or dune buggy. Even if it’s not included in your desert safari, you can add a session or two of this experience for a nominal extra charge.
Sandboarding: Another super exciting way to tread the untouched Arabian Desert trails is by taking to a sandboard. It’s akin to a snowboard and glides you down the desert sands in the most thrilling way.
Camel Ride: What’s a desert excursion without a ride on camelback? Aside from all the fun and thrilling aspects, it will transport you to the ancient era when these adorable animals were the only transport option to navigate the unforgiving desert terrain.
Campsite Visit: This not only allows you to wind down after all actions but also lets you appreciate traditional Arabian hospitality. There are tents with low-lying cushions where you can relax or stretch your feet, just before you proceed to experience the second part of your desert journey.
Cultural Activities: Despite all thrill and amusement elements, Dubai’s desert is where you’ll get to discover the ancient lifestyle of Bedouins through a string of activities. Ride a camel, prettify your hands with beautiful Arabic henna designs, smoke Shisha, and enjoy falconry, among others.
Traditional Performances: This is mostly a part of an evening or an overnight desert safari, where a beautiful belly dancer as well as a Tanura artist will literally take your breath away with their awe-inspiring performances.
Dinner in the Desert: Together with all cultural and thrilling activities, dining is included in most evening desert safaris. Apart from these, you can also sign up for exclusive Dinner in Desert packages. Besides great food, the main highlight is that it comes without any action, thus making it a great alternative for those who wish to marvel at the spellbinding desert beauty in the most serene way.
Camping beneath the stars: A stay underneath the starry skies is a very special experience that awaits you on an overnight desert safari. This covers everything from all activities and superb camping facilities to a sumptuous BBQ dinner plus a traditional breakfast and Arabic coffee.
How to choose a desert safari in Dubai?
First of all, decide whether you’re planning to go for a morning, evening, or overnight desert safari. As it lasts for not more than two to three hours, a morning safari is ideal for those who are pressed for time. Alternatively, an evening desert safari is not only packed with unforgettable experiences but also offers BBQ dining, traditional entertainment, etc. Speaking of overnight desert safari, it gives you the once-in-the-lifetime opportunity to know what it’s like to camp under the desert sky with nothing but basic comforts around.
Now that you’ve got an idea about your desired desert excursion, the next step is to determine the budget. There is no dearth of companies offering extremely cheap desert safari packages. But, don’t just go behind the price aspect; be sure to check for your service provider’s reputation and experience in arranging a desert safari. In fact, choose one with a proven track record in conducting desert tours, such as Rayna Tours and Travel. You can be rest assured that they would immaculately organize everything from pick up and drop off to dune bash, dining, and live entertainment.
Best time to take a Desert Safari
A desert safari in Dubai can be enjoyed any part of the year except for the peak summer months (in July and August) when the temperature goes up to 55 degrees Celsius. But, the ideal time to take a desert safari is in the winter months from November to March. You can expect the weather to be really cool and pleasant during this period.
Top tips: what to wear/carry & other things you should consider for your Dubai desert excursion
Wear comfortable, modest clothing for your desert trip. Avoid skirts and opt for pants or jeans which are especially great if you’re planning for an ATV or camel ride.
Complete your desert outfit with an appropriate pair of shoes, preferably sports sandals or hiking boots.
A desert safari will expose you to direct sunlight means you shouldn’t forget to apply/carry items like sunscreen lotion, hat, headscarf, etc.
With the most spellbinding views at every turn, come prepared to take loads of pictures as part of your desert safari. And of course, make sure that you carry your high-end camera and its related accessories in a dust / waterproof case. This will keep your gadgets safe from fine sand and dust.
Know that a dune bash involves lots of exhilarating twists and turns. So don’t forget to carry proper medications if you’re prone to motion sickness.
Refrain from yourself from all heart-racing desert activities if you’re pregnant or suffering from any kind of neck/shoulder injuries or heart-related ailments.
No matter your chosen package includes dining or not, most service providers offer unlimited refreshments throughout the duration of your desert safari.
While desert safari is a surefire Dubai activity, make sure that you sign up for the right package through a reputable service provider. This assures you of an ultimate desert adventure with zero hassles.