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Dubai desert safari

A desert safari in Dubai should be a must for every Dubai vacationer. After all, the city consists not only of countless skyscrapers, but above all of sand. You simply have to see the seemingly endless desert landscape – and fortunately, the organization is also super easy thanks to many tour providers.

The highlights during a desert safari in Dubai

The following highlights await you on your trip to the desert:

  • Wild jeep ride over the sand dunes
  • Sunset in the desert
  • Barbecue in the desert camp
  • Camel riding
  • Water pipe smoking and henna painting

Desert safari itinerary

How exactly does a tour into the desert actually take place? I’m going to tell you about that in detail.

Pick up from hotel

Between 3:30 pm and 4 pm you will be picked up by your guide directly from the hotel, depending on what time you booked. You will be driven in a jeep in which a total of 6 tourists fit. You will be driven in a jeep in which a total of 6 passengers can fit. A perfect opportunity to exchange ideas with others.

The communication with the guide is mostly in English, if you have not explicitly booked a German-speaking guide.

Off into the desert

The urban jungle quickly disappears on the horizon. After a 30 minutes journey, there is nothing but sand except for a road.

A first short stop is made at a souvenir store. You can buy typical Arabic decorations or even clothes there. If you haven’t packed any headgear against the sun’s rays, you can buy a cheap scarf and have it tied around your head in the Arabian style. Alternatively, you can make a 30-minute round with the quad in the time, but it costs about 32$ per person extra.

Dune Bashing

After the short stop, the Dune Bashing begins. What is meant by this is the wild ride over the dunes. In order not to sink in the sand, all guides let some air out of the tires of their cars beforehand. This is the only way to make the breathtaking ride over the soft sand feasible at all.

And then we’re off. Full speed ahead! Up, down, left, right and drifting again and again. The sand whips against the windows and everyone is shaken up. The louder you laugh or shriek, the more fun the driver seems to have. It’s a constant alternation between laughter and shock. After about 45 minutes, unfortunately, the intense ride over the dunes is over. But fortunately the next highlight is waiting.

Sunset in the desert

Just in time for sunset, the jeep convoy meets at a vantage point so that vacationers can enjoy the red-lit desert. You get enough time to be able to take photos and appreciate the moment. The sheer immensity of the desert is simply impressive. After the Magic Moment, everyone is collected again and the jeeps drive in line towards the desert camp.

Barbecue in the desert camp

Arriving at the desert camp, all the tourists meet at once. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of room for everyone. In the center of the camp is a low stage for the dance performances. Seating and tables are positioned around it. You can take a seat there until the barbecue buffet is opened.

Fortunately, it doesn’t take long before you can try your way through the buffet to your heart’s desires. Grilled meats and vegetables, fresh Arabic dough patties and side dishes, and dessert to top it off – what more could you ask for? There is plenty of everything and it is also delicious.

Dance and Arabic traditions

Right after dinner, the dance performance begins in the center of the camp. First, a dancer spins incessantly in a luminous skirt; then a belly dancer expertly swings her hips. The rest of the evening you can then freely arrange according to your own interests.

On the outskirts of the camp there are small cabins where different attractions and activities are offered. Thus, woman can get a henna tattoo painted on her hand for free. After less than 5 minutes, the work of art is completed. The paste must soak in for a while before you can wash it off. Afterwards, the painting lasts – in my experience – well and gladly a week.

The gentleman would prefer to smoke hookah? This is also not a problem. In the small shisha booth you can have a nice retreat and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere with fruity smoke.

To complete the Arabian flair, you can also slip into traditional Arabian robes. That will certainly result in funny selfies.

Camel riding

Where are the camels? They are waiting for the curious tourists in front of the gate of the camp. The size of these desert animals surprised and unsettled me. Do I really want to go up there? Well ok, when do you have the opportunity again. So it was queue up and wait. With the number of people interested in riding, there is only time for a short ride. After a mini-round on the mighty beast, the spectacle is already over.

In retrospect, though, I wouldn’t do it again under these circumstances. For the welfare of the camels is not necessarily given much importance. This was shown by the fact that a tourist who was sitting on the camel right after us was thrown to the ground by it. A big shock moment, which fortunately went smoothly, but made me think.

