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Is Desert Safari in Dubai day or night?

Desert safari is one of the most popular activities in Dubai, offering a thrilling experience of dune bashing, camel rides, sandboarding, quad biking, and more against the stunning desert backdrop. Many visitors wonder when is the best time to go on a desert safari – day or night? Here is a detailed comparison of the day and night desert safari in Dubai to help you decide.

Is Desert Safari in Dubai day or night?

Overview of Desert Safari Timing Options

Desert safaris in Dubai typically offer two timing options:

  • Day Desert Safari – starting around 3 PM to 5 PM and lasting 3-4 hours until sunset.
  • Evening/Night Desert Safari – starting around 3 PM to 5 PM and lasting 6-7 hours into the night.

The day safari takes you dune bashing and to various activities before wrapping up at sunset. The night safari includes dune bashing, activities, and continues into the evening with a barbecue dinner and Emirati cultural performances under the stars.

Key Differences Between Day and Night Desert Safari

Here are the main differences to consider when choosing between a day or night desert safari:


  • The activities offered are the same for both day and night safaris – dune bashing, camel riding, sandboarding, quad biking etc.
  • You can fully enjoy all the adventures during daytime.
  • At night, activities like dune bashing and quad biking need to be done carefully with lights. Sandboarding is not offered.


  • During the day you can enjoy bright, unobstructed views of the desert landscape.
  • At night, visibility is limited but you can enjoy stunning starry skies not visible in the city.


  • Daytime temperatures can reach 40°C to 50°C in the summer months. It’s hot but manageable.
  • The temperature drops substantially at night, offering a more comfortable experience.


  • Day safaris last about 3-4 hours.
  • Night safaris last 6-7 hours with the added dinner and shows.


  • Day safaris provide hotel pickup and dropoff typically between 3 PM to 5 PM.
  • Night safaris pick you up from your hotel around 3 PM – 5 PM and drop you back around 9 PM to 11 PM.


  • Day desert safaris are priced lower, starting from AED 150 per person.
  • Night desert safaris cost more, starting from AED 250 per person to include dinner and shows.


  • Day safaris usually have fewer crowds and vehicles.
  • Night safaris can get more crowded as people finish work and join.


  • Daytime offers bright, crisp photos against desert backdrops.
  • Night photos require expertise and equipment but can offer amazing star trails.

What to wear

  • Light, breathable clothes and sunglasses recommended during the day.
  • Warmer clothes, jackets needed at night when temperatures drop substantially.

Pros of Day Desert Safari

  • Bright views of desert landscape
  • Lower temperatures than nighttime
  • More convenient timings
  • All activities can be enjoyed fully
  • Good for families with children
  • Lower cost than night safari
  • Less crowded than night safari
  • Great for photos during daytime

Cons of Day Desert Safari

  • No dinner or performances included
  • Activities need to be completed before sunset
  • No view of starry night skies

Pros of Night Desert Safari

  • Cooler temperatures after dark
  • Includes barbecue dinner and Emirati shows
  • Experience stunning night skies and stars
  • Romantic under the moonlight
  • Activities like dune bashing get more thrilling with lights

Cons of Night Desert Safari

  • Some activities like sandboarding not offered
  • Care needed in low visibility while dune bashing
  • Pickup and dropoff is later at night
  • More expensive than day safari
  • Can be more crowded than daytime

Best Time for Desert Safari – Day or Night?

Both day and night desert safaris offer an amazing experience. Here are some recommendations on when to choose each:

  • Day safari is best during hot summer months to avoid extreme heat at night. Also ideal for families with kids.
  • Night safari is recommended during cooler months as the weather is more pleasant. The dinner and shows make it perfect for couples and groups.
  • During Ramadan, afternoon desert safaris that conclude by sunset are offered so guests can break fast.
  • If you can only do one desert safari during your trip, the night safari is recommended for the full experience. You can add on a short early morning safari to enjoy the desert views during daytime as well.

