Desert safaris

Explore the sands surrounding Dubai

Save to my Account

The one thing that virtually every visitor to Dubai does sooner or later is sign up for one of the city’s endlessly popular desert safaris – offering you the chance to get out into the sands and see something of Dubai’s majestic natural environment. Most trips are blatantly touristy, but good fun, if you take them in the right spirit.

The most popular excursion is the half-day safari, or “sunset safari”, as they’re often described, usually done in Landcruiser-style vehicles seating six or eight people. Trips leave Dubai at around three or four in the afternoon.

You’re first driven off into the desert for around 45min – usually (but not always) to an impressive area of dunes about halfway to Al Ain. This is where you go off road. Your vehicle tyres will be deflated slightly, and you’ll then be driven off into the sands for a spot of “dune-bashing”, careering at speed up and down the dunes – a bumpy and mildly exhilarating ride, although it’s the views of the desert at dusk that really capture the imagination.

Depending on the exact details of your trip, you might also stop en route for a bit of sand-skiing or quad-biking before being driven off to one of the so-called “bedouin camps” which dot the desert around Dubai. Here you’ll be able to get a quick taste of various traditional Arabian activities: smoking a shisha, having your hands henna’ed, riding a camel, trying on a dishdasha, and so on. This is followed by a buffet dinner, and the evening is rounded of with the inevitable belly-dancing – good, cheesy fun, even if most of dancers are actually from Russia.

The best (albeit most expensive) tour operator is Arabian Adventures. Reliable alternative include Alpha Tours, Knight Tours, Funtours, and Lama Tours.

Categories: Tours: Day or Multi-Day |

At A Glance


Comments, Tips & Hints


You need to login to favorite a post.

Need to sign up? Create an account here.

Forgot your password? Reset your password here.