Falcon interaction

On some desert safaris, interaction with a falcon is also part of the entertainment package. You can let the feathered hunter take a seat on your own arm and thus very carefully get up close and personal.

Return to the hotel

After the many impressions you will be collected again by the guide around 9 pm. Then it’s back to the glittering city in a rush, so you arrive back at the hotel by 10 p.m. at the latest.

The different desert safaris at a glance

There are many desert safari offers that are similar in terms of the itinerary. However, the weighting of individual attractions can vary, so you can go according to your own interests when choosing a tour.

What types of tours are available?

The typical: half day tour in the afternoon with barbecue dinner

This tour was described in the detailed itinerary above. For this very popular type of desert safari there are particularly many offers – and they are very similar. So it’s not easy to decide on a provider.

But with this excellently rated tour, you’re guaranteed not to go wrong. You can book the 7-hour desert safari from $68 per person in advance here. Thanks to the service of Get your Guide you can even cancel the booking free of charge up to 24 hours before the start of the tour.

Morning desert safari

Do you like to leave early? Then the desert safari in the morning might be the right thing for you. The 3 to 4 hour tour departs every hour between 7 and 10 am. This includes dune bashing as well as sandboarding – surfing on the sand. At this time of the day, there won’t be as many tourists in the desert, so you’ll have more privacy. The downside, however, is that many of the classic Arab attractions are not included. The tour is available here from $22 per person.

Full day tour with overnight stay

If the 7-hour safari is not enough for you, you can also increase it to 20 hours and spend the night in the desert. Sounds crazy exciting, doesn’t it?

At the beginning of the tour you are not picked up in a modern jeep, but in a Land Rover from the 50s. In addition to a sunset falcon show, you can also expect dinner under the stars and a gourmet breakfast the next morning. In between these activities, you will also learn about some Arab customs, such as henna painting, traditional bread baking and folk music. Sleeping is in a traditional Arabic stone house, including bed with mattress. Washing is possible in shared bathrooms.

The 20-hour safari starts at 14:30 and it is available here from $250 per person. If you wish, you can even book a English-speaking guide. The tour sounds like a dream from 1001 nights. You can hardly have a more authentic experience in Dubai.

Book an exciting desert safari in Dubai and let yourself be taken into a dream from 1001 nights.

Desert safari with camel ride

This special desert safari includes a 45-minute camel ride through the desert – Bedouin style. Once at the desert camp, the already familiar activities await: dinner under the stars, a falcon show, dance demonstrations, and hookahs. In addition, here you can learn how to prepare bread.

Also on this 7-hour tour you can book a English-speaking guide if you wish. However, due to the camel ride, this desert safari is much more expensive than the classic one. At Get your Guide you can book it for $146 in advance.

Wildlife Safari

This safari focuses on the animals and nature. The highlight here is the falconry experience. Here you come in contact with a greater spotted eagle, desert eagle owl and desert buzzard. In addition, you can get up close and personal with the training of a peregrine falcon – the fastest animal in the world. For wildlife lovers certainly a breathtaking experience!

The tour starts already at 5 am and lasts 5-6 hours. You can book the wildlife safari from $181 per person. If you also want to have breakfast in a luxury resort, you pay $232 per person.

Save on desert safari with Dubai Entertainer

Once you have the Dubai Entertainer, you can save money on a variety of desert safaris. Whether it’s the classic afternoon tour or the camel ride safari. Thanks to the 2-for-1 offer, you only pay half the price. A great saving! Here you can click through the offers.

I can recommend the provider Arabian Nights Tours. If you need more information about the coupons app, feel free to read my article about it.

Conclusion: Is a desert safari in Dubai worth it?

Yes, absolutely! The contrast of the endless desert to the glittering metropolis is fascinating. After only 30 minutes of driving you stand in the middle of this unreal landscape.

In addition, you really get a lot offered for a price of about $68 per person: Starting with the spectacular Dune Bashing up to the delicious barbecue and the varied entertainment offer. So off to the desert and enjoy the atmosphere like from 1001 Nights, as you will not find elsewhere in Dubai.

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