Top Tips for Desert Safari

Follow these tips to make the most of your desert safari experience:

  • Pre-book with a reputed tour operator -don’t opt for last minute deals in random vehicles.
  • Arrive 15 minutes before pickup time – the vehicles leave on time to keep schedules.
  • Dress appropriately – light, comfortable clothes for day, warmer layers for night.
  • Secure belongings – hold on tight during dune bashing or use secured bags.
  • Wear seat belts – especially important during dune bashing for safety.
  • Stay together as a group – don’t wander off alone into the desert.
  • Follow guide instructions – for your own safety and an optimal experience.
  • Respect local culture – avoid inappropriate gestures, clothing, or intoxication.
  • Pack essentials – sunscreen, sunglasses, medication if required, phone charger etc.
  • Photography etiquette – ask before photographing people, especially women.
  • Enjoy the moment – take in the desert beauty, thrills, culture, food and new friends.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can kids go on desert safaris?
A. Yes, many tours allow children above 3-4 years on safaris. Day safaris are ideal for families. Avoid having infants on dune bashing rides.

Q. What is the best time for desert safari?
A. Early evenings around 4 PM to 5 PM are ideal. Avoid extreme heat between 12 PM to 3 PM in summer.

Q. What is dune bashing?
A. An adventurous ride in 4X4 vehicles over wavy sand dunes. Skilled drivers navigate the ups and downs expertly while you enjoy the thrills.

Q. Is desert safari safe for older people?
A. Most activities like dune bashing may be too intense for seniors. Gentler rides can be requested. Camel rides and shows can still be enjoyed.

Q. Can you do desert safari if you have back problems?
A. Dune bashing may be risky. opt for softer activities or request a gentler vehicle ride when booking.

Q. What should you wear for desert safari?
A. Light, loose cotton clothes and sunglasses for day. Warmer clothes or layers needed at night.

Q. Can I cancel my desert safari booking?
A. Most operators have strict cancellation policies. But you can try postponing to another date by informing 24-48 hours before.

Q. How is desert safari different from a morning safari?
A. Morning safaris usually offer shorter gentler rides to see the desert, without meals or shows. Evening safari is a longer experience.

Q. What is included in evening desert safari?
A. Hotel pickup and drop-off, dune bashing, camel ride, sandboarding, quad bike, henna, dinner buffet, shows like Tanura dancing.

Q. Can I do desert safari if I have motion sickness?
A. Inform your tour operator beforehand. Avoid heavy meals before. Sit near the front seat. Carry medication if required.

Q. Is there an age limit for activities like dune bashing?
A. Yes, each activity has age and height eligibility. Children below 3-4 years are not allowed on most rides.

Q. Can you drink alcohol on desert safari?
A. At night safaris, you can purchase alcohol at the campsite but avoid over-consumption as temperatures drop at night.

Q. What is falconry experience in desert safari?
A. Interact with beautiful falcons perched on your arm and observe their flight. It’s an add-on experience offered at many camps.

Q. Can I take my pet dog on desert safari?
A. No, pets are generally not allowed on safari vehicles and campsites for safety reasons. You will need to arrange boarding for them.

Q. What kind of vehicles are used for desert safari?
A. Heavy-duty 4×4 Landcruiser’s and Toyota Fortuner’s with expert drivers are used for a safe thrilling experience.

Q. How long is the desert safari overall?
A. Day safaris last 3-4 hours until sunset. Night safaris run for 6-7 hours from afternoon until 9-11 PM.

Q. Can you do desert safari if you have asthma?
A. The dust and allergies can aggravate symptoms. But many people with controlled asthma do enjoy the safari. Consult your doctor and have medication handy.

Q. Can vegetarians manage on the desert safari?
A. Yes, most camps offer lavish vegetarian menus on request. Just inform prior when booking the package.


In summary, both day and night desert safaris offer a memorable Dubai experience. Day safaris allow action-packed adventures followed by sunset views. Night safaris add stargazing and cultural entertainment. Pick what suits your schedule, budget, weather preference and interests. Ultimately, the cool desert vistas combined with adrenaline-pumping activities make desert safaris a must-do Dubai activity

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