[email protected]

Is a Desert Safari a Must-Do Activity in Dubai?

Dubai, the glittering gem of the United Arab Emirates, is renowned for its opulent lifestyle, towering skyscrapers, and luxurious shopping malls. However, amidst the city’s modern marvels lies a timeless treasure – the vast Arabian Desert. For many visitors, a desert safari is an essential part of their Dubai experience. In this article, we’ll explore the allure of the desert safari and help you decide if it’s a must-do activity for your Dubai adventure.

Is a Desert Safari a Must-Do Activity in Dubai?

Is Desert Safari Must in Dubai?

The short answer is yes – a desert safari is an unforgettable experience that showcases the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Dubai. Here are some compelling reasons why a desert safari should be on your Dubai bucket list:

  1. Thrilling Adventures: A desert safari offers an adrenaline-pumping array of activities, such as:
    • Dune bashing: Buckle up for a rollercoaster ride over the sandy dunes in a 4×4 vehicle.
    • Sandboarding: Channel your inner adventurer as you glide down the golden dunes on a sandboard.
    • Camel riding: Experience the traditional mode of desert transportation and enjoy a leisurely ride on a camel’s back.
  2. Cultural Immersion: A desert safari is not just about adventure; it’s also an opportunity to delve into the rich Bedouin culture. Many safari camps offer:
    • Traditional welcome: Be greeted with Arabic coffee and dates, a customary gesture of hospitality.
    • Henna painting: Adorn your hands with intricate henna designs, a beautiful form of temporary body art.
    • Falcon experience: Get up close and personal with the UAE’s national bird and learn about the ancient art of falconry.
  3. Spectacular Landscapes: The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is a stunning natural wonder that spans over 225 square kilometers. During your safari, witness:
    • Golden sand dunes: Marvel at the endless sea of undulating dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see.
    • Sunset views: Watch in awe as the desert sky transforms into a breathtaking canvas of orange, pink, and purple hues.
    • Starry nights: As darkness falls, look up and be enchanted by the clear, star-studded sky – a sight rarely seen in the city.
  4. Delectable Cuisine: No desert safari is complete without a taste of authentic Arabian cuisine. Most safari packages include:
    • BBQ dinner: Savor a delicious spread of grilled meats, fresh salads, and traditional Arabic dishes.
    • Shisha: Unwind and enjoy the flavored tobacco from a traditional water pipe, a beloved pastime in the Middle East.
    • Live entertainment: Be entertained by mesmerizing belly dancers, fire spinners, and traditional Tanura dancers.

Types of Desert Safaris

Dubai offers a variety of desert safari experiences to cater to different preferences and budgets. The most popular options include:

  1. Morning Desert Safari:
    • Ideal for early birds and those short on time
    • Usually lasts 3-4 hours
    • Includes dune bashing, sandboarding, and camel riding
    • Often more affordable than evening safaris
  2. Evening Desert Safari:
    • Perfect for those who want to experience the desert at its most enchanting
    • Typically starts in the afternoon and lasts until late evening
    • Includes all the activities of a morning safari, plus dinner and entertainment
    • Allows you to witness the stunning desert sunset
  3. Overnight Desert Safari:
    • Ideal for those seeking a more immersive desert experience
    • Includes all the activities of an evening safari
    • Offers the opportunity to sleep under the stars in a traditional Bedouin-style camp
    • Provides a unique and memorable way to escape the city’s hustle and bustle

Choosing the Right Desert Safari Operator

With so many desert safari operators in Dubai, it’s essential to choose a reputable company to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Safety: Look for operators with well-maintained vehicles, experienced drivers, and proper safety equipment.
  • Reviews: Read online reviews from previous customers to gauge the quality of the operator’s services.
  • Inclusions: Check what activities, meals, and amenities are included in the safari package to avoid hidden costs.
  • Group size: Consider the number of participants in each safari group – smaller groups often provide a more personalized experience.
  • Price: While it’s important to find a safari that fits your budget, be wary of operators offering significantly lower prices, as this may compromise safety or quality.

What to Expect on a Desert Safari

A typical desert safari itinerary includes the following:

  1. Hotel Pickup: Your safari guide will pick you up from your hotel in a 4×4 vehicle.
  2. Dune Bashing: Hold on tight as your skilled driver navigates the steep sand dunes, creating an exhilarating ride.
  3. Desert Activities: Depending on your chosen package, you may have the opportunity to try sandboarding, camel riding, or quad biking.
  4. Sunset Photography: Take a moment to capture the breathtaking desert sunset, a photographer’s dream.
  5. Bedouin-style Camp: Arrive at the safari camp, where you’ll be greeted with traditional Arabic hospitality.
  6. Entertainment: Enjoy live music, belly dancing, and fire shows as you dine under the stars.
  7. BBQ Dinner: Indulge in a delicious spread of grilled meats, fresh salads, and authentic Arabic dishes.
  8. Stargazing: Take advantage of the clear desert skies to spot constellations and shooting stars.
  9. Hotel Drop-off: Your safari guide will safely return you to your hotel, concluding your desert adventure.
Time Activity
3:00 PM Hotel pickup
3:30 PM Dune bashing
4:30 PM Desert activities (sandboarding, camel riding, etc.)
5:30 PM Sunset photography
6:00 PM Arrival at Bedouin-style camp
6:30 PM Entertainment and BBQ dinner
8:00 PM Stargazing
9:00 PM Hotel drop-off

Tips for a Memorable Desert Safari Experience

To make the most of your desert safari, keep these tips in mind:

  • Dress appropriately: Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and closed-toe shoes suitable for walking in the sand.
  • Stay hydrated: Bring a refillable water bottle and drink plenty of water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
  • Protect your skin: Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring sunglasses to shield your skin from the desert sun.
  • Charge your camera: Ensure your camera or phone is fully charged to capture the stunning desert landscapes and memorable moments.
  • Respect the environment: Avoid littering and disturbing the natural habitat of desert flora and fauna.
  • Embrace the culture: Take the opportunity to learn about Bedouin traditions and customs from your safari guides and hosts.

Key Takeaways

  • A desert safari is a must-do activity in Dubai, offering a perfect blend of adventure, culture, and natural beauty.
  • Choose from morning, evening, or overnight safari options based on your preferences and schedule.
  • Select a reputable safari operator that prioritizes safety, quality, and customer satisfaction.
  • Come prepared with appropriate clothing, sun protection, and a fully charged camera.
  • Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich Bedouin culture and create unforgettable memories.


A desert safari is an essential experience that showcases the best of Dubai’s natural wonders and cultural heritage. Whether you’re seeking thrilling adventures, cultural immersion, or simply a chance to escape the city’s bustle, a desert safari promises an unforgettable journey. By choosing the right safari operator, coming prepared, and embracing the experience with an open mind, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime. So, when planning your Dubai itinerary, make sure to include a desert safari – an adventure that will leave you enchanted by the magic of the Arabian Desert.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. What is the best time to go on a desert safari in Dubai?
    The best time for a desert safari is during the cooler months from November to March, when temperatures are more comfortable.

  2. Can I bring my children on a desert safari?
    Yes, most desert safari operators welcome children, but it’s essential to check age restrictions and safety guidelines beforehand.

  3. Is it safe to go on a desert safari during the summer months?
    While desert safaris operate year-round, the summer months can be extremely hot, making it less comfortable for outdoor activities.

  4. What should I wear on a desert safari?
    Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes made from breathable fabrics, and closed-toe shoes suitable for walking in the sand.

  5. Can I book a private desert safari? Y
    es, many operators offer private desert safari packages for a more exclusive and personalized experience.

  6. Are desert safaris suitable for people with mobility issues?
    Some activities, such as dune bashing and sandboarding, may not be suitable for those with mobility issues. However, many operators offer alternative activities or accommodations.

  7. Can I ride a camel on a desert safari?
    Most desert safari packages include a short camel ride, allowing you to experience this traditional mode of desert transportation.

  8. Is there vegetarian food available on a desert safari?
    Yes, most safari operators cater to various dietary requirements, including vegetarian and vegan options. It’s best to inform them in advance.

  9. Can I bring my own alcohol on a desert safari?
    No, bringing your own alcohol is not permitted on desert safaris. However, some operators may offer alcoholic beverages as part of their package.

  10. How long does a typical desert safari last?
    The duration of a desert safari varies depending on the package. Morning safaris usually last 3-4 hours, while evening safaris can last up to 6 hours.

  11. Is it possible to stay overnight in the desert?
    Yes, some operators offer overnight desert safari packages, where you can sleep under the stars in a traditional Bedouin-style camp.

  12. Can I take photographs during a desert safari?
    Absolutely! The desert landscape provides stunning photo opportunities, so make sure to bring a fully charged camera or phone.

  13. Are there any age restrictions for desert safaris?
    Age restrictions may vary depending on the operator and the specific activities included in the safari package. It’s best to check with the operator beforehand.

  14. What kind of vehicles are used for desert safaris?
    Most desert safaris use 4×4 vehicles, such as Toyota Land Cruisers or Jeeps, which are well-equipped to handle the desert terrain.

  15. Can I drive the vehicle during dune bashing?
    No, for safety reasons, only the experienced safari drivers are allowed to navigate the vehicles through the sand dunes.

  16. Are there any health precautions I should take before going on a desert safari?
    If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are pregnant, it’s advisable to consult your doctor before participating in a desert safari.

  17. What happens if there is a sandstorm during the desert safari?
    In the event of a sandstorm, safari operators will prioritize the safety of the participants and may modify or cancel the activities accordingly.

  18. Are desert safaris available during Ramadan?
    Yes, desert safaris operate during Ramadan, but the itinerary may be slightly adjusted to accommodate the fasting hours.

  19. Can I smoke shisha during the desert safari?
    Most desert safari camps offer shisha (hookah) as part of the experience, but it’s best to check with the operator for their specific policies.

  20. What is the cancellation policy for desert safaris?
    Cancellation policies vary among operators, so it’s essential to check the terms and conditions before booking your desert safari.

Leave a Comment